President Duterte on Thursday gathered members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan in a hotel in Manila in a bid to unify factions within the ruling party.
Duterte met the faction led by party president Sen. Koko Pimentel and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as well as the group led by the Chief Executive’s former classmate lawyer Rogelio Garcia.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go said Duterte met the leaders of both factions and told them to resolve all their concerns without animosity and with the end goal of uniting the party. “Tulad ng isang ama na pilit pinagbabati ang mga anak na may hindi pagkakaintindihan,” Go said of Duterte during the meeting.
“Hinimok nya ang mga liders ng magkabilang grupo na unahin ang kapakanan ng bayan sa lahat ng kanilang magiging desisyon,” he added.
Duterte encouraged party members to raise their grievances in the plenary. The caucus ended with a commitment from both sides to work things out.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte will meet once again meet members of the PDP-Laban next month to further unify the party.
“Ang sabi po ni Presidente mag usap-usap sila, usap-usap lahat, at pagkatapos, I think sa Setyembre magpupulong uli,” he said. “Tapos kung talagang hindi kakayaning magkasundo ay puwede naman pong maghiwa-hiwalay,” he added.
The infighting in the ruling party came to light following the assembly held by Garcia’s faction two weeks ago. They elected a new set of officials, replaced Pimentel as president and Alvarez as secretary general.