POLITICIANS who are still considering joining the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) need to decide immediately because the party will be closing its doors to new members by the end of November 2017.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd made the announcement on Monday, saying the deadline was set to give the party enough time to screen and vet potential members.
It will also allow PDP-Laban to have enough time to choose the official party candidates for the May 2019 midterm elections.
“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,” said Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban.
“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,” he added.
Pimentel said the party now has significant presence in most provinces of the country following the massive influx of new members since 2016. PDP-Laban is the party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Just recently, Pimentel released the names of politicians who would be part of the PDP-Laban senatorial slate for 2019, which includes Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of the House of Representatives, and Representatives Alfredo Benitez of Negros Occidental, Geraldine Roman of Bataan, and Karlo Nograles of Davao City.
The PDP-Laban president said the party would try to come up with a complete 12-person slate but was open to coalesce with other parties if needed.
Meanwhile, several local officials who have joined the ruling party were Governors Abdusakur Tan of Sulu, Zaldy Villa of Siquijor, and Vice Gov. Peter Alfaro of Occidental Mindoro.
“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,” Pimentel added. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA