A PDP-Laban faction led by Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao has ousted President R. Duterte as chairman, according to a party official.
Mr. Duterte was voted out at a national council held on Sunday, Ronwald F. Munsayac, executive director of the PDP-Laban faction, said in a text message.
He said Senator Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III replaced Mr. Duterte, who has supported the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi.
Former Eastern Samar Governor Lutgardo B. Barbo was elected vice chairman, he added.
Mr. Munsayac has yet to confirm media reports that Mr. Pacquiao, who is believed to be running for President next year, had been elected party president.
“It’s a comedy,” Melvin Matibag, secretary-general of the opposing faction, said in a statement.
“Senator Koko Pimentel has no position in PDP-Laban,” he said. “He is irrelevant and he does not represent the party. His group are pretenders and are attention seekers.”
Mr. Duterte is the party chairman and would continue to be so, he added.
Mr. Duterte last week said he would run for vice president next year so he could continue his campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and insurgency.
PDP-Laban earlier said the President, who is barred by law from running for reelection, had agreed to “make the sacrifice and heed the clamor of the people” by running for vice-president.
In the Philippines, the President and vice-president are elected separately and may come from opposing political parties. The vice-president usually becomes powerless unless the President gives him a key post in his Cabinet. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza