Press Release
March 20, 2013

Koko defends PNoy's presence in campaign sorties

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III yesterday defended President Benigno Aquino III from criticisms that he is focusing too much on the election campaign and not on managing the affairs of the country.

Pimentel argued that as leader of the Liberal Party and the administration coalition dubbed Team PNoy, the "President has naturally a lot of stake in ensuring that the reforms he has started will be sustained in terms of legislation."

"Why is UNA (United Nationalist Alliance) so obsessed with the President's schedule? PNoy knows how to do multi-tasking. It's not as if he joins in the campaign and does nothing else," the re-electionist senator explained.

The senator from Mindanao was reacting to criticisms from senatorial candidates from UNA that the president has been neglecting the Sabah issue because he spends most of his time endorsing his administration's coalition candidates.

Pimentel argued that he is certain Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are not neglecting their jobs even when they are busy campaigning for UNA candidates. "PNoy and VP Binay have high job approval ratings according to surveys so they must be doing their jobs just fine."

Binay and Enrile form two-thirds of the triumvirate leadership of UNA. Former President Joseph Estrada is the third.

Pimentel added that the President's presence in the campaign sorties also allows the people to understand the policy agenda and platform of the administration. "Kapag kasama namin si Presidente hindi naman siya sumasayaw lang ng 'gangnam' or 'harlem shake,'" Pimentel said referring to current dance craze that has been the staple of UNA campaign sorties. "He talks to our people about the issues of governance so in effect it's political communication and education."

"We at Team PNoy are running under the President's 'tuwid na daan' (straight path) principle. It is essential that our economic gains and the reforms against corruption that he has started be sustained. We cannot go back to the previous culture of cheating and corruption where the cheaters are rewarded and the people are robbed of their rights," Pimentel said.

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