Pimentel asks Estrada: 'Please forgive me'

June 29, 2012 10:42 pm 

MANILA, June 29 – Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III expressed regret on Friday over not having responded earlier to former President Joseph Estrada’s wish for him and former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri to meet to thresh out the issue regarding the former's candidacy in the 2013 midterm elections.

”Please forgive me for having delayed that meeting because I had to consult with my party mates and supporters. I come to see you today hoping you would understand the position I have taken on the issue of whether or not Migz Zubiri and I should run in 2013 as common senatorial candidates of the UNA,” Pimentel said in his letter to his ninong (godfather) Estrada.

Pimentel acknowledged that Estrada’s support would be a great help in his senatorial candidacy in 2013, and that the former president had helped him in his quest for vindication in his electoral protest against Zubiri.

But Pimentel told Estrada that “my conscience says it would be inconsistent with my concept of what is right and wrong if I run on the same ticket under UNA. I protested against Migz for cheating me in many parts of the country, especially in Maguindanao.”

Pimentel added in his letter: “Ninong, please do not think that I refuse to forgive Migz, because I have already forgiven him a long time ago for his having fraudulently deprived me of my rightful place in the Senate. That is on the personal level. But I cannot forgive him on behalf of our supporters who voted for me but whose votes by the tens of thousands were nullified because of the massive cheating in the 2007 elections of which Migz was, at the very least, the willing beneficiary.”

The senator explained that he would “consider all options available to me that accord principally with what is good for our country and people and with what I can accept in good conscience.”

Pimentel told Estrada that he wanted “to campaign with a happy heart.”

“The issue is not about you or Vice President Binay. It is about consistency in my fight against electoral fraud,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel thanked Estrada for “all the goodness you have generously extended to me over the years. I hope that you will indeed understand and forgive me for this decision and find it in your heart to somehow support me or, at the very least, wish me success in my candidacy.”

Pimentel categorically stated that he will not be running on the same ticket in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) with Zubiri.

“I will not accept any nomination for me to run as one of the candidates for senator under the UNA. But to be very clear about it, I am not leaving my party, the PDP-Laban, as I intend to run as a PDP-Laban candidate,” Pimentel said.

UNA is a coalition of Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay’s PDP-Laban that adopted Zubiri as one of the senatorial candidates in 2013 despite strong opposition from Pimentel. (PNA) scs/jfm


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