Senate President and PDP Laban President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III denied that House Speaker and PDP Laban Secretary General Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez has been declared "persona non grata" by the ruling PDP Laban party.
A group, led by Rogelio Garcia and Cesar Cuntapay, earlier claimed to have a resolution declaring Alvarez as persona non grata from the Party.
"That group does not represent the Party. Whatever their complaints, someone who has expanded the base of PDP Laban in the House of Representatives from 3 to 123 members cannot be said to have done or be doing acts inimical to the Party. Speaker Alvarez has in fact strengthened the Party with quality members and was crucial in the passage of laws that forward the Change we in the Party advocate", said Pimentel.
Pimentel advised Cuntapay to respect the Party's processes and submit his complaint to PDP Laban's arbitration procedure.
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."
As Party President, Pimentel also issued an order to Cuntapay: "You are to immediately cease from these actions inimical to the Party's image and morale, or be subject to Party discipline."
Pimentel, while hoping that Cuntapay and Alvarez can mend fences for the good of the Party, is also clear that he will not hesitate to expel Cuntapay for using the Party's name for personal reasons.
"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 Laban, and can be expelled should he so continue with these actions", said Pimentel.
Source: Senate of the Philippines