By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is refusing to give up his position in the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for lawyer Rogelio Garcia, who, he said, should work for it.
Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, on Friday said that while he is not gripping on to his position in the ruling party, Garcia, for him, is not deserving to take his place.
Pimentel and other leaders of the PDP-Laban on Thursday night met with President Duterte, the party’s chairman, and the faction led by Garcia who was supposedly elected as the new party president during an assembly last month.
Despite Duterte already meddling in the in-fighting of the PDP-Laban members, the contradicting factions apparently did not find a common ground as another meeting is set on September 1.
Asked if he would fight for his position should Garcia refuse to withdraw his stand in their next meeting, Pimentel said the former cannot do a “short cut.”
“‘Di naman ako kapit tuko sa position at titulo. Pero bakit ba siya ang kakain sa tinanim inani linuto at hinanda namin? Bakit siya (I am not clinging to any position or title but why should he be the to eat what we had sown, reaped, cooked and prepared? Why him?)” Pimentel said in a text message, referring to Garcia.
“Kung ang kakain ay kasama namin naghirap sa pagpapalaki ng partido ay wala tayong masasabi d’yan. ‘Wag naman yun short cut at jackpot agad. Magbanat din po ng buto (If the one who will benefit was with us in working hard for the party’s growth, then I will have no objection. But it should not be someone who took a short cut or a quick jackpot. Work for it),” he added.
Pimentel said he does not see the need to settle with Garcia’s group, saying, “No one recognizes them except themselves.”
The senator, on the other hand, noted that he has no knowledge as to what President Duterte had told the Garcia’s group, following their unauthorized PDP-Laban assembly. He said Duterte met them separately.
For his part, Pimentel said Duterte affirmed his commitment to the party and that “he is duty bound to campaign for its candidates.”
“He requires only two qualifications of PDP LABAN’s candidates: competence and honesty,” Pimentel told of Duterte.