MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is open to adopting Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III as a candidate in the administration ticket for the 2013 senatorial poll.
In a text message, Presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas said the administration will always be open for Senator Pimentel.
"He and the President clearly share the same advocacies and principles especially against electoral fraud, impunity and the promotion of a more credible and transparent electoral system,” he said.
"I'm sure the President understands the sentiments of Senator Koko regarding the inclusion of several questionable personalities in the UNA slate which go against his principles and values. So I think the President will graciously welcome Senator Koko if he should decide to join the administration ticket for 2013."
In an ANC interview, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said the Liberal Party will wait for Pimentel to talk to his party-mates before sitting down with him to discuss his possible inclusion in the admin ticket.
"We are interested to see Sen. Koko Pimentel join the ranks of the administration Senate slate. The LP and PDP-Laban go way back," he said.
Pimentel earlier said he has decided to run without the help of the United Nationalist Alliance after the coalition included his rival former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri in its line-up.
Pimentel said he will still be running independently under the PDP-Laban. It will now be his party mate, Joey de Venecia, who will represent him when it comes to coalition matters.
Pimentel is the president of the PDP-Laban.
Zubiri edged out Pimentel in the 2007 senatorial race, but evidence about poll fraud in Mindanao prompted Zubiri to quit his post in favor of Pimentel in 2011.
Pimentel said he cannot run in the same ticket as Zubiri.