DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio "Tonyboy" Floriendo Jr, President Rodrigo Duterte's biggest campaign donor, slammed PDP-Laban for expelling him "without due process."
"It looks like the claws of authoritarianism have finally pierced the sacred ground the Party has zealously guarded against freebooters, carpetbaggers, and opportunists," Floirendo said in a statement on Thursday, October 26.
Floirendo said he received a notice of "immediate termination" from the party, and that the party reached the decision "without due process mandated under the party's Constitution and By-Laws."
He said he was not asked to present his side on the 3 violations of party rules that he allegedly committed.
"Worse, they imputed against me certain partisan activities I did not even have a clue whatsoever," Floirendo said.
The Davao lawmaker was accused of disloyalty to the party and its leaders, and organizing and participating in an unathorized and unsanctioned party convention, the National Gathering of Regional Presidents in Davao.
He also allegedly violated party rules when he raised his grievances against party members in public and through press statements "instead of mandated mechanisms for setting internal disputes weakening the Party as an institution."
Despite this development, though, Floirendo explained that his support for the President remains.
Prior to his expulsion from PDP-Laban, Floirendo got into a very public word war with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez reportedly sparked by a spat between their girlfriends.
Alvarez filed a graft complaint against Floreindo over the alleged anomalous deal between the government and Floirendo's company, the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco). This led to the latter's indictment.
Earlier this month, around 200 members of PDP-Laban from the Mindanao bloc reportedly defected from the ruling party. The members who bolted the party said they would declare themselves independent from the PDP-Laban national council.
The breakaway group said PDP-Laban allegedly violated party rules, such as "illegal" recruitment of new members.
In September, the members declared Alvarez "persona non granta" in a Tagum City meeting and said they coud no longer tolerate the party's violations.
Floirendo was not the only member ousted from the party this year. Those expelled from the party earlier this year were Mindanao Area Council president Cesar Cuntapay and Rogelio Garcia of Zamboanga City. – Rappler.com