PDP-LABAN RALLY. President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hands of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) senatorial aspirants and guest candidates during the PDP-Laban campaign rally on Congressional Road in Caloocan City on April 19, 2022. He reminded voters to select political bets who have the heart to serve, noting that many candidates tend to forget about the nation and people once elected. (Presidential photo by Simeon Celi)

MANILA – The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has expressed confidence that its local and national candidates will win the May 9 elections.

This, after the Commission on Elections (Comelec), in its Resolution 10787, designated the PDP-Laban as the dominant majority political party in this year’s polls.

“With this, the party expects to finish strong as we enter the last few days of the campaign. We are confident of the victory of our national and local candidates nationwide," PDP Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a press statement.

Cusi welcomed the Comelec’s decision, which affirms the ruling party’s dominance over other political parties.

“We are very grateful for the timely decision of the Comelec naming us the dominant majority party for this May 9 elections. It is really good to know that we outclass all the other political parties based on the six standards of the Comelec, which is a very comprehensive assessment and measurement of the comparative strength of our parties today,” he said.

Under the Comelec resolution issued Wednesday, PDP-Laban was named the dominant majority for getting the highest weighted average points of 55.74.

The ruling party’s score was based on the computation using a six-point criteria, including the established record of the parties; the number of incumbent officials belonging to the party; the established chapters nationwide; the ability to field a slate of candidates nationwide; the number of women candidates; and the relative organization and strength.

There are currently 5,384 incumbent officials, including President Rodrigo Duterte, who are members of the PDP-Laban.

As the dominant majority party, the PDP-Laban is entitled to get the fifth copy of the election returns and the seventh copy of the certificates of canvass.

The party will also receive electronically-transmitted precinct results and be allowed to assign official watchers in every polling place and canvassing center.

‘Solid 5’ Senate bets elated

The PDP-Laban’s “Solid 5” senatorial candidates Salvador Panelo, Greco Belgica, Rey Langit, Astra Pimentel, and Robin Padilla also welcomed the Comelec’s decision and vowed to do their part to protect the integrity of elections.

Panelo, who served as chief legal counsel of Duterte, ensured that the PDP-Laban would continue to be transparent and vigilant.

“Ang PDP-Laban ay tapat sa kanyang pangako na babantayan ang bawat boto upang maging malinis ang proseso ng pagpili ng mga Pilipino sa mga susunod na lider ng bansa (The PDP-Laban will fulfill its promise to guard each vote to ensure that Filipinos follow the right process in choosing the country’s leader,” Panelo said. “Higit sa lahat ay sisiguruhin nating mapoprotektahan ang mga boto at hindi natin hahayaang may dayaang mangyari (We will make sure that votes will be protected and cheating will not happen on election day).”

Belgica, a former anti-corruption czar, said the Comelec’s decision validates the PDP-Laban’s commitment to ensure “honest, peaceful, and credible elections” on May 9.

Langit likewise said the Comelec's decision is an indication of the ruling party's vital role in the May 9 national and local elections.

"Labis po ang aking tuwa nang malaman ang desisyon na ito. Patunay lamang po ito na ang inyong PDP Laban ang partidong may malaking papel sa darating na halalan (The decision made me happy. It proves that the PDP-Laban has a big role in the coming elections)," Langit said.

Pimentel and Padilla also said the PDP-Laban being declared as the dominant party in the country is a testament to the party's commitment to free and fair elections.

"Kami po sa PDP-Laban ay patuloy na ipaglalaban ang masiglang demokrasya at aming babantayan ang parating na halalan para marinig ang nagkakaisang boses ng mga Pilipino (We in the PDP-Laban will continue to fight for a vibrant democracy and safeguard the elections so the voice of united Filipinos will be heard),” Pimentel said.

Defective ruling

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, however, questioned the Comelec decision and said their faction will file a motion for reconsideration.

Pimentel is the chair of the Senator Manny Pacquiao-led wing and son of the party founder, the late Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.

Citing points that he hopes the Comelec en banc will look into, Pimentel said the petition was defective as it was "filed for and on behalf of a political party (which is not a human being) without any board resolution authorizing its filing".

"What happened to all the requirements other petitioners before the Comelec are required to comply with?" he said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Calling members of the Cusi faction "fake", "outsiders", and "strangers" to the party, he insisted only legitimate PDP-Laban members should be allowed to resolve the issue.

"The decision is not immediately executory. We will file a motion for reconsideration as a matter of right within five days from receipt of a copy of the decision," he said. “We are deeply saddened with this Comelec decision and we intend to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court of the people.” (PNA)