Pimentel hints readiness to serve Noynoy administration

June 24, 2010 9:56 pm 

MANILA, June 24 — With his desire to continue public service after ending his term in the Senate, veteran senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. hinted his readiness to accept offer to join the cabinet of incoming President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino Jr.

”What I can share with you is that fact that I am ready to serve our people in whatever capacity,” Pimentel said when asked at the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday if he is open for possible cabinet post in the Aquino administration.

Pimentel, however, clarified there are still no formal offer from the President-elect whom he met and talked during Aquino’s proclamation in Congress last June 9. ”There are still no formal offer. I’m not free to talk about anything because they might deny it,” he said.

Pimentel served as minister of local government under former President Corazon Aquino, mother of President-elect Noynoy.

The lawmaker from Mindanao said the President-elect have big challenges ahead, including his promise to end graft and corruption as what he promised during the last election campaign period.

”One his more attractive slogans: Kung Walang Corruption, Walang Mahirap. So, in precedent of that is the elimination of the corruption part and corruption is mostly done by people in government who have the power to dispense which certain regulations,” he said. Pimentel said there is no need for the next administration to impose new taxes and instead, strengthen the tax collection.

”Like the BIR (bureau of internal revenue) hitting its target, the Bureau of Customs also hitting its target, and all the revenue collecting agencies of the government doing their thing. That means no more under-the-table deals with taxpayers. Whoever should pay tax, should pay it,” Pimentel said.

”All that it really needs is determination and sincerity on the part of the government authorities. The only problem is really the corruption part of it that prevents people from doing their job,” he added. (PNA) LOR/jfm

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