The son also rises: Koko Pimentel makes history
Pimentel’s rise to the Senate presidency may have seemed a long shot back during his first term, when Pimentel had to fight for the 12th and last slot in 2007, protesting the victory of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri. Zubiri was forced to resign in 2011, giving way to Pimentel, as the former faced and denied cheating allegations against him.
On Monday, such bitter history seemed decades away: Zubiri was among the majority who backed Pimentel’s bid for leadership, even seconding the nomination of his fellow Mindanaoan.
The returning senator was first to point out the Pimentels’ feat in his nomination speech: “Senate President Pimentel… is also making history for being the first son to repeat his father’s achievement in holding that position. No other father and son had held the position of Senate President in the 100-year history of the Senate.”
Pimentel gave his father, former Senate President Nene Pimentel, special mention “for inspiring me to become a senator and for inculcating in the aptitude of focusing on the people, their problems and their needs.”
The elder Pimentel briefly spoke to reporters about his son’s achievement.
“It is the first time that it has happened, but that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is for Koko to perform well for the good of the people… I want him to earn the respect of the people on his own, not because he is my son,” said the former senator, adding that his son should be recognized as his own man.
As earlier agreed in the majority coalition, Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Sen. Franklin Drilon was elected Senate President Pro-Tempore, while Sen. Vicente Sotto III was named majority leader.
Reelected Sen. Ralph Recto was installed as minority leader, joining Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Antonio Trillanes IV, both defeated vice presidential candidates, in the bloc. He is the lone LP member in the minority. TVJ
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