PARTIDO Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has urged Senator Manny Pacquiao to join the senatorial ticket of the ruling party in the 2022 elections.

“As I have said before, it would be best for Senator Pacquiao to join the senatorial ticket of the PDP-Laban in the 2022 elections. Despite our differences, he remains our member and we would certainly welcome him if he so decides to run for senator under our party,” Cusi said in a statement.

He said running for re-election is a good political option for Pacquiao, who is reportedly thinking of running for president in next year’s polls.

“He would have the full support of the entire political machinery of PDP-Laban, giving him a strong fighting chance of securing a seat in the Senate. Another term in the Senate would give him more experience and insight in governance that would be invaluable for his future political plans,” Cusi said.

He admitted that if Pacquiao agrees to run for senator under PDP-Laban, it would set a good example, as it will show that the party members could rise above personal political differences for the common good.

“We need to be united to achieve our common objective to improve the lot of our people and help our economy recover from the crushing effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” Cusi added.

The feud within the ruling party was triggered by a resolution adopted in the May 31, 2021 assembly of PDP-Laban that urged President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice-president in the 2022 elections, giving him a free hand to choose his presidential running mate.

The decision did not sit well with then “acting” PDP-Laban president Pacquiao. Early last July, he issued separate resolutions ousting Cusi, vice chairman of the party, and two others for alleged disloyalty to the party.

Pacquiao’s faction accused them of supporting the presidential bid of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is not a member of the ruling party.

But in a national assembly held in Clark, Pampanga on July 17, 2021, all positions in the ruling party were declared vacant, paving the way for the election of new officers. Pacquiao, who was in the United States to prepare for his upcoming fight, did not attend the meeting.

Cusi was elected as the new president of the ruling party and was sworn into office by President Rodrigo Duterte, the PDP-Laban chairman.

PDP-Laban on Tuesday, August 24, announced that Duterte has agreed to run as the party’s vice-presidential candidate in next year’s elections. (PR)