Pimentel not part of alliances, movements supporting next Senate President

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Sen. Koko Pimentel is not making any active efforts to be part of the majority or to forge alliances in favor of a certain colleague vying for the Senate presidency, he revealed May 17, 2022, Tuesday. FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — Sen. Koko Pimentel is not making any active efforts to be part of the majority or to forge alliances in favor of a certain colleague vying for the Senate presidency, he revealed Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, Pimentel, a former Senate President himself, said there are already movements happening ahead of the proclamation of new senators and the appointment of Senate leadership posts, but he is not interested in joining any of them.

"Marami na gumagalaw (There are so many parties moving already) except that I'm not so interested in all of these alliances that they are building because I’m open to not belonging to the majority," said Pimentel, who earlier hinted the possibility of joining the minority this year.

The senator refused to comment on who is likely to become the next Senate president.

He noted, however, that it is the Senate which has the power to decide on its next leader, without necessarily relying on the voice of the next president of the country.

"I cannot comment kasi sabi ko (I said) I did not get involved, I will not involve myself in all of these movements to form the Senate majority," he noted. "If I get left behind therefore, I'll belong to the minority, okay lang sa akin (I'm okay with it)."

Pimentel added: "All of us can aspire to be Senate President. Ang tanong lang naman (The question is), at the end of the day is do we have the numbers?"

At least three names have surfaced in the race to the top Senate post: Sen. Cynthia Villar, Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, and reelectionist Sen. Win Gatchalian.

Meanwhile, reelectionist Sen. Risa Hontiveros appears to be the lone member of the opposition, with the rest of her allies retiring or losing a Senate seat.

But will Pimentel join her? He is open to the possibility but for now, the answer is not clear.

"The minority is not technically because you're opposition to the President because the President of the Philippines is outside of consideration on who the Senate President is," he said. "In that sense, I’m flexible enough to belong to the majority or to the minority."

"But right now I'm not really moving so that I will belong to the majority. Yung mga galaw nila, sabi ko ‘hindi na muna ako sasama sa mga galaw niyo’ (I told my colleagues, 'I won't participate in any of your movements)," he said.

Pimentel previously protested the endorsement of winning presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. by a rival faction in the ruling PDP-Laban party. His father, the late Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., co-founded the party to fight the 20-year rule of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, which was marred by corruption, abuses, arrests, and killings.