Press Release
October 6, 2022

Excerpts from Interview with Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III The Big Story by One News

Q: On the Singapore trip of President Marcos. Do you agree with ES Bersamin to even ask about the President's trip to Singapore is irrelevant?

Pimentel: No, when he appeals to defend the budget of the OP, we will ask him that question. Sino ang gumastos sa trip sa F1 race. That is very important to know. We all know na hindi siya official visit. But was it an official trip? That's the question. Huwag na niyang pangunahan why we are asking the source of funds. It is important to know. If it's personal, there might be only one follow-up question. If it's official, there will be many follow-up questions.

Q: Pwede po ba talaga yung "break". If this was a personal trip, what should be the code of conduct for officials?

Pimentel: Syempre, we all need time to rest and to recharge. Ang question ko na lang, you are entitled to your break time but did you really have to go abroad to get your rest? Because, ang sab inga ni ES Bersamin, he is president and he is president 24/7, 7 days a week. So, we need him to be accessible and we need to know where he is. If you are going to take a break outside of your territorial jurisdiction, you should inform somebody so contingency plans are in place.

Q: At the end of this week, the Marcos administration will mark its 100 days. What's your take on the first 100 days?

Pimentel: This is really a very difficult time to govern. The world's situation is very unpredictable, if not chaotic. Ano sana tayo, eyes on the ball. Let us not be distracted. Let us give our responsibility 100 percent of our focus and attention. You are entitled to a break pero, can you not do it within your country? Must you go abroad just to have a break?

Q: Given everything that has happened, do you believe that President Marcos has his eyes on the ball?

Pimentel: From the reports that we get, I believe he's trying his best pero bawas-bawasan na lang natin itong mga kilos or activities which give us a hint of some insensitivity to what our people are going through right now. Mahirap ang buhay ngayon. Dito na lang sa Metro Manila, ilan ang beggars na nakikita natin. Being a leader, I think we need to feel for our people. Let us try to feel the pain and the difficulties that they are going through.

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