A former senator on Monday compared the present ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino -Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) with the founding party merger between late senators Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
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Ruling party has 'no similarity' to Nene Pimentel's PDP-Laban — Saguisag
(Philstar.com) - October 21, 2019 - 2:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party is no longer the same alliance that Senators Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. formed in the 1980s, a former senator said.

According to former Sen. Rene Saguisag, PDP-Laban as it is now has no similarities with the merger between Pimentel’s PDP and Aquino's Lakas ng Bayan.

Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, the late senator's son, is president of PDP-Laban.

"Wala nang similiarity (There's no more similarity) I can see between the PDP-Laban as conceived in the early '80s and the PDP-Laban today. Maraming dapat mapuna, quiet lang sila eh (There is a lot that must be criticized but they are just quiet)," Saguisag was quoted in an ANC report.

Power-sharing agreement at House

Saguisag pointed at the power-sharing agreement at the House of Representatives as a huge difference between the two incarnations of PDP-Laban.

"Imagine, power-sharing sa (at the) House, that is against public policy, you cannot bargain public office," the former senator said.

In July, President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of PDP-Laban, decided that Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) of the Nacionalista Party would be House speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress. Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) of PDP-Laban would be speaker for the remaining 21 months.

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of (Dasmariñas City, Cavite) of the National Unity Party said Cayetano's 15-month term depends on Duterte.

READ: Cayetano: Term-sharing with Velasco still a go

Saguisag lamented this concept and said that they should have "a little subtlety or finesse to honor the basic principle of separation of powers."

According to Saguisag, the president, who faces several human rights complaints before the International Criminal Court and who has been criticized for government's bloody 'war on drugs', would not have been a member of the party in its early years.

"He would not have qualified for membership as originally envisioned, which gave importance to human rights," Saguisag said.

According to reports from that time, Duterte was with President Joseph Estrada's Lapian ng Masang Pilipino until November 2000, when he bolted the party and called on the president to resign.

'Pimentel a super role model'

Saguisag made the comparison between the current party leadership and its founding leadership as he recalled the legacy of Pimentel, his colleague, who passed away on Sunday.

The elder Pimentel, who founded PDP in 1982, died at the age of 85 due to complications caused by lymphoma.

READ: Former Senate President Nene Pimentel remembered as a fighter, nationalist

Saguisag described Pimentel as a “super role model” who always thought of the nation first.

"Non sibi sed patriae, not for self, but for country, that was a type of man Nene was," he said.

The former senator lauded Pimentel for not compromising his ideals despite facing opportunities to do so such as when he was arrested four times during the Marcos regime.

"He could have compromised his ideals but never did he sell out," the former senator said.

Saguisag urged the young leaders to emulate Pimentel and the late Sen. Lorenzo "Tanny" Tañada.

"Younger ones should go by the stars that Nene Pimentel and Tanny Tañada pointed to, if we are really to have again the re-emergence of the 1986-87 EDSA spirit, people asking what we could do for the country, not what the country could do for us,” Saguisag was quoted as saying.

Pimentel was a senator for three terms from 1987 to 1992, 1998 to 2004, 2004 to 2010. —Rosette Adel

EDSA EDSA 1986 REVOLUTION NENE PIMENTEL NINOY AQUINO PDP-LABAN
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