PDP leadership’s struggle continues
SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Luis Raúl Torres has reacted to House Minority Whip Rafael “Tatito” Hernández’s remarks in the party’s general assembly Sunday, in which the latter questioned his colleagues’ loyalty.
During the assembly, Hernández declared that “whoever abandons their colleagues during battle is not a PDP supporter.” Torres, however, disagreed with the statement, but said he felt at ease
“I regret the colleague made some outlandish, unwarranted expressions that instead of promoting unity within the Popular [Democratic] Party, he is promoting disunity, and I wish him the best in his efforts as a legislator,” Torres said in a WKAQ 580 radio interview.
Hernández’s statement prompted Reps. Luis Vega Ramos and Manuel Natal Albelo to join Torres and abandon the House caucus. Torres explained that the legislators left the PDP caucus because they believe the minority whip’s “attack” was against sovereignty supporters.
Torres proceeded to request PDP President Héctor Ferrer to make a public statement on his position regarding the conflict. During the meetings, Ferrer reiterated his call for unity and to creating a broad alliance among party leaders.
In an interview with the aforementioned radio station, Hernández reaffirmed his statement at the general assembly, which was held in Carolina’s Guillermo Angulo Coliseum to decide the party’s official stance regarding the June 11 political-status referendum.
“Any elected official who weakens the Popular [Democratic] Party, whether from the right, left or center during battle must be repudiated and signaled out. I sent a clear message at the Popular Party’s main forum, in which Luis Raúl Torres abandoned the PDP delegation in the House and betrayed that delegation,” he denounced.
Hernández announced that the party’s House caucus will meet Monday to address its differences. “We need loyal [sovereignty supporters], loyal from the right, loyal autonomists, loyalists from the center, how the Popular Party worked and was established in 1938 when it made a pact of social justice to work for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans,” the representative said.
Meanwhile, the PDP president warned party representatives that they must resolve their differences within 48 hours, stressing that there are personal conflicts in the delegation stirred by hatred.
“I am not a babysitter nor a schoolteacher making sure children are behaving. You are adults, elected officials, leaders of the Popular Party. I spoke with Minority Whip ‘Tatito’ Hernández yesterday and I gave him 48 hours to address the issue and solve it. If they haven’t fixed that situation in the next 48 hours, I will intervene as president,” Ferrer said.