Pimentel Jr. tells Alvarez: Nobody stays in power forever
Nobody stays in power forever and it will always come to an end.
This was the reminder of former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who had warned his colleagues at the House of Representatives that they would get zero-budget for their district if they would not support President Rodrigo Duterte’s federalism initiative.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Pimentel reminded lawmakers that they are in their positions to serve the public they represent and it is upon their conscience to defy threats to deprive the people of what they are entitled to under the Constitution.
“In the caucuses, for example, you can speak out freely kung ano yung damdamin ninyo para malaman din ng (what you feel so it would be made known to the) Speaker that nobody stays in power forever,” Pimentel said during the Saturday Forum at Annabel’s restaurant in Quezon City.
“May hangganan ang kapangyarihan ng tao,” he added.
(There is always an end to a man’s power.)
In a speech in Iloilo on Thursday, Alvarez warned lawmakers who would defy efforts of the lower House to realize the federalism initiative of President Duterte, saying they would not be given equal treatment in the budget for their districts.
“Siyempre, ‘yung ibang probinsya ayaw nilang makisama, o ‘di zero sa budget. Ayaw ko rin, hindi ba? Alangan namang kayo kasama, ‘yung leaders nila ayaw sumama. Alangan namang pantay?” Alvarez said.
“Ako naman, hindi namimilit. Kung ayaw ‘nyong sumama, okay. Ginagalang ko ‘yun, karapatan ‘nyo ‘yun, pero ang sabi ko nga, igalang ‘nyo rin ang karapatan ko para ma-zero kayo sa budget, ‘di ba?” he added.
When asked if it was inappropriate for Alvarez to make such remarks, Pimentel said: “Ewan ko sa inyo, pero sa akin hindi.”
(I do not know about you but for me it’s not.)
The veteran legislator warned that depriving a congressional district of the budget that they are entitled to will be unconstitutional.
“Palagay ko it is not just what the Speaker wishes that has to be supported by the House itself. Pero hindi po (But no), I doubt na you deprive a particular congressional district of what it is entitled to simply because yung (your) congressman mo ayaw sumunod kay (does not conform with the) Speaker. Palagay ko hindi naman yun ang kautusan ng Saligang Batas,” he said.
(I don’t think that’s what is stated in the Constitution.)
Pimentel then clarified that he was not inciting rebellion within the majority bloc. He emphasized, however, that the lawmakers were elected to serve the public, not a single person’s personal interest.
“Now I’m not saying that there should be a rebellion within the ranks of the bloc that is supporting the Speaker. Pero, ang mga miyembro ng House should always remember that they are in public service to serve the public. Hindi po ito (This is not) to serve the interest of any one person,” Pimentel noted. /kga
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