BY ROGER M. BALANZA
There is no way that the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will support the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay, former PDP-Laban chairman, is ‘persona non grata’ to the party for political treachery.
And the Pimentels — party founder and former Senator Aquilino Pimentel and his son, Senator Koko Pimentel — will never forgive Binay for sleeping with the enemy—former Bukidnon Senator Migs Zubiri— in the 2013 mid-term election. The treachery led to Binay’s expulsion from the party.
In 2010, PDP-Laban then in coalition with the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada under the newly-formed United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) supported Binay’s victorious vice presidential bid against Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party (LP).
In the same election, losing candidate Koko Pimentel (UNA) filed an electoral protest against senatorial race tail-ender Zubiri (Arroyo-Kampi). Pimentel won the protest after a two-year battle.
In the 2013 mid-term election, Binay, however, picked come-backing Zubiri for the UNA senatorial line-up. This led to a split with Binay. Pimentel, the new party chair, would run and win under the LP. Zubiri lost the election.
Even as it was rattled by a leadership crisis in 2013, the PDP-Laban is still a force to reckon with and will regroup to rally behind the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 election.
Although lacking in logistics, the party could still marshal its political machinery into a victorious Duterte run by coalescing with a party that would have Duterte as its standard bearer.
Pimentel said his party will regroup to support Duterte.
With the party already having announced it would support Duterte, the PDP-Laban was expected to coalesce with the party that would carry Duterte.
But definitely that party would not be the opposition party UNA which is fielding Binay as standard bearer.
Duterte, who has barged into the TOP 3 in surveys for presidential preference by Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia, is looming as a potential candidate of the administration LP of President Benigno Aquino.
Duterte, now an LP party man but has not shed political ties with the PDP-Laban, landed at No. 3 in the surveys behind LP-aligned Senator Grace Poe and front-runner Binay.
Poe has said she was not ready for the presidency and could leave the LP with two choices for standard bearer: Duterte and Interior Secretary Roxas who has been faring badly in the surveys.
It would be a sort of a “sweet revenge” for PDP-Laban if Duterte, running for president under the LP in a coalition with PDP-Laban, beats Binay in the 2016 election.
The vice president has a debt to pay to the Pimentels.
The 2013 electoral protest by Pimentel was a nerve-wracking two-year battle before Koko was installed as Senator.
The Binay ‘treachery’ in 2013 stirred a crisis in PDP-Laban leading to his ouster from the party. He would be replaced as party head by Senator Koko Pimentel who coalesced the PDP-Laban with the LP. Zubiri lost in the election.
The PDP-Laban chapters nationwide may be hibernating but will come out alive to support Duterte. To exact revenge on Binay.