Pacquiao welcomes PDP-Laban unification talks, wants Cusi removed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — Presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao is open to talks that will unify the two warring factions of PDP-Laban, but on one condition: the ruling party must remove its president, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

“What I want is to unite the PDP," Pacquiao said on Thursday. "Si Cusi tatanggalin natin siya kasi nadadamay ang iba… May problema tayo sa energy, pero puro siya pulitika.

[Translation: We have to remove Cusi because others get affected. We have a problem with energy, but he focuses on politics.]

Maghanap ka ng paraan para masolusyonan sana ang mga problema at mapababa ang presyo ng kuryente hindi iyong puro ka pulitika," Pacquiao told Cusi.

[Translation: You should find solutions to problems in the energy sector and reduce the cost of electricity instead of focusing on politics.]

In July, the faction led by Cusi elected him as party president, replacing Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s group said the election of new officers was “farce, illegal and not sanctioned by the general membership.”

In August, the faction led by Pacquiao elected Senator Koko Pimentel as party chairman, replacing President Rodrigo Duterte.

PDP-Laban secretary general Melvin Matibag, who supports the Cusi-led faction, said Pacquiao “must focus on the strength of his candidacy than trying to pick a fight with a non-candidate.”

“Secretary Cusi remains as the president of the PDP Laban. He was placed there in an election presided and witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of the party. The statement of Senator Pacquiao is clearly misplaced and not properly thought out,” Matibag added.

In November, Pacquiao and Duterte met after months of tensions. The meeting was about “a renewal of friendship.”

When asked if he would reconcile with Duterte after the 2022 elections, Pacquiao said he has no bad feelings against him and they are in good terms.

Galit ako sa mga kawatan. Sa corruption ako galit kasi dahil diyan naghihirap ang ating bansa,” he added.

[Translation: I am mad at thieves. I am mad at corruption because this is the reason why the country is suffering.]