CEBU, Philippines — All mayors in the Second and Seventh Districts of Cebu who supported the Liberal Party in the 2016 elections are moving to Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP – Laban) of President Rodrigo Duterte.
No less than LP’s head in Cebu, Governor Hilario Davide III, disclosed this yesterday. He said the mayors went to see him last week to inform him of their decision.
The mayors will reportedly join the mass oath taking of PDP – Laban on November 17.
Davide said he is not alarmed of the movement.
“I told them: I won’t take it against you. You’re doing this for the good of your constituents,” he said.
But will he stick it out with LP?
“Sa ako lang, I’ll stick with LP,” he said, saying that there have been people who tried to talk to him about leaving his party.
Besides, he said, the mayors reportedly assured him of support if he decides to seek reelection.
“They (mayors) assured me they would still support me in the event I’ll be seeking re-election in 2019,” Davide said.
Five congressmen also reportedly assured him of their support.
“The five Congressmen – Calderon, Caminero, Cortes, Durano and Gullas assured their support,” he said.
He is referring to Seventh District Rep. Peter John Calderon, Second District Rep. Wilfredo Caminero, Sixth District Rep. Jonas Cortes, Fifth District Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano, and First District Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas.
“Ingon ana gyud na nga party system nato sa Pilipinas. Dili kaayo strikto sa party system, unlike sa US nga two party system ra gyud. It’s common,” he said.
Aside from those in the Second and Seventh Districts, Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante Jr. and his political rival, businesswomen Daphne Lagon, in the Third District are also reportedly moving to PDP-Laban and will attend the mass oath taking.
Recently, Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza and 11 of her councilors took their oath as members of PDP-Laban before House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The group supported LP in last year’s polls.
Following the transfers, PDP-Laban Cebu provincial chairman Nixon Dizon said there is no such thing as equity of the incumbent in the party.
“Everbody is welcome,” he said.
Dizon explained that in each component city and municipality, there is a 12-man council that accepts applications and will endorse to the provincial council, which will then endorse to the national officers.
He said that a member must have undergone the Basic Membership Seminar (BMS) duly conducted by an authorized trainor and have taken oath before one can claim a bonafide member.
In the case of Tuburan, Dizon said Lagon is the municipal council head and will accept and endorse the application of Diamante based on the procedure as provided for under the constitution and by-laws of the party.
Diamante, the president of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines – Cebu Chapter, had already taken his oath last August 1 together with other LMP national officials before PDP-Laban president, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Alvarez.
“Welcome si Diamante sa PDP. Kana siya ron, probationary pa kay wala pa siya ka BMS, pero naka-take oath na,” Dizon said.
When election comes, the same process will be observed in securing certificate of nomination, which will start from the city or municipal level, Dizon explained.
Diamante, for his part, said: “Whatever decision by the national and local PDP, I will humbly abide by the decision because I am a party man.”
Diamante is now on his last term as mayor of Tuburan while Lagon was declared winner in the last elections but the court has yet to issue writ of execution for her to assume into office pending appeal of the former.
“Last termer man si Diamante, kung kinsa iya padaganon moagi kang Daphne, inaug sa amo. Eleksiyonon sa Tuburan kung kinsa ang ituboy. Ako ang mo-oversee, magpada og tawo national,” Dizon explained further.
The mass oath taking on Friday will be held at 3 p.m. at the South Road Properties.
To recall, Pimentel has said the party will stop accepting new members by the end of November 2017, citing the need for it to have sufficient time to screen, vet, and choose its official candidates for the May 2019 national and local elections. (FREEMAN)