Press Release
November 29, 2009


Lawyer Gwendolyn "Gwen" Pimentel, will run for senator under the Nacionalista Party to address the problem of lack of Mindanao representation in the 24-man Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., said he understands that need for Mindanao representation in the Upper Chamber was the primary consideration in the decision of Sen. Manuel Villar, NP president and standard bearer in the 2010 elections, to draft Gwen Pimentel (from Northern Mindanao), along with Atty. Adel Tamano (from Central Mindanao), in the l2-man Nacionalista senatorial lineup.

"Being a Muslim, Atty. Tamano will represent not only Mindanao but more specifically Muslim Mindanao. So we need somebody from Mindanao who is a non-Muslim to balance the representation from Mindanao," Pimentel said.

Gwen, as Gwendolyn is fondly called by family members and friends, has served as chief-of-staff in the Office of Sen. Pimentel. She is a holder of a law degree and master in public administration from the University of the Philippines.

"If you are talking of capability to discharge the responsibilities of a senator, I think she is very much qualified for the job, specially since she has worked in the Senate for a long time," the veteran parliamentarian said.

Pimentel, whose term as senator will expire on June 30, 2010, said Gwen intends to pursue a number of advocacies if she gets elected to the Senate such as environmental protection, child and youth welfare, the Mindanao peace process, human rights and electoral reforms.

Gwen, oldest child of Pimentel and his wife Lourdes, has also worked for several years as solicitor in the Office of the Solicitor General.

On the political plan of his son, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, the senator from Mindanao said he understands that he has opted not to run for senator in next year's elections in order to pursue his protest with the Senate Electoral Tribunal in connection with the May, 2007 senatorial polls.

"I understand Koko's decision. As I father, I do not insist on what my children should do because they are mature enough to decide what is best for themselves," he said.

Pimentel underscored the importance for SET to resolve and dispose of the two and a half year electoral dispute in the wake of the massacre of 57 civilians in Maguindanao that have been blamed on political warlords in the province who have entrenched themselves in power through the manipulation of the outcome elections including the 2007 senatorial contest.

He said Koko should concentrate on his electoral protest considering that he has scored a huge lead in the recount of disputed votes and the case is almost in the homestretch.

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