Joining Senate minority in 19th Congress mainly about principles - Pimentel

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 06:49 PM

Sen. Koko Pimentel during the debates on the proposal to tax the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) on June 1, 2021. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/file
Sen. Koko Pimentel during the debates on the proposal to tax the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) on June 1, 2021. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/file


MANILA — Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Tuesday said that the incoming Senate minority bloc that he and new opposition leader Sen. Risa Hontiveros is trying to form cannot offer anything to those who will join them.

"Wala naman ma-o-offer ang minority. Wala kaming mao-offer na committee chairmanship, wala. Ni opisina sa Senado, wala kaming mao-offer. Kung saan kami mag-o-opisina, wala kaming maio-offer. So prinsipyo na lang pag-uusapan namin. The extent of our collaboration,” Pimentel said.

(The minority has nothing to offer, even chairmanship and an office. We're just talking about principles here.)

The bloc, he said, will serve as "fiscalizer" in the Senate and watchdog for the people’s interest.

Pimentel made the statement as he admitted that as of this writing, it is still a two-person Senate minority bloc in the next Congress.

“Wala pa kami naririnig na iba (na interested to join the bloc). 'Pag may makarinig kami na merong iba, tatawagin namin into meeting," Pimentel told reporters in an interview. 

(We have yet to hear others interested to join the bloc. If we receive information that someone's interested, we'll invite them to a meeting.)

Pimentel said he and Hontiveros have already formulated a system on how they could perform their role in the next Senate.

“Handa kami ni Senator Risa kahit kaming dalawa lang. Nag-usap na nga kaming dalawa kagabi: ‘O, division of labor natin.’ Kailangan kasi ng team work. Let us assume 2,000 measures will be filed in the Senate, kailangan meron kaming flowchart at teamwork… We will try our best. Our super human best,” he said.

(Sen. Risa and I are ready even if we end up just being the two of us. We even talked yesterday: 'Here's our division of work.' Teamwork is necessary. Let us assume 2,000 measures will be filed in the Senate, so we need a flowchart and teamwork.)

Their team is also in the process of lining up the first 10 bills that they will file individually for the next Senate.

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