Press Release
June 18, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today corrected news reports saying that he was one of the top 5 senators in terms of absences in the 15th Congress.

The recently re-elected legislator called the report false and misleading. "How can I be one of the top absentee senators when I only have one absence due to sickness during my actual tenure as senator."

A recent news report tagged five senators as having attended the least number of sessions. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago attended only 94 session days; resigned Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, 98; Pimentel III, 102; Senator Panfilo Lacson, 131; and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV attended 135 days.

"Had our friends from media bothered to do a bit of research, they would have realized that in the 113 session days since I assumed office on August 11, 2011 after I was declared as the legitimate winner of the 2007 elections, I attended 102 sessions, was on official mission in 10 session days so I was only absent 1 day. And that was because I was sick."

Pimentel said that the report should have been more careful in labeling him as an absentee senator because he takes his job seriously. "You know when I assumed my shortened term, I really worked hard and hit the ground running so I can catch up with the legislative mill then already processing bills on second and third reading."

He added, "In my particular case, the reporters should not have simply subtracted the number of session days I have attended from the total number of session days of the 15th Congress. They should have considered when I became a senator (only in August 2011) and entitled to attend the sessions. Even if I had gone to the Senate in 2010 and the first half of 2011, I would not have been allowed anyway to attend the sessions, so why should I have been marked absent?"

Pimentel also cited his achievements during his shortened term of 1 year and 5 months saying that aside from serving in the impeachment court he also managed to have 4 pieces of legislation and 1 joint-resolution that he authored signed into law. "I want to make sure na sulit ang boto ng bawat Pilipino sa akin."

Pimentel also assured those who voted for him in the last May 13, 2013 elections that he would work doubly hard as he assumes a full term. "That is my promise, I will not shortchange the Filipino people. Hindi sila madadaya sa tiwalang ipinagkaloob nila sa akin."

Pimentel placed 8th with more than 14.7 million votes.

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