Amid Senate leadership row, Pimentel tells Villar: Mind your own party
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday, June 4, told Senator Cynthia Villar to mind her own party after she scolded PDP-Laban senators over the Senate leadership issue.
“Friendly conversation lang yun. Ganyan lang si Senator Villar pagka agitated siya. So ang masasabi ko na lang (That's just how Senator Villar is when she's agitated. All I can say is that) she's also the leader of her own party so mind your own party, fix your own party,” Pimentel told reporters, referring to Villar's Nacionalista Party.
“Alam ko naman 'yun (I know that) we have to fix our own party, nobody has to tell us….Mind your own party. Kung may problema ka sa party mo, do not assume na may problem kami sa party namin (If you have problems with your party, do not assume that we also have a problem in our party),” he added.
On Monday, Villar confronted Pimentel and Manny Pacquiao, as the latter was routing the draft resolution expressing support for the continued leadership of Senate President Vicente Sotto III in the 18th Congress.
Pimentel is the party president, while Pacquiao served as the campaign manager of the slate in the 2019 polls.
Villar, who is reportedly replacing Sotto in the next Congress, refused to sign the resolution and told Pacquiao to fix the issue with some of their partymates, who supposedly have qualms about the brewing setup and committee chairmanships.
Villar also scolded Pacquiao for presenting some PDP-Laban senators as Sotto supporters.
"Kasi ikaw dinala mo kay Sotto 'yung kapartido mo, sabi n'yo maggoo-good time lang kayo. Eh biglang sinabi n'yo na supportive sila kay Sotto," she said. (Because you brought your partymates to Sotto. You said you will just have a good time. But all of a sudden you said they are supportive of Sotto.)
In a separate interview, Villar said: "I told them na 'Ikaw, Manny, ikaw ang nagpapa-sign, ayusin mo muna ang partido mo bago ka pumirma diyan. Baka pirma ka nang pirma diyan, iyong mga kapartido mo may complaint. (You, Manny, you are the one asking people to sign it, but you should fix your party first. You're signing that resolution while your partymates have complaints).' In my behalf naman, I cannot sign because we have two newcomers from NP. I want to talk to them about the issues bago ako pumirma (before I sign).”
Aside from Pimentel and Pacquiao, other PDP-Laban members in the next Congress are senators-elect Bong Go, Francis Tolentino, and Ronald dela Rosa.
Go is so far set to head the Senate health committee while Dela Rosa, the committee on public order.
Pimentel wants to retain his chairmanship of the Senate trade panel.
Tolentino is reportedly eyeing 3 committees: blue ribbon, justice, and public services committees. However, these panels are chaired by incumbent senators Richard Gordon and Grace Poe. Gordon and Poe are not keen on giving them up.
It was Senator Panfilo Lacson who drafted the resolution backing Sotto, amid rumors of an ouster plot in the 18th Congress. Tolentino and Marcos made the insinuations in media interviews.
Marcos earlier said there were moves to install Villar as the new Senate leader. Villar earlier denied it.
A simple majority of 13 votes is enough to overhaul the Senate leadership. At least 14 senators have signed the draft resolution. However 3 of them are graduating senators and could no longer participate in the 18th Congress. – Rappler.com