KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 25 Aug) – House Speaker and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Secretary-General Pantaleon Alvarez warned on Friday of rampant illegal recruitment activities for membership into their party in exchange for money.
Alvarez, who led a mass oath-taking here of around 3,000 new party members, said they have received reports that some individuals claiming to be PDP-Laban recruiters have been visiting sitios and barangays to enlist new members.
He said the “illegal recruiters” were administering oaths and issuing supposed party identification cards for undisclosed fees.
The recruits were promised of appointment as barangay officials, he said.
The official admitted that some of these recruiters were legitimate PDP-Laban members.
“They were recruiting members without the knowledge of the party leadership. They don’t report how much they charge and earn from these,” he said during the oath-taking ceremony at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center.
Owing to this, Alvarez said the party membership nationwide is currently undergoing reorganization.
He said their leadership decided to implement disciplinary actions on their members who were behind the illegal recruitment schemes.
To address the problem, he said they issued a memorandum that only authorized top leaders of the party to administer the oaths of new members. Aside from Alvarez, these are the PDP-Laban president, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III; and vice president, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
Alvarez said that those who took their oaths without the presence of the party’s top three leaders are fake members.
He urged their new members, who underwent basic membership orientation and seminar before taking their oaths, to monitor such activities and warn their residents in their respective barangays.
The new PDP-Laban members were composed mostly of barangay chairs and councilors in South Cotabato and the second district of Sultan Kudarat.
The oath-taking ceremony, which was also joined Davao City 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles, was facilitated by Deputy House Speaker and South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez and Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing Jr.
Hernandez, formerly with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), transferred to the ruling party in May last year.
Alvarez credited the recruitment of South Cotabato’s local leaders to the push made by Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes.
But Fuentes remains a member of the NPC, which is coalition partner of PDP-Laban and part of the House majority.
“We’re not recruiting Gov. Fuentes to join us. That was requested by the NPC leadership and we’re respecting that,” Alvarez said.
He added that their party has decided this early to endorse Fuentes as their official candidate for governor in the 2019 local and national mid-term elections. (MindaNews)