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Koko: Marcos making right decisions so far

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Koko: Marcos making right decisions so far
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, whose father – the late former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. – was imprisoned during the Martial Law regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., said he is hoping that Marcos Jr. succeeds in pulling the country out of numerous and daunting challenges.
Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has so far made the right decisions in forming his government and formulating policy ahead of his assumption into office at noon of June 30, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said yesterday.

Pimentel, whose father – the late former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. – was imprisoned during the Martial Law regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., said he is hoping that Marcos Jr. succeeds in pulling the country out of numerous and daunting challenges.

“We have only one country. We’re like in a ship or airplane – we must reach our destination safely, conveniently comfortably and successfully – and he also must treat all Filipinos equally and fairly,” Pimentel told radio dwIZ in Filipino.

“We have chosen our leader in an election, we hope he succeeds, for our sake,” he said.

Pimentel said all sectors must help one another because “we love our country” and that the nation’s success depends on cooperation “because it’s very, very difficult to succeed.”

He also noted Marcos Jr.’s decision to head the Department of Agriculture (DA) as the country faces a serious food crisis. He said many complaints from the people and the agriculture sector can be traced back to the DA.

“Agriculture equals food, which should be the No. 1 priority,” Pimentel said.

The senator said the incoming leader has made good choices, generally speaking, in picking his Cabinet appointees.

“So far, so good. I hope he hits the ground running,” Pimentel said of Marcos Jr.

So far, Pimentel is one of only two members of the minority bloc in the Senate in the incoming 19th Congress, the other being Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

He said the minority bloc, which he hopes will have more members, will help the incoming administration push its worthy programs, but will also “check” Malacañang for any excesses and abuses.

“Even if we’re in the minority, we’ll support any measure that will help us become productive as a people, a nation, especially on food, to make it affordable,” he said.

He said he hopes Marcos Jr. will understand the need for the minority bloc in the Senate and that his administration does not fall into the trap of “one-way thinking.”
“In a democracy, we allow other points of view to be heard,” Pimentel stressed.

When asked whether the camp of Marcos Jr. has reached out to the minority senators, he said: “No need. I love our country so there’s no need to talk to me.”

“We in the minority only ask that the (Senate) rules be followed. We remind the majority not to use their overwhelming numbers to disregard the rules because that’s what unites the Senate,” Pimentel said. “We all come from different backgrounds and our commonality is the Senate rules.”

He cited the statement of outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto III that the rules, inherited over 100 years ago, are sacred.

Meanwhile, a power consumer group claiming a membership of four million wants Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta to be the next secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE).

In supporting Marcoleta, the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) issued a statement pointing out that “the success of the government’s socioeconomic plan will always be dependent in the situation of the energy sector of our country” and that “any big investments in infrastructure will be futile if it will not be accompanied by a similar venture in the energy sector.”

The group cited how Marcoleta successfully utilized the Legislature’s oversight powers by exacting accountabilities from government agencies and public utilities.”

The energy portfolio in the Cabinet is considered by many as a very crucial position, especially now that majority of the world’s economy is in or headed toward recession due to increasing prices of oil and its derivatives, affecting basic commodities and services.

If appointed to the Cabinet post, the congressman will need to vacate his party-list seat in the 19th Congress. – Jose Rodel Clapano

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