MANILA - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos' first State of the Nation Address (SONA) was "safe" with "no truly bold ideas" given his overwhelming political capital, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said Friday.
Marcos had enumerated 19 priority legislative measures in his SONA earlier this week. Pimentel said he has "heard all of these" before.
"The President chose to be safe this time. There were no truly bold ideas which I find surprising given his mandate. Somebody who allegedly got 31 million votes has really an overwhelming mandate, tawag po ata dyan political capital which you could use to propose new bold ideas," he told ANC's Headstart.
Marcos also did not present his plan for the "economic transformation" he mentioned during his inauguration, Pimentel said.
"What’s the meaning of that, wala (nothing), I did not hear that. Sa kanya rin nanggaling yun (It came from him). The fight against inflation, how will we solve our debt problem?" he said.
"I don't think we can go on forever borrowing. If our generation keeps on borrowing to support our lifestyle we’re actually depriving our descendants of their own quality of life."
Pimentel said he would fulfill his duties as Senate Minority Leader even if he is friends with Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.
"We are good friends. We are now compadres but since I've chosen to be with the minority I will professionally fulfill my role as minority. I will be checking the majority…but that is how it is," he said.
The senator said he would "fight all the way" for the leadership of PDP-Laban, which his father late Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel co-founded.
The Commission on Elections special division had recognized a PDP-Laban faction chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte over Pimentel's wing.
"I will fight this all the way because tayo we want to strengthen party politics to instill discipline, improve the campaign rhetoric debates, [and not] to focus on personality but party agenda," he said.
"I have never ever changed political parties...The party will be left to leadership of people jumping from political parties to political parties."
Pimentel, however, said he has no regrets in supporting Duterte.
"In politics no regrets. We have to live with the cards we’re dealt with, we have to live with the consequences of our decisions," he said.