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Pimentel’s camp behind PDP endorsement of Cayetano’s foe – sources

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

President Rodrigo Duterte apparently had no hand over the reported endorsement by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) on the main rival of former Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano in Taguig-Pateros for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

Multiple sources told Politiko that the camp of Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was the one responsible for the issuance of CONA to Arnell Cerafica who will be battling Cayetano in next year’s midterm polls as district legislator of Taguig-Pateros.

The sources confirmed that although Duterte is the chairman of the ruling administration party, Pimentel as PDP Laban’s national president is the one authorized under the party’s charter to issue an official endorsement through the certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) to any candidate.

Pimentel is also reportedly authorized to designate the party’s official CONA signatories in the regional and local levels.

One of the sources based in the Lower House told Politiko that it was Engr. Salvador “Toto” Ty, PDP Laban vice president for National Capital Region (NCR), who issued CONA to Cerafica upon the instruction of Pimentel’s deputy chief-of-staff, Ronwald Munsayac.

Munsayac is also the current chair of the PDP Laban Public Information Committee.

Ty also issued a CONA to Cerafica’s brother, incumbent Taguig-Pateros Rep. Arnel Cerafica who will be facing Cayetano’s brother, television/film director and former Rep. Lino Cayetano in the mayoralty race in Taguig City next year.

Politiko first reported last week that the former chief diplomat was dismayed over the recent antics instigated by some officials of the ruling party since PDP and NP have an existing alliance since 2016.

Some observers warned that the decision of Pimentel’s camp to support another candidate in Taguig instead of their coalition partners will surely put the PDP-Nacionalista alliance in peril.