The Philippines ruling party PDP-Laban expelled Boxing legend and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao as its president this weekend in what observers view as a backlash against Pacquiao’s recent criticism of Philippine President and PDP-Laban chairman Rodrigo Duterte.
A faction of PDP-Laban led by Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, a close ally of Duterte, voted to oust Pacquiao from the party’s leadership position during a meeting on July 17, the Philippine news site Rappler reported on Monday. The faction then elected Cusi as Pacquiao’s replacement.
“The vote was carried out because existing officials were already past their two-year term limit,” Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban deputy secretary-general, told reporters on Saturday.
In addition to serving as a Philippine senator since 2016, Pacquiao continues to fight as a likely future hall of fame boxer. He is currently in the U.S. training for an upcoming bout in Las Vegas and therefore was absent at