Pacquiao elected PDP-Laban president
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) – December 4, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao took the helm of PDP-Laban as acting president as he vowed to further harness the political party’s power and influence to fight corruption and address poverty in the country.
Pacquiao and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who was designated as executive vice president, took their oaths before former PDP-Laban president Aquilino Pimentel III during a “hybrid” fellowship night at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Pimentel expressed confidence that the PDP-Laban, through Pacquiao, will continue to be the dominant party even after 2022. Velasco replaced Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales. Pimentel is now the party’s executive vice chairman and will work closely with PDP-Laban chairman President Duterte, Pacquiao and Velasco.
In accepting the invitation for him to lead PDP-Laban on Wednesday night, Pacquiao declared commitment to harness the administration’s party’s immense power and influence to fight corruption.
He promised to further strengthen the party while upholding its five guiding principles — theism, authentic humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism and consultative participatory democracy.
“We are not beholden to big businesses, foreign entities, nor vested interests, but only to the Filipino people. We are here to fight for the poor, the jobless, the homeless, the voiceless and the hopeless. This is what the PDP-Laban under Manny Pacquiao will stand for,” he told party members.
The new party leader also said that PDP-Laban must heed Duterte’s call for a more aggressive stance against corruption which he describes as “cancer that has tormented our government for generations,” stressing that members must lead by example by shunning all forms of corruption.
“I am very angry with corrupt officials as well as the corrupt, curious government workers. They are stealing the people’s money, money that should be for programs and projects that will help our suffering kababayan,” Pacquiao said.
Pimentel said he decided to relinquish his post in the party founded by his father, the late senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. so that he can focus working in the background to further strengthen the group and focus on helping push for Duterte’s legislative agenda.
Apart from leading PDP-Laban in the frontline to fight corruption, Pacquiao said that the administration party would also focus on pushing for peace and economic development and help craft “long-term goals for our country.”
At present, PDP-Laban has five senators, 58 congressmen, 43 governors, 22 vice-governors, 257 board members, 608 mayors, 541 vice-mayors, 4,081 councilors and 100,000 grassroots community leaders.