Koko Pimentel tells PDP-Laban members supporting outsiders to leave party

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2021 06:52 PM

Koko Pimentel tells PDP-Laban members supporting outsiders to leave party 1
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III at the Senate on June 1, 2021. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/File

MANILA - Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday told PDP-Laban members “not to look outside” the party when scouting for probable Halalan 2022 bets.

Pimentel, executive vice-chairman and former president of the PDP-Laban, made the appeal as squabbles continue within the administration party.

"Number 1 in the party, hindi namin ine-encourage ang personality-based politics. Dapat ang sundin namin is the party ideology. Number 2, kung mahal nila party nila, maniwala sila sa party nila na merong sufficient talented people within the party who could lead this nation. Huwag yung nakatingin sa labas ng partido agad,” he said.

Pimentel complained that some partymates are already looking outside the party for aspiring candidates for next year's polls.

“Para namang walang pagmamahal, walang loyalty at walang bilib sa sarili niyang party. Kung ganyan na lang, 'di lumipat ka na lang dun sa partido na bilib ka or sa partido nung personality na sinusundan mo,” he said.

Pimentel believes his partymates calling for President Rodrigo Duterte to join the vice presidential race have yet to talk to the Chief Executive.

The senator said Duterte, on several occasions, have told him that he is already tired of running a public office and is raring to retire from politics.

He should not be pressured to continue his political career, Pimentel said.

PACQUIAO FOR PRESIDENT?

Despite Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s perceived intention to join the presidential race, PDP-Laban has no decision yet on who to support.

According to Pimentel, their partymates should rally behind Pacquiao whatever national position the boxer-senator will be seeking next year as the latter can still run for another term as senator.

Pimentel said he does not understand the camp of Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, who's the party's vice chairman, and their refusal to recognize Pacquiao as a prominent member and leader of PDP-Laban.

Pacquiao, the PDP-Laban president, and Cusi have been at odds after the boxer-politician slammed the latter for allegedly prioritizing the election plans while parts of the country were hit by power outages.

Pacquiao said if he were the President, he'd knock Cusi out from his Cabinet post. 

The party is set to hold an assembly on July 17 to elect officers, after a party official said Pacquiao is only acting president of PDP-Laban and was not duly elected, and that his membership is a "plus factor".

As for the national assembly meeting scheduled by Cusi’s group, Pimentel ruled out the chances of him, Pacquiao, and other party leaders attending it which he calls an “unauthorized, unlawful assembly.”

"That is an unauthorized, unlawful assembly or activity na those who will be voicing out ... we are not even sure if they are legitimate members of the party,” he said.

Pimentel said Pacquiao will be calling a national assembly meeting in August or September, which he maintains still gives them enough time to sign and issue certificates of nomination for their national and local candidates.

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