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Koko in LP slate? ‘Let’s talk,’ he says

Sen. Koko Pimentel is not surprised that he has been named as a possible senatorial candidate of the LP in 2013.

NO SURPISE. Sen Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is not surprised that LP's Butch Abad mentioned him as a possible senatorial candidate of the party. Pimentel says LP and PDP-Laban both advocate good governance. File photo from Sen Pimentel's Facebook account 

MANILA, Philippines – The only finality is that in politics, nothing is final. 

Sen Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is not closing his doors on being a part of the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party (LP).

In an interview on ANC, Pimentel responded to the statement of LP stalwart Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr that he may be included in the LP senatorial ticket for 2013. 

Pimentel is president of the party of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). He said Abad’s statement may still happen in the context of a PDP-Laban coalition with LP. 

“It does not really come as a surprise. If the administration’s slogan is ‘straight and narrow path,’ that is actually what we believe in in my party, PDP-Laban except we don’t use the same words,” Pimentel said.

He added, “With that friendly announcement, I think it’s time for UNA or at the very least PDP-Laban and LP to also start talking to each other.” 

Pimentel was referring to the United Nationalist Alliance or UNA, a coalition between PDP-Laban and the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada.

In the interview, Pimentel pointed out that he has invited LP to join UNA but there has been no taker so far. 

“I think I have always been consistent that nothing is final …. but this time, with that kind of pronouncement, then maybe we should start talking to each other at the very least,” the senator said.

Not obstructionist

Pimentel doubted that his objection to the inclusion of former Bukidnon Rep Juan Miguel Zubiri in the UNA senatorial slate had anything to do with Abad’s statement.

Pimentel filed an electoral protest against Zubiri over the 2007 senatorial elections. In August 2011, Zubiri resigned from the Senate days before the Senate Electoral Tribunal declared Pimentel the winner of the protest.

“They probably looked at what I have done in my 8 months in office as senator. Maybe they saw I am not an obstructionist actually. Maybe that’s how they think, not because of any political strategizing on their party,” said Pimentel.

‘We should know truth about 2007’ 

Pimentel also said that it will be up to the leadership of UNA to settle his objection to Zubiri’s inclusion in the coalition lineup.

He said he explained the grounds for his objection during an UNA meeting on Tuesday, April 24.

The senator admitted that as of now, he is not yet ready to reconcile with Zubiri.

“Because nothing has changed. We still do not know the truth about what happened in 2007. I am after the truth and I believe that at least a million Filipinos also want to know the truth.” 

“Especially now that the Comelec is threatening that we can have manual elections in 2013, they should know what happened in 2007 because that was the last manual national elections that we had.” – Rappler.com