Pacquiao-led faction expels Cusi, 2 others from PDP-Laban

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9)— The PDP-Laban executive committee has passed a resolution declaring party vice chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and two other members "immediately and automatically expelled" for allegedly violating the party's constitution.

A resolution dated July 3 but released to the media on Friday called out Cusi, secretary-general Melvin Matibag, and membership committee head Astra Naik for supposedly showing "allegiance to another political party."

The document — signed by party president Senator Manny Pacquiao and five others — cited instances where Cusi supposedly admitted he was open to the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for president in the 2022 polls.

"He is guilty of having allegiance to a candidate and her political ideals and party," the resolution read. "Such a candidate does not even believe in Federalism, her party fielded candidates against and opposed official candidates of PDP-Laban in the 2019 Elections, and she is vehemently opposed to joining the PDP-Laban Party."

"In Article VII Section 6 of the Party Constitution, he (Cusi) is punishable by immediate and automatic expulsion."

Matibag and Naik were accused of "participating" in Cusi's acts.

The resolution also sought to nullify a national council meeting held on May 31 — when members adopted a resolution pushing President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president next year.

The passage of the resolution comes amid the growing issues within the ruling party.

Pacquiao earlier asked PDP-Laban members not to take part in the Cebu meeting in May, hinting of rival factions within the party. He said the meeting led by Cusi violated the party's rules since only he and Duterte — the party chairman — can call for a council assembly.

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Cusi hit back at Pacquiao's faction, saying the senator was "clearly misguided."

"[Senator] Pacquiao demeans himself by resorting to underhanded tactics. Whoever advises him clearly doesn't care about him and his reputation," Cusi said.

He added that the PDP-Laban activities scheduled this July "will push through as scheduled."

Matibag, for his part, shrugged off the "expulsion."

"I don't wanna give credence to their actions. They don't have any authority to discipline National Officers," Matibag told reporters. "We will just see them in the National Council and National Assembly."

CNN Philippines Correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.