Duterte meets with PDP-Laban amid wrangling

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday met the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) amid the ruling party’s leadership row, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said it was Duterte who as party chairman called for a party meeting in an effort to unify the PDP-Laban factions.

“Well of course, he wants to unify the party and he will clarify that he remains Chairman of the Party. He will be there. He will be in the PDP meeting later this afternoon (Thursday),” Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque said he has no idea if there are factions “but he (Duterte) will speak to the entire PDP-Laban political party” at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

“Because I do not know if in his mind there are factions. He will speak with the PDP-Laban,” he added.

Last month, a PDP-Laban’s faction headed by national council chairman Rogelio Garcia conducted an election where Garcia reportedly replaced Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as party’s president and Willy Talag as new secretary-general, replacing former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Pimentel has rejected the election, saying Garcia’s group members have been expelled from the ruling party.

Roque said there is only one PDP-Laban “as far as the President is concerned”. PNA-northboundasia.com