Koko Pimentel to Comelec: Be objective or PH may become banana republic
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may become a banana republic if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) itself would favor certain political groups or personalities, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Monday.
Pimentel, while the Senate was discussing on the floor the proposed 2024 budget of Comelec, recognized the difficult job of the Comelec “as a referee in an activity where politicians are clashing.”
“You are now assisted by technology to objectively determine the will of the people and I hope the leadership is as also as objective as the machines, walang kinikilingang mga pulitiko [without showing preference to certain politicians],” he said.
The senator cited the recent Comelec ruling, without mentioning any specific case.
“Tingnan mo yung political party na dedesisyunan ninyo. Ano nang nangyari? Magiging banana republic tayo kung ang mga political party, binibigay nyo sa non-ideologues. Wala na, nagtalunan na,” Pimentel said.
(Look at the political party you decided on. What happened? We will become a banana republic if you’re giving political parties to non-ideologues. Their members have jumped ship already.)
“Yung political faction na pinanalo ng Comelec e nagtalunan na. Sinabi ko naman sayo the ideologue is here…” he said.
(The members of the political faction recognized by the Comelec have already jumped ship. I told you the ideologue is here…)
“We’ll become a banana republic, Mr. President, kung pati ang decision makers natin sa Comelec, nakatingin kasi sa personalities,” the senator went on.
(We’ll become a banana republic, Mr. President, if our decision-makers in Comelec are looking at personalities.)
The term banana republic implies lack of political and economic stability.
In May last year, the Comelec ruled in favor of the faction led by then Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, recognizing its members as the “true and official members” of the ruling PDP-Laban.
The party was cofounded in 1982 by Pimentel’s late father and namesake, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.
The case is now pending before the Supreme Court.
“I hope justice will be served in that case,” Senator Pimentel added.