Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that while mayors were welcome to join Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), they should not use their membership as a shield to protect their illegal drug operations or protection racket.
Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary-general, made it clear that the recruitment drive does not mean that the Party would protect narco-politkos from Duterte’s War on Drugs.
“Mahirap kapag meron (sumali sa partido ng sabit sa droga), patay tayo kay Presidente diyan,” said Alvarez.
Pimentel, president of the ruling party, said PDP-Laban would not do anything to protect members on the drug list of the President.
Seventy municipal mayors, including 50 chapter presidents of the League of Municipalities of the Philipines (LMP), took their oath as new members of PDP-Laban on Tuesday in Lubao, Pampanga.
Led by LMP National President and Socorro, Oriental Mindoro Mayor Maria Fe Villar-Brondial, the mayors pledged their support for the programs of Duterte and their commitment to PDP-Laban.
Aside from Pimentel and Alvarez, present during the oath taking were former President and current Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Francis Tolentino, and Pampanga Governor Lilia “Baby” Pineda.
This event is the latest in a series of mass oath-takings of local leaders joining the ruling party. Previously, the local leaders of Laguna, Cavite, Lanao del Norte, Nueva Ecija, and Masbate held their own swearing-in ceremonies.