Koko defends PDP-Laban–Communist Party of China alliance
“This is a free country.”
This was how Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III defended on Wednesday the partnership of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) with the Communist Party of China (CPC).
“The PDP-Laban can choose who to partner with especially if iniimbita kami. Kung ‘di kami iniimbita ng American parties wala kami magagawa,” Pimentel told reporters.
Pimentel, who is also the president of the ruling political party, said their cooperation agreement with CPC since February 2017 does not necessarily mean that they would adhere with its principles.
The agreement, whose terms have yet to be released, was just like PDP-Laban’s agreement with United Russia, Pimentel said.
“May exchanges kami between high-level party officials, organize round table discussions on subjects of common interests, magpadala experts to talk to other side. Wala naman sinabi na we need to copy the principle of the other side,” he explained.
Pimentel further said Vietnam also extended its invitation to partner with PDP-Laban, adding that no European or Western country has inked any partnership with them.
PDP-Laban’s alliance with CPC is being criticized especially amid China’s continuous militarization of the West Philippine Sea, and naming of some undersea features in the Philippine Rise.
PDP-Laban celebrated its 36th anniversary on Tuesday, with representatives from the CPC led by Vice Minister Guo Yezhou attending the event. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book was also launched at the event.
Liberal Party Vice President for External Affairs Erin Tañada criticized the partnership, saying it “leaves a bad taste in the mouth” considering the “most aggressive military build-up by China” in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea.
“Propriety dictates that we should be more judicious of the people we choose to invite to wine and dine,” Tañada said in a statement.
“Is this a celebration of our subservience, docility, and surrender?” he asked. /kga, je
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