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Philippine Democratic Party-
People's Power
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan
Between Alfonso Cusi and Manny Pacquiao
Between Rodrigo Duterte and Koko Pimentel
Melvin Matibag
Philippine PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Speaker of the HouseLord Allan Velasco
FounderAquilino Pimentel Jr. (PDP)
Benigno Aquino Jr. (LABAN)
FoundedFebruary 6, 1983; 38 years ago (1983-02-06) (merger)[2]
Merger ofPDP and LABAN
Headquarters2240-B Harrison Avenue, Pasay, Metro Manila
Think tankPDP-Laban Federalism Institute[4]
Membership (2021)100,000[5]
Political positionCentre-left[14] to left-wing[15]
National affiliationCoalition for Change (2016-present)
Colors  Yellow,   dark blue, and   red
"Pambansang Martsa ng
"National March of the PDP-Laban"
Seats in the Senate
Seats in the House of Representatives
Provincial governorships
Provincial vice governorships
Provincial board members

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (lit.'Philippine Democratic Party-People's Power'), more commonly known as PDP-Laban, is a center-left to left-wing political party in the Philippines founded in 1982 and it has been the ruling party since 2016 under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.


First major era: Early history and Presidency of Corazon Aquino (1983-1988)

The party now known as PDP-Laban is the result of a merger between the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino and Lakas ng Bayan.[17][18]

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP)

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) was founded on February 6, 1982, in Cebu City by Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. and a group of protesters against the authoritarian government of Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th President of the Philippines, and the then-ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL).[17] These protesters included the leaders of Cebu City, Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, such as former Cebu 2nd district congressman Antonio Cuenco as the convention's first chairman, Ribomapil Holganza, Sr. as the convention's first secretary-general, Zafiro L. Respicio, Rey Magno Teves, Cesar R. Ledesma, Samuel Occeña, Crispin Lanorias and Mords Cua.[19]

Ribomapil Holganza, the convention secretary-general, with the support of Antonio Cuenco, the convention chairman, and the Visayas delegates initially proposed the name Katipunan. The convention ultimately decided to drop the name Katipunan and retain the name Pilipino Democratic Party, and also included the image of Lapu-Lapu in its official logo. It was also agreed that the Filipino version Partido Demokratiko Pilipino may be used.[20]

Merger into PDP-Laban and participation in the 1986 snap election

By 1983, PDP had formed a coalition with Lakas ng Bayan (Tagalog for "People's Power"), the party founded by former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1978.

In 1986, the two groups merged to form the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban. During that period, PDP-Laban became the single biggest opposition group to run against the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential election. Corazon Aquino, the widow of the assassinated senator Benigno Aquino Jr., became the party's nominee to run for President. Aquino was persuaded to run by businessman, newspaperman and street parliamentarian Joaquin Roces, who was convinced that Aquino would have the biggest chance to defeat Marcos in the polls.

Roces started the "Cory Aquino for President" movement to gather one million voters in one week to urge Aquino to run for president. However, another opposition group led by Senator Salvador Laurel of Batangas was also participating in the election, with Laurel being its presidential bet. Before the election, Aquino approached Laurel and offered to give up her allegiance to the PDP-Laban party and run as president under Laurel's United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) party. Laurel later approached Aquino, offering her only the vice-presidential nomination of UNIDO (or Unity). In the end, Laurel became the vice-presidential running-mate of Aquino, after being convinced to do so by the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin.

PDP-Laban then aligned itself with UNIDO, which became the main group and leader of the coalition that opposed Marcos. After the People Power Revolution of 1986, which saw Aquino and Laurel proclaimed President and Vice President respectively, PDP-Laban continued its alliance with UNIDO until the latter's dissolution in 1987.

First years of Aquino presidency, and split and merger into Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino

Before the 1988 local elections, some senators including Aquilino Pimentel Jr. criticized the party along with Lakas ng Bansa for their loosening policy towards accepting members of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), a party which is largely composed of Marcos loyalists and sympathizers.[21] In 1988, PDP-Laban was split into two factions: the Pimentel Wing led by Pimentel and the Cojuangco Wing led by Jose Cojuangco Jr.. The Cojuangco Wing and the Lakas ng Bansa party of House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. merged in 1988 to form the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino party.

After the merger, the prominence of PDP-Laban greatly fell, and the party was not a major party until the 2016 presidential election with the campaign of eventual winner Rodrigo Duterte.

Between the Aquino and Duterte presidencies (1988-2016)

Second major era: Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte (2016-present)

As of May 2016, PDP-Laban was headed by its president, senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, after the then incumbent Vice-President of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay, resigned as party chairman and left the party. Binay later created United Nationalist Alliance or UNA. The current party president is Senator Manny Pacquiao.

The party is currently re-grouping, and there are some movements of expansion especially in Mindanao, where it originated, particularly in the Davao region. Two of the party's founders, Crispin Lanorias and Cesar Ledesma, are again active in recent party activities. After the 2016 elections, PDP-Laban signed a coalition agreement with the Nacionalista Party, Lakas-CMD, National Unity Party and the Nationalist People's Coalition, witnessed by then President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Immediately after the May 2016 elections, several representatives from other parties moved to PDP-Laban, notably: Geraldine Roman (Bataan), Alfred Vargas (Quezon City), and Ansaruddin Adiong (Lanao del Sur).[22] The party's presence in the House of Representatives eventually grew from three members in the 16th Congress, to 123 members in the current 17th Congress.[23][24] By April 2018, 300,000 politicians had joined the party, according to Koko Pimentel.[25]

The party logo being used by both factions during the 2021 leadership dispute.
The former official logo of the party until 2016, which contains an illustration of Lapu-Lapu. The current logo included the figure on top of a clenched fist. The Pacquiao-Pimentel wing of the party reused this version of the logo during the 2021 leadership dispute.

Reacting to the influx of new members, party founder Nene Pimentel urged members to question the motivations of new incoming politicians and ensure they are interested in the party's ideals. He stated that these new members might only be interested in identifying with the current administration, in order to boost their chances of winning in the upcoming 2019 elections.[26]

PDP-Laban plans to learn from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is set to send some of its members to the CCP's school in Fujian for "policy training" to learn more on how the party is organized.[27] The Filipino party also established ties with United Russia, Russia's ruling party, in October 2017.[28] PDP-Laban has also expressed interest in sending a delegation to the Workers' Party of Korea, which is the ruling party of North Korea. A four-member delegation is set to meet with the North Korean party in July 2018.[29][30]

2018 leadership crisis

On July 23, 2018, the same day as Duterte's third State of the Nation Address, an internal leadership dispute within the House of Representatives' majority resulted in former president and current Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo becoming Speaker of the lower house, replacing Pantaleon Alvarez.[31][32][33] The resolution was adopted that same night with 184 voting in favor and 12 abstaining.[34] Arroyo was previously a member of Lakas-CMD, before switching to PDP-Laban in 2017.[35]

Some representatives, including Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya (Camarines Sur), are eyeing to shift towards other political parties after Arroyo's ascendance to the House's leadership.[36] Andaya also said that some lawmakers might join Lakas-CMD, Arroyo's former party, and merge with Sara Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).[37] Duterte-Carpio denied rumors that members of PDP-Laban were seeking to move into HNP, which is a regional party based in Davao Region.[38]

Succeeding these events, a faction sought to unseat PDP-Laban's high-ranking officials.[39] Willy Talag, president of the party's Makati city council and chair of the membership committee of the NCR Chapter, said during an assembly of the party on July 27 that PDP-Laban's current leaders have committed violations, including holding mass oath-taking of members "without proper basic seminar" and swearing-in officials that are "involved in illegal drugs."[40] The faction elected Rogelio Garcia and Talag as party president and chairman, respectively, removing Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez from their respective positions.[41][42]

Koko Pimentel dismissed the election of new leaders, disowning the group and assembly,[43] and called the event an "unofficial, unauthorized, rogue assembly using the name of PDP-Laban".[44] Sen. Pimentel, who has personally dismissed the election,[45] together with PDP-Laban vice chairman and Department of Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, and Rep. Alvarez have notified members that the supposed national assembly was not officially sanctioned by the party.[39] Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said in an interview with CNN Philippines that Duterte is set to meet the two factions, in an effort to unite the party.[46]

2019 general election

Months later, on November 30, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) released a statement recognizing Pimentel's group as the legitimate leadership of PDP-Laban.[47][48][49] Following this, Pimentel has said that his faction will not recognize candidates from the Garcia wing.[50][51]

The party secured three new seats in the Senate after winning the 2019 general election, with Bato Dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, and Bong Go joining the upper house, increasing the number of PDP-LABAN senators to five. Meanwhile, the party kept its majority in the House of Representatives, forming a coalition with the Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People's Coalition, Lakas-CMD, some members of the Liberal Party, and several partylists.

In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Manny Pacquiao was installed as party president, replacing Pimentel.[52][53]

2021 party faction dispute

Manny Pacquiao was elected to the position of PDP-Laban president in December 2020 under an acting capacity. An internal rift in within the party started in early 2021, when Pacquiao criticized Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's policy regarding the South China Sea dispute, finding Duterte's response against China's assertions of its claim in the area as lacking. Duterte, also the PDP-Laban chairman, rebuked Pacquiao's criticisms and took offense to a statement attributed to Pacquiao that his administration was more corrupt than his predecessors. Pacquiao also came into conflict with PDP-Laban vice chairman Alfonso Cusi.[54][55][56]

On July 17, 2021, amidst the split between Pacquiao and Cusi, in a meeting attended by President Duterte, Alfonso Cusi was elected as the party's president.[57][58][59][60][61]

Ideology and platform

According to self-published material, PDP-LABAN seeks a peaceful and democratic way of life characterized by "freedom, solidarity, justice, equity, social responsibility, self-reliance, efficiency and enlightened nationalism".[62] It has touted as its five guiding principles the following: theism, authentic humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism, and consultative and participatory democracy.[63]

The party advocates a transition to a federal,[64] presidential form of government from the current unitary presidential system[65][66][67] through a revision of the present 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.


From the 1980s, the 'Laban' or 'L' sign was a hand gesture used by the party, along with other members of the UNIDO coalition, which originally supported Corazon Aquino. This was done by raising the thumb and index finger over the forehead, forming a letter "L' shape.[68] This was popularized during the People Power Revolution.[69] During the campaign and presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, the Laban sign fell into disuse within PDP-Laban and was replaced with a clenched fist, a gesture popularized by Duterte. The clenched fist was later included in the party's current logo.[70]

Current party officials

Duterte-Cusi Faction

Pimentel-Pacquiao Faction

  • Aquilino Pimentel III - Chairman; incumbent Senator
  • Lutgardo Barbo - Vice Chairman; former Governor of Eastern Samar
  • Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao - President; incumbent Senator
  • Lutgardo Barbo - Executive Vice President
  • Salvador Ty - Vice President for NCR
  • Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, Jr. - Vice President for Luzon
  • Michael Lopeda - Vice President for Visayas
  • Roy Yap - Vice President for Mindanao
  • Arnulfo Teves, Jr. - Secretary-General
  • Raymond Joseph Ian Mendoza - Deputy Secretary-General for NCR
  • Virgilio Bote - Deputy Secretary-General for Luzon
  • Doloreich Dumaluan - Deputy Secretary-General for Visayas
  • Manuel Jaudian - Deputy Secretary-General for Mindanao
  • Evan Rebadulla - Treasurer
  • Jerico Salenga - Auditor

Notable and former members

Elected President of the Philippines

Elected Vice President of the Philippines

  • Jejomar Binay (13th Vice President of the Philippines; former Mayor of Makati; former party chairman; moved to UNA)

Elected Senators

Elected Representatives of the House

2016 elections

Presidential candidate
  • Rodrigo Roa Duterte (formally announced candidacy on November 21, 2015 and officially filed Certificate of Candidacy on November 27 and December 8) - WON
  • Martin Diño (filed his candidacy on October 16, 2015, withdrawn on October 29)
Note: Diño earlier stated that should he withdraw his intention to run for president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would be his substitute.[73]
Vice presidential candidate

Electoral performance


Election Candidate Number of votes Share of votes Outcome of election
1986 Corazon Aquino 9,291,716 46.10% Disputed; assumed presidency after People Power Revolution
1992 none Supported Jovito Salonga who lost
1998 none Supported Alfredo Lim who lost
2004 none Supported Fernando Poe Jr. who lost
2010 none Supported Joseph Estrada who lost
2016 Rodrigo Duterte 16,601,997 39.01% Won
2022 Manny Pacquiao

Vice president

Election Candidate Number of votes Share of votes Outcome of election
1986 none Disputed; supported Salvador Laurel who assumed vice presidency after People Power Revolution
1992 Aquilino Pimentel Jr. 2,023,289 9.91% Lost
1998 none Supported Serge Osmeña who lost
2004 none Supported Loren Legarda who lost
2010 Jejomar Binay 14,645,574 41.65% Won
2016 none Supported Alan Peter Cayetano who lost
2022 Rodrigo Duterte (under Cusi Wing)


Election Number of votes Share of votes Seats won Seats after Outcome of election
1987 Supported Lakas ng Bayan which won
1992 Lost as the Koalisyong Pambansa
1995 8,522,148 4.7%
1998 Supported LAMMP which won
2001 11,593,389 4.8%
Independent-led coalition
2007 10,984,807 4.1
Nacionalista-led coalition
2010 6,635,023 2.2%
2013 14,725,114 5.0%
Liberal-led coalition
PDP-Laban-led coalition
2019 76,712,223 21.2%
NPC-led coalition

House of Representatives

Election Number of votes Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
1987 3,477,958 17.3%
Lakas ng Bansa-led coalition
1992 Lost as the Koalisyong Pambansa
1995 130,695 0.7%
1998 134,331 0.6%
LAMMP-led coalition
Lakas-led coalition
2010 246,697 0.7%
Liberal-led coalition
2013 281,320 1.0%
2016 706,407 1.9%
PDP-Laban-led coalition
2019 12,653,960 31.2%
Nacionalista-led coalition


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External links

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