Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday, November 20 took a swipe anew at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over the poll body’s decision to declare the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) wing chaired by former president Rodrigo Duterte as the true and official political party.
Pimentel, who leads the other PDP-Laban faction, pointed this out during the Senate’s plenary deliberations on the Comelec’s proposed budget for next year.
While he acknowledges the difficult task of the Comelec to be “the referee” among politicians, Pimentel said the poll body should have been as “objective” in deciding the petitions filed before them.
Without specifically mentioning PDP-Laban party, Pimentel pointed to a certain political party whose members recently have jumped to another party as an example.
“Ito na lang, tignan niyo ‘yung political party na dedesisyunan ninyo, ano na nangyari? Wala na, nagtalunan na! (Just look at the political party that you decided on, what happened to them? They’re nothing now, their members have jumped ship),” Pimentel said during the period of interpellation.
“Yung paksyon na pinanalo ng Comelec eh nagtalunan na. Sinabi ko naman sa inyo (The faction that the Comelec favored have already jumped ship. I told you before), the ideologue is here,” he added.
“We will become a banana republic kung pati ang decision makers natin sa Comelec nakatingin sa personalities (if our decision makers in Comelec are focused on personalities),” the senator said.
Just last week, several lawmakers from the Duterte wing PDP-Laban has transferred to Lakas-CMD, the ruling party led by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, a week after Duterte bad-mouthed the House of Representatives and described it as “the most rotten institution.”
This happened after the House decided to realign the confidential funds for civilian agencies, including the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education (DepEd) which are both under the helm of his elder daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Sen. Imelda “Imee” Marcos, sister of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., and who is defending the Comelec’s budget, agreed with Pimentel’s statement.