The subject of intense public attention is the ongoing rift in the PDP Laban Party.
It appears that the bulk of the PDP Laban membership recognizes President Rodrigo Duterte as the party chairman, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as the party president. Cusi assumed the post in July this year, replacing Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao. The latter was ousted as party president for creating disunity within the party’s ranks.
Like a haughty feudal-era landlord, Pacquiao treats his partymates as his vassals. He also assumes that as a famous boxer, he should be the party’s presidential candidate in 2022.
Pacquiao and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the boxer’s scheming sidekick, claim they are the real PDP Laban. That claim led Cusi and his allies to file a petition in the Commission on Elections to ask the Comelec to recognize the Cusi group as the official PDP Laban.
Unable to articulate on how and why he is opposing the petition of the Cusi group, Pacquiao has left to his handlers the task of arguing his case in the media.
Nonetheless, Pacquiao has been insinuating that he is loyal to PDP Laban.
Pacquiao has no moral ground to profess party loyalty.
A cursory examination of Pacquiao’s illusory career as a politician shows that he is a political butterfly who changes his political party affiliation as often as he changes his boxing shorts.
Before Pacquiao joined the PDP Laban, he affiliated with various political parties. Quite noticeable is his penchant for aligning himself with the administration, and any administration for that matter, during his inconsequential legislative career. Pacquiao sure knows on which side the bread is buttered.
Even Pacquiao’s claim to being a loyal member of PDP Laban is fraught with suspicion, considering that his followers recently launched, with his knowledge and consent, a regional party with the moniker “The People’s Champ,” an obvious reference to the boxer. By creating a regional party that will field its own regional candidates, Pacquiao unwittingly revealed his plan to undermine the candidacies of PDP Laban congressional and local bets in the region covered by his regional party.
Pacquiao’s problem is his stubborn but mistaken belief that his fame as a boxing ring icon is enough to make anyone and everyone believe whatever he says. He thinks that by professing his loyalty to the PDP Laban, nobody, himself included, will remember his past years as an opportunistic political butterfly.
What then is the basis for Pacquiao to profess loyalty to PDP Laban? Nothing.
Even Pacquiao’s claim to being “the people’s champ” is already eroded by his recent, ignominious defeat in the boxing ring in Las Vegas last August. Pacquiao refused to accept the reality of his advancing age and insisted on fighting in the ring after a hiatus of more than two years. The result — Pacquiao got clobbered so badly, his eyesight troubled him for many days after his defeat.
The heavy beating Pacquiao got on his head in that fight in Las Vegas, and in all his previous matches for that matter, is leading many to suspect that he is punch drunk and, therefore, unfit to hold the office of President of the Philippines.
Despite its association with the strongman administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, the 1973 Constitution outlawed political turncoatism. Political butterflies of that period were not allowed to change their political party affiliations whimsically.
Sadly, the 1987 Constitution drafted by the unelected 1986 Constitutional Commission composed of minions of then President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino does not have that provision outlawing political turncoatism.