Energy Secretary Alfonso, acting in his capacity leader of the fractious Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), on Tuesday called for national unity in light of the perceived victory of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos as the next President of the Philippines.
At the same time, Cusi called for a reconciliation with Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, leader of the other faction of the PDP-Laban, for the sake of party solidarity.
“The people have spoken. We have to respect that,” Cusi said during the party’s weekly forum in Quezon City.
“The election is now over. There is only thing that we all want. Let us just help one another. The message is very clear. It is the will of the people,” he stressed.
Cusi described Marcos as a “majority president.”
“On behalf of the PDP-Laban, I am congratulating them (Marcos and Sara Duterte),” he added.
“We are glad that they won. We are one with them,” he said.
It may be recalled that earlier in the campaign, Cusi endorsed the candidacies of Marcos and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Asked if he would accept an offer to hold a sensitive government position under a Marcos administration, Cusi replied; “May we not talk about that?”
“We invite Senator Koko Pimentel to meet with us. We invite him to take a step back and to not be emotional. Let us unite for the sake of PDP Laban. Let us make the party stronger than ever,” he said.
Cusi expressed optimism that Pimentel, son of PDP-Laban’s late co-founder Aquilino Pimentel Jr., would accept his offer.
“We are asking him to stop issuing inflammatory statements. We have worked together in the past. We can work together again for the future,” he said.
The Comelec Second Division, in an 11-page resolution released Thursday, acknowledged the legitimacy of the Cusi wing over that of Senator Manny Pacquiao’s faction.
“Considering that President Rodrigo Duterte’s chairmanship is an undisputed and well-settled fact in the aforementioned dates, it is also undisputed that chairman Duterte’s acts on even dates are valid and effective. The fact that he presided over the election of the new sets of officers and committee chairpersons validates the entire process, making the [the] officers as the duly elected officers of PDP-Laban,” the resolution read.
The Comelec also ruled as valid the Cusi wing’s May 31 and July 16
national council meetings and July 17 national assembly.
Cusi thanked the Second Division, led by Commissioner Socorro Inting, for its “wise decision to declare and recognize his faction as the real PDP-Laban party.
However, Pimentel said in a statement he would contest the decision which he said was “not immediately executory.”
“Without a doubt, we at PDP-Laban are reinvigorated to continue the programs, services and advocacies of President Duterte from this day until the next term. Ituloy natin ang pagbabago (Let’s continue the change),” Cusi said.
Cusi said the Comelec may have taken into consideration the “unwavering support of its (party’s) more than 100,000 members nationwide and the loyalty of its more than 5,384 incumbent officials and candidates”.