Koko joins PNoy's senatorial slate

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2012 12:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2012 03:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Koko Pimentel has formally accepted the invitation of President Aquino to be a guest candidate in the administration’s senatorial ticket for the 2013 elections.
 
Pimentel was in Malacañang this morning to inform the President of his decision.
 
“I would like to announce that I have accepted the President’s invitation for me to join and be part of his senatorial ticket for 2013 and I would like to thank the President for inviting me. And tulad ng sinabi niya sa akin noon, ‘You will always have a home here.’ So I really feel at home and welcome in the President’s ticket,” Pimentel told reporters.
 
He said that the administration’s senatorial ticket would be completed by September. Pimentel said the President is facing a dilemma: There are 13 names under consideration for the ticket of 12 slots. 
 
Pimentel said the President would be campaigning for the administration’s candidates.
 
“Malapit nang mabuo ng Presidente ang senatorial ticket niya. Malapit na, sabi niya. By September, definitely. Wala rin namang choice, October 1 na ‘yung filing. I think he is excited to campaign for us because ang sabi niya he is already composing his endorsement speech,”he said. 
 
“He has a problem, I think, because there are still 13 names and the party should prepare for 12 candidates.”

Easy decision

 
Pimentel said it was an easy decision for him to accept the President’s invitation, saying he is indebted to Aquino.
 
“Malaki ng utang loob ko sa kanya kasi ‘yung hustisya sa kaso ko sa election protest ko, sa ilalim ng term niya nakamit ko. Unlike doon sa previous administration, tatlong taon ang lumipas doon, walang nangyari. Tapos ‘pag dating sa term ni PNoy, at least I have achieved justice in my case,” the senator said.

He also said he will not give up his membership in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) where he is the president.

"I have no intention to leave the PDP-Laban. It was not a requirement. In other words, this is what you call a guest candidacy," he told ABS-CBNnews.com.
 
Meantime, Pimentel defended other projected senatorial candidates of the administration who were criticized for joining the President in distributing relief goods to victims of flood.
 
Pimentel said it was good for people to help victims of calamities, saying he himself wanted to join the President. He said he knew how it was to be victimized by flooding, having been a victim of Ondoy and Sendong. With David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com