SENATOR Manny Pacquaio Wednesday night was designated as PDP-Laban’s acting President, and the new Laban head declared his commitment to harnessing the administration party’s immense power and influence to fight corruption which he blames as the root cause of poverty in the country.
Speaking before PDP-Laban members through a “hybrid” fellowship night at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Pacquiao promised to further strengthen the administration party while upholding PDP-Laban’s five guiding principles which are theism, authentic humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism and consultative participatory democracy.
Also appointed to a new leadership position in the PDP-Laban is House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco who was designated as the new Executive Vice President replacing Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales.
“We are not beholden to big businesses, foreign entities, nor vested interests, but only to the Filipino people. We are here to fight for the poor, the jobless, the homeless, the voiceless and the hopeless. This is what the PDP-Laban under Manny Pacquiao will stand for,” Pacquiao told the PDP-Laban members.
To do this, Pacquiao said that PDP-Laban must heed President Duterte’s call for a more aggressive stance against corruption which he describes as “a cancer that has tormented our government for generations.” He said that members must lead by example by shunning all forms of corruption.
“Galit na galit ako sa mga kurap na mga opisyales pati na rin sa mga kurap na government workers. Sila ang nagnanakaw ng pera ng bayan, pera na dapat ay para sa mga programa at proyekto na makakatulong sa ating mga naghihirap na kababayan,” Paquaio said.
“Kalaban natin ang mga kurakot! Ang ninanakaw nila ay inuutang pa natin. Nakakalungkot na milyon-milyong mga kababayan natin ang nagugutom, nagkakasakit at nawawalan na ng pag-asa habang ang bilyon-bilyon naman ay ninanakaw ng iilan sa gobyerno,” he lamented.
Former PDP-Laban President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he “passed on the practical day-to-day leadership of the party to one with new modern ideas, and one who has the time, energy, and boldness to prepare the party for the 2022 national and local elections.”
He added that he decided to relinquish his post from the party that was founded by his father, the late Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Sr. so that he can work in the background to further strengthen the party and focus on helping push for President Duterte’s legislative agenda.
Pimentel said that through Pacquiao, he is confident that the PDP-Laban will continue to be the dominant party even beyond 2022.
Apart from placing PDP-Laban on the frontlines of the fight against corruption, Pacquiao said that the administration party would also focus on pushing for peace and economic development and help craft “long-term goals for our country.”
At present, PDP-Laban has 5 senators, 58 congressmen, 43 governors, 22 vice governors, 257 board members, 608 Mayors, 541 vice mayors, 4,081 councilors and 100,000 grassroots community leaders.