Senate must have a ‘real minority group,’ says Koko Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko”Pimentel III underscored on Wednesday the need for a “real minority group” in the Senate in light of a looming supermajority in the next Congress.
Pimentel allayed fears that the upper chamber would now become a rubber stamp as only one known opposition member—Senator Risa Hontiveros — won in the last senatorial race.
“That’s why we will make sure na hindi. And when I say we will make sure, structurally we will make sure na hindi rubber stamp,” he said during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
“If you don’t prepare structurally nagiging dependent ngayon tayo sa attitude of each senator. Of course I know that they are independent thinkers but huwag tayo lang umasa doon.”
“So structurally, we must have a real minority group in the Senate to check on the majority. Kasi ano na yan e tyranny of numbers yan e, to make sure that there will be no tyranny of numbers,” added Pimentel, who once served as Senate President.
He also quickly dismissed the alleged plan by the looming majority bloc to name returning Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as the next minority leader.
“Huwag ganun. Let the minority choose their minority leader. Huwag namang ganun na pati minority leader named by the majority, huwag ganun,” the senator said.
Pimentel, who is part of the current Senate majority group, said he is now more inclined to join the next minority group to check on the “greater majority.”
“Pag sinabi kong check, it doesn’t mean naman na we will always be on the opposite side…” he pointed out.
When asked whether he or Hontiveros will vie for the Senate leadership, Pimentel said they have yet to discuss it.
He did clarify one thing though: “I’m not interested in the efforts to form the majority.”
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