Pimentel bares own Senate lineup; vows to fight for allies
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Sunday bared his own senatorial bets for the 2019 elections, as he responded to the grievance of a senator who was left out of the possible slate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Pimentel, who is also PDP-Laban president, assured reelectionists in the Senate majority bloc that he was “fighting” for their inclusion in the party’s lineup.
“Siempre hindi nila alam yung nangyayari behind closed doors. Nilalaban ko ‘yan except na nandito pa kami sa stage na kapartido muna namin ine-entertain namin kaya kung mapapansin n’yo hindi pa talaga namin binubuo,” he said in a radio dzBB interview.
“Nothing is final. Pag na-finalize natin ng senatoral slate ng partido kokonsultahin natin si Presidente,” he added.
Aside from him, Pimentel named 13 possible candidates of PDP-Laban in the upcoming midterm elections.
His list included Senate majority bloc members Senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe.
He also mentioned Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, former MMDA chair Francis Tolentino, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
Pimentel said he was also considering Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Pia Cayetano.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the party’s secretary general, earlier named his lineup of possible senatorial candidates for the 2019 elections.
His first list included Pimentel, Tolentino, Umali, Mangudadatu, Roman, Nograles, Roque, and Go. He later added Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.
Ejercito then complained that members of the Senate majority bloc were left out of Alvarez’ lineup.
“Suggestion ko lang, sana lang he (Pimentel) fight for his main constituents, (the) senators,” Ejercito said, adding “we have been very supportive of the administration.”
“’Yun ang sama ng loob ng ilang reelectionist senators na naging supportive naman. Bakit ayaw kaming isali. Kung merong slate si Speaker dapat magkaroon din si (Senate President),” he said.
Pimentel said the six senators in his lineup were all “generally supportive” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda. But he reiterated that nothing was yet final, and the list was still subject to the President’s approval.
The Senate President also said their senatorial bets should at least be open to PDP-Laban’s flagship agenda of pushing for a federal type of government.
“Iklaro lang yung stand nila sa federalism. Hindi pwede out and out against federalism tapos isasama natin sa slate. Medyo sintunado kami run. Hindi pupwede yun,” he said. /cbb
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