MANILA – Senate President and PDP Laban President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Monday that PDP Laban will stop accepting new members by the end of November 2017, citing the need for the Party to have sufficient time to screen, vet, and choose the official Party candidates for the May 2019 national and local elections.
“After the massive influx of new members into the Party for the past year, we now have significant presence in most of the provinces of the country. We should now focus on teaching all the members the Party Ideology and Program of Government and deepening their understanding of these. After this, we can present a solid and united front come 2019”, said Pimentel.
The Senate President said that he is wary of “latecomers” who would show up at the last minute to claim the privileges of Party membership without actually contributing anything to the development of PDP Laban.
Pimentel said, “PDP Laban is a party for those who believe in its principles, whether it is in power or not. We are not a party of political convenience. By stopping recruitment, we will have time to indoctrinate and train our members, screen possible candidates, and absorb our new members into our grassroots infrastructure.”
PDP Laban is one of the few parties in Philippine politics that actively recruits from the grassroots and which has an ideology, that it captures in the following terms: “Belief in God; Human Dignity; Love of Country; Equal Opportunities for All; Consultative and Participatory Democracy; and Federalism.”
Even as Pimentel mulls over closing the Party’s doors to new members next month, the recruitment drive continues until then. In the previous week, Governor Abdusakur Tan of Sulu, Governor Zaldy Villa of Siquijor, and Vice Governor Peter Alfaro of Occidental Mindoro led new PDP Laban members in taking their oaths of membership before Senate President Pimentel. Before them came local government officials from Pangasinan, Leyte, Cavite, Laguna, Iloilo Province and City, Negros Occidental, Compostela Valley, Catanduanes, and Masbate, among others.
Pimentel said, “It is the duty of every member of PDP Laban to pursue the Change that we have promised under President Duterte, foremost of which is the shift to the Federal System of Government.”