MANILA— Senate President and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday denied that the party has declared House Speaker and PDP Secretary General Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez “persona non grata.”
Pimentel released this statement after a group, led by PDP members Rogelio Garcia and Cesar Cuntapay, earlier claimed to have a resolution declaring Alvarez as “persona non grata”.
The senator said that Garcia and Cuntapay’s group does not represent the party.
“Whatever their complaints, someone who has expanded the base of PDP in the House of Representatives from three to 123 members cannot be said to have done or be doing acts inimical to the party,” Pimentel said in a press statement.
Pimentel further said that Alvarez has “strengthened” the party with members and was crucial in the passage of “laws that forward the Change” the party advocates.
He, meanwhile, urged Cuntapay to respect the party’s processes and submit his complaint to PDP’s arbitration procedure.
The senator also asked Cuntapay to cease from performing “actions inimical to the Party’s image and morale, or be subject to Party discipline.”
He expressed hope that Cuntapay and Alvarez can mend fences for the good of the party or he will not hesitate to expel Cuntapay.
“We can only achieve our goals if we present a united front to the world. By providing ammunition to those who seek to sow divisions within the Party, Mr. Cuntapay is harming PDP, and can be expelled should he so continue with these actions” Pimentel said.
“I will not allow the Party my father built to be dragged through the mud because of personal differences between Party members. We are working to build a better society and a Federal Philippines. Anyone who describes himself as a loyal Party member must respect and obey the Party’s by-laws,” Pimentel said.