Many would probably think that parlaying personal principle for political expediency will doom Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III’s political career.
Well, not me, and perhaps many more, who thinks that it is about time we start reinventing our manner of choosing candidates to legislate laws in congress and to run the executive branch of our government.
What Koko has shown the Filipino people, when he bolted from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) because he could not “in conscience” run with former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri under the same senatorial ticket in the 2013 elections, is a personal and political sacrifice worthy of respect and acclamation.
UNA is the coalition ticket of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s PDP-Laban and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
The way politics is played in this country where the unscrupulous would sell his soul just so he or she could rub elbows with Erap, a popular and, alas, a known kingmaker in this country, it is not prudent that you turn your back on him and expect to win.
Even Koko’s father, former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., admitted that his son was taking a risk by leaving UNA.
“There is a price to it, naturally. You don’t just ignore Erap (Estrada) who is a proven vote-getter and has the means to spread his causes,” he said.
“But on the other hand, there is also, I think, a huge segment of the electorate which is looking for principled politics. So if you lose voters from the sector who believes that politics is just political gain, you will also gain from the thinking sector.”
This is what we should all be advocating and supporting if we see idealism in Koko’s move.
It must be remembered that Koko missed the first four years of his six-year term after Zubiri was erroneously declared winner of the 12th and final slot in the 2007 senatorial election.
He was able to assume office only in August last year after Zubiri resigned amid an investigation into alleged election fraud five years ago.
In leaving UNA, Pimentel said he wanted to send the message that political alliances “should be based on principles” or at least, “commonality.”
If by “commonality” Koko meant sharing the same advocacy and principles especially against electoral fraud, impunity and the promotion of a more credible and transparent electoral system, then it would do him and the nation good if he aligns himself with the Liberal Party of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino who shares the same aspiration as him.
The Noynoy-Koko alliance could be an auspicious beginning for this country.