Tue. May 24th, 2022

By Ado Paglinawan

Part 1 of 2

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III  was in the groove responding to Melvin Matibag of the Duterte wing of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, who earlier hinted at a possible expulsion of the “Pambansang Kamao” from the dominant party because of conflict of interest.

Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, the presidential candidate of the Pimentel faction of PDP-Laban, has surfaced as the founder of People’s Champ Movement (PCM) and Matibag is saying that the former is two-timing PDP-Laban.

Pimentel distinguishes “As of today the PCM is a regional party and PDP is a national party. So Pacquiao is not a member of PCM, hence no issue.”

PDP-Secretary General Melvin Matibag, however, asserts “Pimentel admitted Senator Manny was PCM President at the time he was inducted into PDP Laban. That makes him in culpable violation of the PDP Constitutional provision on “Automatic Expulsion” because Pacquiao took an oath of membership or allegiance to another political party while maintaining a membership in another political party even after induction in PDP-Laban.

“In fact, Senator Manny presided over the meeting of PCM, which passed a resolution to convert PCM from a regional political party to a national political party,” Matibag said, “a matter that was consummated last December.”

Matibag was quick to add: “Snapshots of documents being circulated actually show that it was within days of becoming PDP-Laban acting president, that Pacquiao gave up the presidency of the People’s Champ Movement.”

As Koko loves to feign legalismo, these brickbats are destined to end up at the doorsteps of the Commission on Elections for it to do its job of separating weeds from the wheat, a job it has always performed wanting of wisdom and integrity. There are not a few in this country that think the Comelec always decides either under the influence of the strongest power or the weight of the higher bidder.

Nevertheless, lets see how this time the Constitutional Body would decide in favor of the Duterte wing or the Pimentel faction.

Note that the Comelec has been acquiescent on Koko Pimetel’s “third term” as senator, which is violation of the Constitution’s Article VI:

“Section 4. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term of which he was elected.

Nobody has yet brought this issue to the Supreme Court, another potential quo warranto case that Solgen Pepe Calida can easily pick up if Koko insists on acting like a spoiled brat.

I wonder how much it would take for the Comelec to sustain Pimentel, now that the head of the Duterte wing, is president of the Philippines.

Pacquiao was ousted in July as PDP-Laban president in a party assembly and was replaced by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, a political ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, while Melvin Matibag was elected secretary general.

Before their election, all positions except that of the Chairman that belonged to President Duterte was declared vacant by the Assembly. What exactly is Pimentel’s position now is rather nebulous.

Koko Pimentel, who is acting as if he were still executive vice chairman, says, “These people moving against Senator MP are expelled members of the party and they are doing it under the auspices of rogue power grabbers who are not recognized by the legitimate party.”

This sounds like an authoritarian owner expecting the Comelec to regard the PDP-Laban as a single-proprietorship. After all Koko’s father, the late senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., founded PDP-Laban.

Wasn’t this single-proprietor, who in the first place, appointed Manny Pacquiao as “acting president”?

This hubris, however, would not suffice for me to stop sharing former Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao’s sentiments of not commenting on Senator Manny Pacquiao while he faces yet another boxing challenge in Las Vegas.

This despite Pacquiao’s  cantakerous statement saying that the President is not doing ecought to protect our interests in the South China   Seas.

This despite his allegations against government of “missing” billions of social amelioration funds for the Covid-19 pandemic.

This despite his wild accusation that corruption is thrice the intensity during this administration.

I did not have to lose my patience at all. All Filipinos wish the “Pambansa Kamao” a clean victory. We are all Manny’s fans, one way or another.

Afterall, Pacquiao’s careless political attacks against the president meted its expected consequences even before the boxer-senator left for the United States.

 Pacquiao’s approval ratings, says Publicus, sank to a negative 2% (37 less 35)and his trust rating smashed the cellars at negative 14% (25 less 39).

A 54% plunge in approval rating (66 down to 12) and a 47% dive in trust rating  (53 down to 16) is never advised without a parachute.

I have not seen stars smashing towards planet earth since Fidel Ramos left the country to go to Zurich in the middle of the 1992 presidential campaign.

Pacquiao before he took the plane out was already scrubbing the cellars. His approval rating sank by 29%, disapproval perked by 23%. His high trust ratings also sank by 27% while his low trust rating jumped by 23%.

Until two newspaper reports blew my ceiling, I was keeping my peace.

First from Pimentel himself telling media that “they only want to distract MP from his upcoming world championship boxing bout. “How unpatriotic for some Filipinos to act this way and not wish the success and victory of a fellow Filipino in a world championship event.”

Pundits are asking was it the Fred Perry abs or the Gucci buckle or the Feng Shui bracelets in young stunning Ron Munsayac that caught Koko’s eyes?

Pimentel’s dog provided the second vitriole.

Ron Munsayac, using the title “PDP-Laban executive director” seconded, “the group seeking to expel Pacquiao from the party is distracting the senator in his preparation for a world title fight in Las Vegas on August 22.

Popeye, at this point would have exclaimed “Well, blow me down!”

I mean where is all this braggadocio of Koko and his K9 coming from? Their “boss” is out there in the United States on “country” time.

I mean just because Pacquiao is the greatest boxer of all times, could he declare a “time-out” anytime on his terms? Well not by boxing rules that say “rounds shall be of 3 minute duration with an interval between each round of 1 minute.”

Any boxer who does not fight after a break of one minute will be declared to have thrown a towel in the ring signifying a loss by default.

So how long can one be out the Senate, in the midst of a pandemic at that? Now Koko uses the political remarks of his detractors as “unpatriotic”?

Just what is patriotism to you, Mr. Pimentel? Certainly not your father’s yellow vidictiveness.

Are you calling Manny Pacquiao’s bout against Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas, an issue of patriotism? Or he is just doing his best stuff in order to make megamoney?

Well that is what a blogger Lan Cabugason is viralling in his FB meme: 

And who is this wet-behind-the-ears Ron Musayac lecturing us on Philippine politics? Definitely he can be no better than Jorge “Bolet” Banal or Barry Gutierrez to “Madumb” Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo? That’s the lowest I could put the bar, yet I doubt if he could already reach it.

Don’t get me wrong folks. I love Manny Pacquiao, he is more than a world-renowned boxer, on his own – a monument already.  The Pambansang Kamao makes us all proud.

But only in boxing, as good faith and best wishes alone do not a president make.

In politics, especially the type we have in the Philippines, the road to hell is peppered with good intentions. Didn’t the late Benigno Simeon (BS) Cojuangco Aquino serve as a Shakepearean village idiot in governance, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!”

Wasn’t his slogan “Daang Matuwid”.  At first he could not make the trains come on time. Worse, a few more months and the trains were not moving at all. Worst, he could not face up to the challenge that if he were wrong about the trains, he agreed to be run to death by it.

And hello, from Cory her mother to his watch, all utilities, power and water, have been systematically transferred from national control to the monopoly and oligopoly of oligarchs and the ruling elite? This has even extended to toll roads, with the consumers always at the wrong end of the stick, mulcted continuously at wit’s end.

Well in fairness, some of Pacquiao’s good friends came to me more than a year ago, asking for professional help. Obviously, they did not want their man compared to the former president.

I drew up a concept paper that could be an option for his presidential ambitions. I developed a philosophy based on the best I know about him. I engaged a study group for visioning and missioning. I crafted a platform and sketched roadmaps. I sorted issues that would most likely qualify as governance priorities alongside a strategic plan for a balanced develoipment of the country.

I am willing to help anyone who wants to genuinely serve the people of this country.

But the problem is the student never appeared for lessons.

The problem is why would I even expect he would come to classes? Even in the Senate he has not been forthcoming in listening to the whys and wherefores of governance debates necessary for sound legislation.

The next article goes deeper behind the scenes of Pacman’s politics.

(To be continued on Thursday, August 19: Party Pooping Pacquiao is Bong Bong’s Boom!)

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