‘I am sorry,’ Sen. Pimentel tells EstradaBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III asked former President Joseph Estrada’s forgiveness, a day after he announced that he was leaving the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Pimentel, in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM Friday, said that when he met Estrada, he told him “I am sorry ninong [godfather].”
“With that, he already knew what my decision was. I told him I was prepared to explain my position even if I knew he would not like it. He [Estrada] always tells me about the Lord’s prayer which he recites everyday so I know he can forgive me,” Pimentel said in Filipino.
He said the former president merely smiled and nodded, adding, “He even invited us for lunch.”
Pimentel announced Thursday that he was leaviing UNA because he could not “in conscience” run with former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri under the same senatorial ticket in the 2013 elections.
Pimentel missed the first four years of his six-year term after Zubiri was erroneously declared winner, having supposedly nailed the 12th and final slot in the 2007 senatorial election.
Pimentel assumed office only in August 2011 after Zubiri resigned amid an investigation into the alleged election fraud in 2007.
By leaving the UNA coalition, Pimentel said he was now “open for adoption” and would “consider any offer” from other political parties or alliances, including President Benigno Aquino III’s Liberal Party.