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Koko Pimentel's 2017 resolution? No more evasion of media

2017 RESOLUTION. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says for 2017, there's no more running away from the media.

File photo

The media could expect a more accessible Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III this 2017. That is, if he sticks to his supposed New Year's resolution.

Pimentel was a media-friendly senator but became aloof when he assumed the Senate presidency in July 2016.

Unlike other allies of President Rodrigo Duterte in the chamber, Pimentel has not been as vocal in expressing his sentiments on the controversial policies and statements of the President. In fact, he often avoids the press, usually by rushing to go up his rostrum.

It is not surprising, especially if one would consider the position he is in. He has not agreed with all executive actions and statements of the new administration. He openly opposed Duterte on the hero’s burial for the strongman Ferdinand Marcos and has been quiet on the bid to restore the death penalty and the issue of extrajudicial killings, among others.

Directly asked if he intends to change his attitude toward the media, Pimentel gamely responded, “Ay oo, part sa New Year’s resolution natin yan (Oh yes, that's part of our New year's resolution)."

“Oo, walang habulan na. Sabihin mo sa kanila (Yes, no more game of tag. Tell the other media),” he told Rappler in jest on Friday, January 6.

Aside from this, the Senate leader said he has also resolved to go “all out” in support of the shift to federalism – a long-standing proposal of his father, former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr.

“The biggest resolution I have made is to now go all out and be exposed to the public in support of the President’s program of government to adopt the federal system of government,” he said Friday in his speech at a JCI event in Mandaluyong.

Will he be able to do these? As with anything, we just have to wait and see. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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