Press Release
March 20, 2013

Koko: "Heed message of Pope Francis; fight for the poor"

As the world's political and religious leaders celebrated the installation of Pope Francis I in Rome, Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III urged leaders "of the world and the Philippines to heed the call of the new pontiff and "consecrate our public office towards the defense of those who have been cheated out of their rights and future."

Pimentel, who is a devout Catholic, said in a statement that while many commentators talk about the enormous challenges facing former Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio as leader of the Catholic Church, "we, political leaders, should also reflect on the challenges we face as public servants and how we can genuinely serve the poor and oppressed."

Pimentel added: "The humility shown by Pope Francis is a message to all of us. We are elected only because of the mandate of the people whom we should serve. Those of us seeking office in the May elections should be reminded that we are not running to gain power but to be humbled by the power of the people."

The senator also expressed his wish for the new Pope to visit the Philippines in the future. He explained that the country is the biggest Catholic nation in Asia and Filipinos are devoutly loyal to their faith. "I hope he finds time to visit just like Pope John Paul II who visited us twice as Pope."

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