IF, as admitted by President Rodrigo “Digong’ Roa Duterte, PDP-Laban belongs to the Pimentels, then Laban belongs to the Aquinos and their allies and supporters.
However, the hijacking of PDP Laban is much more than stealing the personal political properties of the Pimentels and Aquinos.
Both Laban in 1978 and PDP in 1982 were organized by anti - Marcos political personalities and candidates as well as rank and file members.
Laban campaigned and fought its first electoral battle in oppositionist Metro Manila or NCR in 1978.
It was Ninoy and twenty other opposition candidates’ campaign and electoral vehicle. On the evening of Thursday, April 6, 1978, the people of Metro Manila, came out in a massive ‘Noise Barrage!’
The Partido Demokratikong Pilipino/Pilipino Democratic Party (PDP) was formally organized almost ten years after Martial Law, after three elections that were not clean, not free and dishonest in April 1978, January 1980 and 1981.
Both parties were anti – authoritarian, anti - dictatorship and anti - strongman.
They were pro - democracy, freedom, liberty, justice and truth.
In addition, PDP was pro local autonomy, a federal form of government and tilted to the South, ie. Visayas and Mindanao.
Aside from the original 1978 Laban, in 1987, Cory’s younger brother, Congressman Jose ‘Peping” Sumulong Cojuangco, Jr., and 1984 Palawan Assemblyman and 1985 presidentiable Ramon V. Mitra, organized the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino.
The LDP was intended to be Cory’s sole party and include the PDP Laban as well as all Aquino allies and supporters.
However, the Salonga and bigger wing of the LP stayed away.
In an assembly or convention of the PDP Laban held at a Club on Quirino Ave, the merged party underwent the first of its splits.
Many of those identified with Laban and the Aquinos voted to join LDP. However, Makati OIC Jejomar Cabauatan Binay stuck with Nene until 2010 or 2013.
In the national elections of May 1987 and the local elections of January 1988, President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino endorsed and supported PDP Laban candidates among others.
In the May 1992 Elections, the PDP Laban allied with the Liberal Party with a Salonga - Pimentel Tandem.
In the May 1995 mid elections, the PDP Laban allied with the Lakas and LDP but Nene was cheated by ‘dagdag bawas’.
In May 1998, PDP Laban joined a coalition composed of PMP, LDP, LP and NPC in supporting the Estrada -Angara tandem.
This time Nene, regained his Senate seat and went on to become Senate President.
In 2001, the Estrada coalition was decimated by GMA’s EDSA II and 13 – 0 People Power Senate slate campaign.
The LP had split into Atienza and Drilon wings.
In 2004, the PDP Laban supported FPJ - Loren Ledarda, together with the LDP and NPC. Nene won re – election to his third six - year term as senator.
By 2007, active leadership had passed on to Mayor Binay, who organized a coalition called UNO with the PDP, LDP, LP, NP, NPC and PMP.
The death of former Prsident Corazon ‘Cory’ Cojuangco Aquino on August 1, 2009, scrambled the political cards.
With an Aquino - Roxas Tandem, the LP was able to assume a dominant role in both the campaign and the administration.
However, there was the aberration of an unofficial Noy Bi tandem crossing party lines which helped Binay more than PNoy.
In 2013, Erap and Binay split with the Pimentels over the candidacy of Migs Zubiri in the UNO slate.
In 2016, the PDP Laban not only supported the candidacy of Mayor Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Roa Duterte, it also provided a technically deficient substitution mechanism for RDRD to enter the ring in late December.
PDP Laban Sec Gen Martin Dinio had filed for mayor of Pasay City and not for President.
However, the COMELEC and ultimately, PNoy, allowed RDRD to substitute for Dinio as PDP Laban candidate for President.
From its birth in February of 1982, PDP Laban consistently ran as opposition most of the time.
The only times that it joined the administration slate were in the mid-elections of 1987, 1988, 1995 and 2013.
Thus, it is more in keeping with PDP Laban’s history and tradition as well as the total population of its membership, for it to be the official party of a Manny Pacquiao candidacy, than the perpetrator of a Duterte Dynasty.
However, where political operators had failed in 1987, Vice President Binay had the decency in 2013, now, in June and July of 2021, veteran GMA political operator Cusi has, for the moment, has succeeded.
Cusi may have won the battle for his masters, PDU30, GMA – Sarah and maybe even the Marcoses.
However, he has lost the energy war for the Filipino People. Our economy and our people will pay for his victory.