Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday lashed back anew at Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan over the latter’s comparison of President Rodrigo Duterte to “authoritarian ideologies” of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
In an interview in Manila, Pimentel said Duterte has never even interfered nor dictated upon Congress.
“Tumatawag ba sa amin o sa akin yan? Hindi. Nagdidikta ba sa amin yan? Hindi. Eh yun [ang] first few steps of an authoritarian regime, hindi pa niya ginagawa so how can we say na papunta tayo doon? Wala,” Pimentel said.
“Iniinsulto niya yung ideologies ng party…The ideology of the President is the ideology of the party so the party’s ideology is very far from the martial law, Marcosian ideology. We were born during Martial Law to precisely fight the Martial Law regime,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel’s father, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., founded the PDP-Laban, which now has President Duterte as its chairman. The elder Pimentel was a political detainee during the Martial Law regime.
On Thursday, Pangilinan urged President Duterte to “rethink” his plan to replace elected barangay officials with appointees.
In a statement, he said Duterte’s plan reminds him of the “authoritarian ideologies” of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“To further postpone barangay elections and opt to instead appoint the barangay officials means to impinge on the people’s right to vote and choose their leaders,” Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), said.
“It is worrisome that the President should even contemplate such a rash decision that encroaches dangerously into authoritarian ideologies reminiscent of those harbored and exemplified by the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos,” he added.
Pimentel, meanwhile, reminded Duterte that appointing barangay officials needs to be backed up by law.