Officials of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) are taking a different route in the 2016 elections and will support the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay in defiance of party president Senator Koko Pimentel.
Pimentel earlier announced that PDP-Laban would be supporting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte however has yet to declare his bid for the presidency.
PDP-Laban and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President now Manila Mayor joseph Estrada coalesced behind the victorious vice presidential run of Binay in the 2010 election.
Binay and Pimentel however had a falling out in the 2010 election after Binay took former Senator Migs Zubiri into the UNA senatorial slate.
Zubiri, who run under the administration ticket of then President Gloria Arroyo, would land in the 12th spot in the 2010 election, but he would be dislodged midway through his term after Pimentel won an electoral protest he filed against the Bukidnon Senator.
Pimentel sits as a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee which is investigation various alleged anomalies leveled against Binay.
Pimentel’s support for Duterte apparently is not acceptable to the PDP-Laban rank-and-file.
On Saturday, October 10, more than 200 party officials and members declared their support for Binay, the standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Political activists also threw their support to Binay during the PDP-Laban organizational meeting at the Grand Opera Hotel in Santa Cruz in Manila.
Among party leaders in the event were Manila councilor Bernardito “Bernie” Ang, the party’s national treasurer, former Quezon City mayor Jun Simon and Chito Borromeo, former consultant of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).o Binay.
Also in the event were the party’s national officers, committee chairmen, regional presidents and secretary-generals and elected officials.
In his speech before the gathering, Binay urged his supporters to stand their ground and not be disappointed by the series of attacks from his opponents. He said the demolition jobs against him and his family, including the dismissal issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against his son Makati Mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay, were meant to discredit him and derail his presidential ambition.
The vice president also expressed dismay over the manipulated surveys and disinformation campaigns on his dwindling survey ratings.
An organization composed of political activists and veterans of protest actions against the Marcos dictatorship in the so-called First Quarter Storm also backed Binay’s candidacy.
The group is composed of former revolutionary leaders in such organizations as the Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Manggagawa (Kasama), Kabataang Makabayan (KM), Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) and other pro-democracy associations under the umbrella of the Movement for Democratic Philippines (MDP) which pushed the people’s struggle in that turbulent period of the Marcos dictatorship.
By Manny Piñol