Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday said PDP-Laban acting president and Senator Manny Pacquiao is a “good choice” for the ruling party’s standard bearer in the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.
His statement came a day after he advised his partymates to back PDP-Laban members who are talented enough to run for president in 2022.
“I think he (Pacquiao) will be a good choice of the party to push for president, but of course, running should be voluntary, the person should be willing to run for that particular position,” Pimentel said in an ANC interview.
Should Pacquiao listen to his advice, Pimentel said he will push Pacquiao to declare his presidency by August or September.
“‘Di na pwedeng i-delay masyado ‘yan,” he said, adding that PDP-Laban members who intend to run for president should still observe “formalities” within the party.
Moreover, Pimentel said Pacquiao’s “greatest asset” is his rugs to riches experience.
“Given the difficulty which our country is undergoing right now and our people, poverty is still widespread. He has seen the different levels of economic situation in the lives of human beings. Dinaanan niya lahat ‘yon e from natutulog sa kariton hanggang ngayon na he can now stay in an exclusive village,” he said.
(He has been through all of those. He experienced sleeping in carts and now he is already staying in an exclusive village.)
“Nakita niya lahat ‘yon pag sinabi niya na alam ko nararamdaman ninyo, kung gutom kayo o wala kayong nakuhang trabaho, tama ‘yon, alam niya. Ngayon ang puso nasa tamang lugar na. Ang puso kasi gusto niya nga i-solve ‘yung problema na 'yon,” he added.
(He has been there and it is true that he knows what our countrymen is going through. His heart is in the right place. His heart wants to solve the problem of poverty.)
Pimentel said the next president should have plans for the country, heart at the right place, and support from various sectors.
He noted that Pacquiao seems to be preparing for presidency, citing the ideas and platforms for the government that his colleague discussed with him.
He likewise mentioned the support that Pacquiao is getting from different sectors of the society.
On the other hand, Pimentel said the PDP-Laban will follow formalities based on the party’s Constitution should Duterte pick another presidential candidate.
“There is no one person choosing [the PDP-Laban's presidential candidate] but if there are persons who are dissatisfied with the party nominee and they can’t live with that, then we can part as friends, ganon talaga e. (That's how it is). That is why we have a multiparty system,” he said.
On Wednesday, Pimentel said PDP-Laban members who support possible 2022 presidential bets outside the ruling party should leave as it showed disloyalty.
“Number one, in the party, hindi namin ine-encourage ang personality-based politics. Dapat ang sundin namin is the party ideology. Number two, kung mahal nila party nila, maniwala sila sa party nila na merong sufficient talented people within the party who could lead this nation. Huwag ‘yung nakatingin sa labas ng partido agad,” Pimentel said in an interview.
In the same ANC interview Thursday, Pimentel also hinted of party vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s “secret agenda” in holding “unauthorized” national meeting, claiming the latter intends to gift the ruling party’s presidential nomination to an outsider.—AOL, GMA News