'She's too busy': Pimentel says Arroyo not behind PDP-Laban faction

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2018 08:13 PM

MANILA - Senator Koko Pimentel on Friday said he does not believe House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is behind moves to challenge his position as party president of PDP-Laban.

"She's too busy with the House of Representatives matters," he told reporters on the sidelines of a Cordillera Autonomy Leaders' Forum with senators in Manila.

Atty. Rogelio Garcia has claimed to be the new president of PDP-Laban and is pushing to elect Arroyo as party chairperson.

But Pimentel said he is not bothered by a non-issue.

"Sa mata kasi ng PDP-Laban na tunay, wala namang issue. There is no faction, there is no threat, there is no significant complaint," he said.

"Di nga pinag-usapan e. Hinahanap lang ng ibang members sino ba 'yung nagki-claim na siya na yung new president, ituro raw kasi di nila kilala, he added.

Pimentel had this to say for those behind the move.

"Magbuo na lang sila ng sarili nilang party. Ba't kailangang pilitin ang sarili na magpowergrab sa partidong pinaghirapan ng iba. Magbuo kayo ng sarili nyong party at magbanat kayo ng buto at maghirap kayo from scratch and that's your party," he said.

Pimentel said he is not concerned about the possibility of party-members moving to other parties.

"That would be good riddance. They can form another party. Wala akong worries," he said.

"We want members who joined us because they believe in our principles. Yung tinatawag namin na our tenets and basic objectives. Kasama na diyan yung federalism. So, kung ayaw na nila, e ok lang. We should not be too worried about the numbers. We want quality rather than quantity. Marami nga kayo tapos marami rin namang hindi rin alam bakit kasama niyo sa partido, hindi naman naniniwala. What's the point? We go for quality," he added.

Pimentel even welcomed the idea of PDP-Laban members switching to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's Hugpong ng Pagbabago party.

"All the more na hindi dapat kami magworry kasi we're under one umbrella. We are all supportive of President Duterte. We want him to succeed, so magtulungan na lang kami," he added.

Pimentel clarified that he does not resent President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to entertain Garcia's claim to the party presidency.

"Di bale, respeto na lang yun. Respeto na lang ng wishes ng pangulo," he said.

"Doon sa mga naghahanap lang na mabigyan ng importansya, nakapuntos siya roon. Dapat happy na siya," he added.