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Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–
Lakas ng Bayan
Between Alfonso Cusi and Manny Pacquiao
Between Rodrigo Duterte and Koko Pimentel
Between Melvin Matibag and Arnulfo Teves, Jr.
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
5 / 24
Seats in the House of Representatives
65 / 304
Provincial governorships
41 / 81
Provincial vice governorships
31 / 81
Provincial board members
263 / 1,023

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (lit.'Philippine Democratic Party–People's Power'), abbreviated as PDP–Laban, is a center-left to left-wing democratic socialist 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)[edit]

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)[edit]

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 his ruling party, the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL).[17] These protesters included the leaders of Cebu City, Davao City and Cagayan de Oro, 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, Sr., then the party's Secretary-General, with the support of the other Visayas delegates, proposed the name Katipunan, in honor of the historic Filipino nationalist movement. The convention, however, decided against name proposed by Holganza and decided to retain the name Pilipino Democratic Party. Besides determining the official name of the newly-formed party, the founding delegates also created its official logo which included the image of Lapu-Lapu as a symbol of the party's adherence to Filipino individualism. The Lapu-Lapu image continues to be a prominent figure in PDP-Laban's logo to this day. The delegates also agreed that the Filipino version Partido Demokratiko Pilipino may be used alongside the English version.[20]

PDP appealed to the non-communist Left.[21] Political scientist Alex Magno described PDP as "more advanced … in its analysis of Philippine society and the ills that beset it" compared with the mainstream anti-Marcos groups. PDP was also unique at its time for operating "on the basis of organizational initiative rather than, merely on the basis of personal loyalty to politician-personalities"; and for requiring prospective members to attend a seminar to learn the party's ideology.[22]

Merger into PDP–Laban and participation in the 1986 snap election[edit]

In February 1983, PDP formally merged with Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN; Tagalog for "People's Power"), the party founded by former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1978. The merger was complementary, as PDP was mass-based and had its bailiwick in Visayas and Mindanao, while LABAN was composed of traditional politicians and had its bailiwick in Luzon and Metro Manila.[23][24] In August 1983, Aquino was assassinated. This, along with an economic crisis, plunged Marcos' popularity and sparked protests.[23] In the parliamentary election of 1984, PDP–Laban and the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) were the major opposition groups. PDP–Laban won six seats.[25] That same year, in anticipation of a snap election, influential opposition figures convened to select a common presidential candidate. Pimentel was included in their shortlist of eleven possible standard bearers. However, UNIDO nominated Salvador Laurel as their presidential candidate. In October 1985, Chino Roces launched the Cory Aquino for President Movement (CAPM), which aimed to nominate Aquino's widow, Corazon, as the opposition's presidential candidate. PDP–Laban was a strong supporter of the movement. In November 1985, Marcos called for a snap presidential election. Later that month, the opposition parties including PDP–Laban formed a new coalition called Laban ng Bayan. Laurel eventually gave way and became Corazon Aquino's running mate under the UNIDO-Laban ng Bayan coalition.[23]

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[edit]

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.[26] 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)[edit]

In the Senate, Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has been the person most associated with the party, with him serving multiple terms in the Senate. After he retired, his son Koko Pimentel won an electoral protest to enter the Senate in 2011.

PDP–Laban has become associated with the Binay dynasty of Makati, with Jejomar Binay as its mayor and his allies holding the two districts of Makati in the House of Representatives.

Other strongholds of the party include Davao City, where Rodrigo Duterte winning multiple terms as mayor.

Second major era: Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte (2016–present)[edit]

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).[27] 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.[28][29] By April 2018, 300,000 politicians had joined the party, according to Koko Pimentel.[30]

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.[31]

PDP–Laban plans to learn from the Communist Party of China (CPC). 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.[32] The Filipino party also established ties with United Russia, Russia's ruling party, in October 2017.[33] 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.[34][35]

2018 leadership crisis[edit]

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.[36][37][38] The resolution was adopted that same night with 184 voting in favor and 12 abstaining.[39] Arroyo was previously a member of Lakas–CMD, before switching to PDP–Laban in 2017.[40]

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.[41] 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).[42] Duterte-Carpio denied rumors that members of PDP–Laban were seeking to move into HNP, which is a regional party based in Davao Region.[43]

Succeeding these events, a faction sought to unseat PDP–Laban's high-ranking officials.[44] 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."[45] 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.[46][47]

Koko Pimentel dismissed the election of new leaders, disowning the group and assembly,[48] and called the event an "unofficial, unauthorized, rogue assembly using the name of PDP-Laban".[49] Sen. Pimentel, who has personally dismissed the election,[50] 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.[44] 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.[51]

2019 general election[edit]

Months later, on November 30, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) released a statement recognizing Pimentel's group as the legitimate leadership of PDP–Laban.[52][53][54] Following this, Pimentel has said that his faction will not recognize candidates from the Garcia wing.[55][56]

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.[57][58]

2021 party faction dispute[edit]

The party logo being used by both factions during the 2021 leadership 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.[59][60][61]

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.[62][63][64][65][66]

On September 09, 2021, amidst the controversial intentions of Duterte to run for Vice President on the upcoming election, the Cusi-Wing of the PDP-Laban would nominate Duterte as their Vice Presidential nominee for the upcoming election yet without a standard bearer for the Presidency. However, during the filing of candidacies, Duterte backed down from running as Vice President due to the unpopularity of the decision. Senator Bong Go would take his place as the PDP-Laban-Cusi Wing's nominee for Vice President.

Ten days later, the Pacquiao-Wing of the PDP-Laban would be nominated to become the Presidential Nominee on the upcoming election when former PDP-Laban President Koko Pimentel announced the support of its wing.[67] During the filing of the candidacy for the upcoming election, Manny Pacquiao surprised everyone with Lito Atienza being picked as his running mate.

Ideology and platform[edit]

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".[68] It has touted as its five guiding principles the following: theism, authentic humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism, and consultative and participatory democracy.[69]

The party advocates a transition to a federal,[70] presidential form of government from the current unitary presidential system[71][72][73] 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.[74] This was popularized during the People Power Revolution.[75] 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.[76]

Current party officials[edit]

Duterte-Cusi Faction[edit]

Pimentel-Pacquiao Faction[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Elected President of the Philippines[edit]

Elected Vice President of the Philippines[edit]

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

Elected Senators[edit]

Elected Representatives of the House[edit]

2016 elections[edit]

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.[79]
Vice presidential candidate

Electoral performance[edit]


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 Supported Jovito Salonga who lost
1998 Supported Alfredo Lim who lost
2004 Supported Fernando Poe Jr. who lost
2010 Supported Joseph Estrada who lost
2016 Rodrigo Duterte 16,601,997 39.01% Won
2022 Ronald dela Rosa (Cusi wing) Pimentel wing endorsed Manny Pacquiao who is running under PROMDI

Vice president[edit]

Election Candidate Number of votes Share of votes Outcome of election
1986 Disputed; supported Salvador Laurel who assumed vice presidency after People Power Revolution
1992 Aquilino Pimentel Jr. 2,023,289 9.91% Lost
1998 Supported Serge Osmeña who lost
2004 Supported Loren Legarda who lost
2010 Jejomar Binay 14,645,574 41.65% Won
2016 Supported Alan Peter Cayetano who lost
2022 Bong Go (under Cusi Wing) Pimentel wing endorsed Lito Atienza who is running under PROMDI


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%
0 / 12
0 / 24
1998 Supported LAMMP which won
2001 11,593,389 4.8%
1 / 12
2 / 24
Independent-led coalition
0 / 12
1 / 24
2007 10,984,807 4.1
1 / 12
1 / 24
Nacionalista-led coalition
2010 6,635,023 2.2%
0 / 12
0 / 24
2013 14,725,114 5.0%
1 / 12
1 / 24
Liberal-led coalition
0 / 12
2 / 24
PDP–Laban-led coalition
2019 76,712,223 21.2%
4 / 12
5 / 24
NPC-led coalition

House of Representatives[edit]

Election Number of votes Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
6 / 200
1987 3,477,958 17.3%
43 / 214
Lakas ng Bansa-led coalition
1992 Lost as the Koalisyong Pambansa
1995 130,695 0.7%
1 / 220
1998 134,331 0.6%
0 / 257
LAMMP-led coalition
1 / 256
2 / 261
5 / 271
Lakas-led coalition
2010 246,697 0.7%
2 / 286
Liberal-led coalition
2013 281,320 1.0%
0 / 293
2016 706,407 1.9%
3 / 297
PDP–Laban-led coalition
2019 12,653,960 31.2%
82 / 304
Nacionalista-led coalition


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