‘Look in the mirror’—Pimentel tells partymates questioning Pacquiao’s standing in PDP-Laban

Published July 14, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban executive vice chairman and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday said members of the party who are questioning Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s standing in the ruling political party should first “look at themselves in the mirror.”

During a Kapihan sa Manila online press briefing, Pimentel cried foul over Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s attempt to belittle Pacquiao’s position in the party, saying that the senator went through the party processes before he became the party’s president.

“Yung ‘party hopping’, huwag sila mag-charge ng ganun kasi, tingnan din nila sarili nila sa salamin (They shouldn’t be charging at others like that, they should look at themselves in the mirrors first),” Pimentel said.

“At least, I can say that I never had another political party. Kaya huwag nilang gamiting issue kay Sen. Pacquiao yun. Tumingin muna sila sa salamin (That’s why they should not use that as an issue against Sen. Pacquiao. They should look at the mirror first),” the senator said.

On Tuesday, Cusi, vice president of the PDP-Laban said that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was “more PDP” than Pacquiao since she, including President Duterte, has long been part of the PDP-Laban before she left the group and formed another party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

Pimentel also said Duterte-Carpio filed a formal resignation from the PDP-Laban before she built her own political party.

Cusi was a member of the Lakas-CMD before joining the PDP-Laban. Pacquiao, during his entire political career, ran under different political parties namely the Liberal Party, and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Pacquiao’s Peoples’ Champ Movement (PCM) was also aligned with former Senate President Manny Villar’s Nacionalista Party.

Pimentel said he stepped aside as the party’s president to give way to Pacquiao so that the party could be led “by someone who is younger, with more energy and has personal interest in the upcoming elections.”

“Because at the very least, reelectionist senator din siya eh. Kami tapos na kami. 2019 kami na reelect eh (he is also a reelectionist senator. We are done with our term because we were reelected in 2019). So at the very least, he can run as a reelectionist senator, or a vice president, or a president,” he said.

“It was a new way of thinking—younger, bolder…ako kasi politically speaking, conservative ako,” he said.

Pimentel reminded his colleagues in the party he did not leave the party but was promoted to a national vice chairmanship position, which enables him to guide the party in its day-to-day operations.

He said he hopes Cusi and his camp will understand on the need to give more weight on the opinions of party members who have invested their blood and sweat for PDP-Laban’s progress and ideals than to those who have never been fully compliant to the party’s membership processes.