Pimentel: No showdown with Cayetano on Senate presidency
MANILA, Philippines – There will be no showdown between Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Alan Cayetano when the 17th Congress opens on Monday, July 25.
Pimentel, who is expected to be elected as the new Senate President, gave the assurance in an interview on radio dzMM, his office said in a statement on Saturday, July 23.
Pimentel said he has ironed out the Senate presidency with Cayetano, his chief rival for the post.
“Nag-usap na kami in Alan (Alan and I talked already). We belong to one camp. Everyone is supportive and protective of the President,” said Pimentel.
Pimentel chairs Duterte's party, PDP Laban, while Cayetano belongs to the Nacionalista Party. Cayetano was the running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte in the last elections.
As early as June, Senate President Franklin Drilon had said that Pimentel would be his successor. (READ: Koko Pimentel will be next Senate President)
Pimentel said he will push for the Duterte administration's reform agenda topped by the shift to federalism; the war on crime, drugs and corruption; and the “search for peace” with Muslim and communist rebels.
“We are ready to give this search for peace our legislative support and moral support,” Pimentel said.
He also supports the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes, which is opposed by human rights groups and the Catholic Church.
“This is not only a deterrent but in the words of President Duterte, retribution for the crimes done against the people,” Pimentel said.
Other priorities, he said, are tax reforms, greater infrastructure spending and budget reform that would reflect the President’s priorities. – Rappler.com