The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (lit.Philippine Democratic Party–People's Power), more commonly known as PDP–Laban, is the ruling political party in the Philippines.

Philippine Democratic Party–
People's Power

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan
PresidentAquilino "Koko" Pimentel III
ChairpersonRodrigo Duterte
Secretary-GeneralPantaleon Alvarez
FounderAquilino Pimentel Jr. (PDP)
Benigno Aquino Jr. (LABAN)
FoundedFebruary 6, 1983 (1983-02-06) (merger)[1]
Merger ofPDP and LABAN
Headquarters21st Floor, The Skysuites Tower, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Think tankPDP-Laban Federalism Institute[3]
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[4][5][6][7][8]
Left-wing populism[9][10]
Filipino nationalism[12]
Participatory democracy[4][7][8]
Political positionCentre-left to left-wing[13]
National affiliationCoalition for Change (2016–present)
UNIDO (1982–1986)
LABAN (1987)
Koalisyong Pambansa (1992)
Lakas-Laban Coalition (1995)
LAMMP (1998)
PPC (2001)
KNP (2007)
Team PNoy (2013)
Colors     Yellow,      dark blue, and      red
"Pambansang Martsa ng
"National March of the PDP–Laban"
Seats in the Senate
6 / 24
Seats in the House of Representatives
82 / 300
Provincial governorships
41 / 81
Provincial vice governorships
41 / 81
Provincial board members
562 / 1,006


Background and early history, 1983–1988

The party now known as PDP–Laban is the result of a merger between the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino and Lakas ng Bayan.[15][16]

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).[15] These protesters included the leaders of Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, such as Zafiro L. Respicio, Rey Magno Teves, Cesar R. Ledesma, Samuel Oceña, Crispin Lanorias and Mords Cua.

Merger 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-vresidential 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 which 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. In 1988, PDP–Laban was split into two factions: the Pimentel Wing led by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and the Cojuangco Wing led by Jose Cojuangco, Jr.. The Cojuangco Wing and the Lakas ng Bayan party of House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. merged in 1988 to form the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino party.

Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte and majority in Congress, 2016–present

As of May 2016, PDP–Laban is 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 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).[17] 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.[18][19] By April 2018, 300,000 politicians had joined the party, according to Koko Pimentel.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] The Filipino party also established ties with United Russia, Russia's ruling party, on October 2017.[23] 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.[24][25]

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.[26][27][28] The resolution was adopted that same night with 184 voting in favor and 12 abstaining.[29] Arroyo was previously a member of Lakas-CMD, before switching to PDP–Laban in 2017.[30]

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.[31] 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).[32] Duterte-Carpio denied rumors that members of PDP–Laban were seeking to move into HNP, which is a regional party based in Davao Region.[33]

Succeeding these events, a faction sought to unseat PDP–Laban's high-ranking officials.[34] 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."[35] 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.[36][37] Koko Pimentel dismissed the election of new leaders, disowning the group and assembly,[38] and called the event an "unofficial, unauthorized, rogue assembly using the name of PDP-Laban".[39] Sen. Pimentel, who has personally dismissed the election,[40] 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.[34] 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.[41]

Events prior to the 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.[42][43][44] Following this, Pimentel has said that his faction will not recognize candidates from the Garcia wing.[45][46] In a move branded as an 'ideology flip-flop', the party endorsed Imee Marcos as one of its senatorial candidates. Marcos, who has been implicated on numerous graft and corruption cases, is the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose authoritarian regime sparked the establishment of PDP–Laban and the party's democratic revolution against the Marcos dictatorship.[47]

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".[48] It has touted as its five guiding principles the following: theism, authentic humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism, and consultative and participatory democracy.[49]

The party advocates a transition to a federal,[50] semi-presidential parliamentary form of government from the current unitary presidential system[51][52][11] 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.[53] This was popularized during the People Power Revolution.[54] During the campaign and presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, the Laban sign fell into disuse within PDP-Laban and was replaced with the "Duterte fist", which was the hand symbol popularized by Rodrigo Duterte. The "Duterte fist" was later included in the party's current logo.[55]

Current party officials

Notable and former members

Elected President of the Philippines

Elected Vice President of the Philippines

Elected legislators

Other notable members

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.[58]
Vice presidential candidate


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