Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is willing to give up his post in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) but not to Rogelio Garcia.
“‘Di naman ako kapit-tuko sa position at titulo. Pero bakit ba siya ang kakain sa tinanim, inani linuto at hinanda namin? Bakit siya?” Pimentel told reporters in a Viber message on Friday. He was referring to Garcia, who was elected president of a PDP-Laban faction last July 27.
Pimentel, who is also president of the ruling political party, said he has no issue with relinquishing his position to someone who has worked hard for the party.
“Kung ang kakain ay kasama naming naghirap sa pagpapalaki ng partido ay wala tayong masasabi dyan. Wag naman yung short cut at jackpot agad. Magbanat din po ng buto,” he said.
Duterte met with Pimentel and Garcia’s groups last Thursday night, and the chief executive vowed to strengthen the party for the 2019 polls, according to Pimentel.
Pimentel also said the President has set for Sept. 1 another “more formal” meeting between the two factions.
Meanwhile, Pimentel said he had “no personal knowledge” on whether Garcia’s group got a scolding or a recognition from Duterte as they were met by the President separately.
However, Garcia said they felt “vindicated,” claiming Duterte has “recognized the existence” of their group with “valid and legitimate issues.”
“He recognizes our existence as a group with valid and legitimate issues when he said we shall continue to have a dialogue to find solutions to [the] problems,” he told INQUIRER.net. “A vindication of sorts.”
Two weeks ago, Garcia’s group held an assembly and elected their new national officers, booting out Pimentel and Alvarez as president and secretary general, respectively.
The group also elected Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go as interim national auditor.
However, Pimentel had dismissed this assembly as unauthorized, and organized by “rogue” and “expelled” members “who will be dealt with in accordance with (their) party rules.” /vvp
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.