Koko praying Migz out of UNA slate

Posted at 05/11/12 4:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is praying that former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri would not be included in the final senatorial lineup of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for the 2013 elections.

Pimentel, who lodged an election protest against Zubiri in connection with the 2007 elections and eventually won, said he has filed a formal motion objecting to Zubiri's inclusion in the slate.

He said the UNA is meeting on Friday to complete its senatorial lineup after initially announcing the first five, which includes him.

"Habang nagde-decide sila ngayong araw, ako't nagdarasal na huwag nilang isama," Pimentel told reporters, referring to Zubiri.

Zubiri took his oath last week as the newest member of Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), which formed UNA with Pimentel's Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the 2013 elections. Zubiri said he will be part of the coalition's senatorial slate.

Despite calls from coalition members for the two of them to settle their differences, Pimentel is still against being with Zubiri in the same coalition.

"Ang appeal ko lang a coalition partner namin is to be sensitive to the sentiments of their coalition partner," he said.

Zubiri resigned as senator last year amid allegations that he benefited from fraud in the 2007 elections. The Senate Electoral Tribunal then proclaimed Pimentel the real winner in the polls, four years after he filed his protest against Zubiri.