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Koko Pimentel eyes Senate presidency

SEES 'FRIENDLY COMPETITION' WITH ALAN PETER CAYETANO
By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:32 AM May 20, 2016

Senator Aquilino Koko” Pimentel III announced on Friday his intention to run for the highest position in the Senate when the new 17th Congress opens in July.

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“As president of the party, I will aspire to be Senate President so that the agenda of the party and the President can be shepherded through the Senate,” Pimentel told reporters before his political group, PDP-Laban, signed a coalition agreement with Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

Pimentel, the lone PDP-Laban member in the upper chamber, was the first senator who announced his plan to seek the post now occupied by incumbent Senate President Franklin Drilon, vice chairman of the Liberal Party.

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Pimentel said presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of PDP-Laban, had been  informed by his partymates about his decision.

“Opo, opo (Yes, yes), through my partmates po. He (Duterte) knows po,” he said.

“Wala po s’yang nasabi sa akin na (he has not told me that) he’s blessing me but it’s my partymates who are blessing me so that’s why I’m aspiring for it.”

Pimentel said he is ready to engage in a “friendly competition” with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, whose name has been also floated as a possible contender for the Senate presidency.

Cayetano was Duterte’s running mate during the last elections but he is part of former Senator Manny Villar’s Nacionalista Party (NP).

READ: Cayetano or Pimentel seen to challenge Drilon in Senate

PDP-Laban and NP recently forged an alliance to support Duterte’s administration.

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“Senator Alan Cayetano and I belong to one group…and this is the group which supported the candidacy of President Duterte, hence, we will possibly engage in a friendly competition for the commitments of our colleagues and in the end, we will have to work together,” he said.

This early, Pimentel rejected the idea of a term-sharing of the Senate presidency.

“Hindi po ako nanniniwala sa (I don’t believe in) term-sharing. Once we pick the Senate President, let him finish the three years or the six years,” he said.

Pimentel said he and Cayetano might have to sit down and discuss who has the majority votes and they could just consolidate their numbers to secure the Senate leadership. IDL/rga

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel, PDP-Laban, Politics, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Senate presidency
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