Former President Duterte Remains Chair with PDP as Party Drops 'Laban' from Name

The PDP-Laban party, led by ex-President Duterte, drops 'Laban' from its name and endorses candidates for the 2025 elections, signaling a shift in the party's identity and political strategy.

Rafia Tasleem
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Former President Duterte Remains Chair with PDP as Party Drops 'Laban' from Name

Former President Duterte Remains Chair with PDP as Party Drops 'Laban' from Name

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP), led by former President Rodrigo Duterte, has decided to drop 'Lakas ng Bayan' (Laban) from its name during its national council meeting and 42nd anniversary celebration in Cebu City, Philippines on April 19, 2024. The party also announced its endorsement of the reelection bids of Ronald dela Rosa, Bong Go, and Francis Tolentino, as well as the candidacy of actor Phillip Salvador, who has a pending conviction for estafa.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte remains the national chairman of the PDP, which was originally a coalition between the Lakas ng Bayan Party and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, founded in 1982 by the late former Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel, Jr. Duterte expressed appreciation to supporters and emphasized the importance of a democratic country in his opening speech at the event, which was attended by over 1,300 members.

The endorsements came amid defections from the PDP to the ruling Lakas-CMD party, but Duterte said that this was just part of politics. "I have no judgment or opinion on members leaving the party and changing party lines," Duterte stated. A significant number of PDP members had abandoned the party when Duterte's term ended in 2022 and joined the administration's Partido Federal ng Pilipinas chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

De la Rosa, Tolentino, Go and Salvador are running to strengthen the PDP's representation in the Senate, which is now dominated by allies of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The PDP President, Vice Chairman, and other party officials were also present at the event, along with local officials in Cebu, including the party's vice president for the Visayas and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Why this matters:

The PDP-Laban faction headed by former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and chaired by Duterte continues to be the only legitimate PDP-Laban, as affirmed by the Commission on Elections. The party is now identifying itself without the name Laban, signaling a departure from its ties to the Lakas ng Bayan party founded by the late Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr. in 1978. Despite attempts by some members to move to other political parties, especially in the House of Representatives, the party remains strong at the local level.

Key Takeaways

  • PDP drops 'Laban' from its name, endorses Duterte allies for 2025 elections.
  • Duterte remains PDP's national chairman, defends members' defections to other parties.
  • PDP endorses Ronald dela Rosa, Bong Go, Francis Tolentino, and actor Phillip Salvador.
  • PDP-Laban faction led by Duterte is the only legitimate PDP-Laban, per Comelec.
  • PDP's name change signals a shift in its identity and political strategy.