By NITZ ARANCON
THE PDP-Laban council here would meet over Abante Mindanao Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr.’s move to join the political party of the next President, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“We really do not know anything about his (Rodriguez’s) status in the party,” said PDP-Laban-Cagayan de Oro Council chairman Marlo Tabac, the barangay chairman of Gusa.
Rodriguez, who would replace his elder brother Rufus as representative of the city’s 2nd District in the next Congress, was sworn into the PDP-Laban in Manila on Tuesday along with other congressman.
Tabac said he and Sen. Aquilino Martin Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, have yet to discuss Rodriguez’s entry into the party and how this would affect the local council of the PDP-Laban. He said Pimentel was still very busy in the National Board of Canvassers.
Tabac said he would remain as chairman of the PDP-Laban council in Cagayan de Oro despite Rodriguez’s entry.
He said the PDP-Laban follows rules based on its constitution and by-laws, and it is possible to have Rodriguez as a party member outside the local council.
“Maybe Rodriguez was adopted as a member of the party. I don’t know yet. But as far as we are concerned, he is not a member of the PDP-Laban council of Cagayan de Oro,” said Tabac.
He said he thinks Rodriguez was sworn into the party as part of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s political strategy to win the House leadership.
Tabac also pointed out that all PDP-Laban recruits are required to undergo the party’s basic membership seminar (BMS).
“He (Rodriguez) has yet to undergo this,” said Tabac.
But Tabac said he and the local council of the party was open to talks so they could agree on their set-up, and level off expectations.
“I am open to talks,” said Tabac.
Rodriguez took his oath as a member of PDP-Laban before Alvarez who has set his eyes on the speakership of the Lower House.
Rodriguez said, “I have taken my oath as a PDP-Laban before Congressman Alvarez last Tuesday along with other Mindanao congressmen. I conferred with Sen. Koko Pimentel on the Mindanao agenda which we will be proposing during the next Congress.”
The congressman said it was not difficult for him to join the PDP-Laban because it shares the principles and objectives of the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP), his former political group that is led by his brother Rufus.
Like the PDP-Laban, he said, CDP also advocates a shift to a federal form of government.
Rodriguez said Alvarez has recognized him as the highest ranking elected official in the city who is a member of PDP-Laban. (with reports from herbie gomez)