By: Johnny Dayang
The internal strife that’s slowly destroying the PDP-Laban is certainly not good. Not only does it reflect the kind of political parties we have; it also reveals the kind of immaturity partisan blocs tread into when it comes to defending their turf against intentions that serve only the interest of dubious characters.
The recent declaration of the PDP-Laban Mindanao Area Council to become independent of the national leadership simply exposes the party’s gnawing divide. The reason for the breakaway is material to the bloc’s credibility because the ‘renegades’ were pointing out the alleged gross carelessness in accepting new members who failed to satisfy the party’s requirements.
If campus organizations have rules that govern admission of applicants, should not political parties be more serious and rational, being unions of supposedly mature individuals with leadership pretentions, and adhere to organizational rules and regulations? Even former Sen. Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel, Jr., one of the PDP-Laban founders, no longer wants to interfere with the party’s affairs because he has already retired from politics.
During my time as OIC-Mayor of Kalibo, the capital of Aklan, I organized the Aklan PDP-Laban Chapter, together with erstwhile Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman, Martin B Diño, under Nene’s tutelege. We faithfully adhered to PDP-Laban rules. We conducted series of seminars and workshops to ensure new members understand and embrace party principles, objectives and processes.
Just recently, Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio ‘Tonyboy’ Floirendo, in a statement regarding his expulsion from PDP-Laban, was blunt in saying “it looks like the claws of authoritarianism has finally pierced the sacred ground the Party has zealously guarded against freebooters, carpetbaggers and opportunists.” Pundits have adopted the term “political zombies,” to designate politicians, some of whom are suspected drug pushers and anti-graft law violators, once classified as political butterflies and turncoats.
More than anything else, the party founders, by chastising those stepped on the philosophies that have made the PDP-Laban what it is today, should aim for a better quality coalition that respects party principles, rather than just inflating its membership ranks.
Bringing in rotten eggs into a principled party merely degrades it. The way events unfold, the PDP-Laban no longer pursues a united stance. Unless its elders stress that rules must govern each and every activity of the party, it will be a wobbly ride for the organization from hereon.