UNA leaves Koko in the dark
MANILA, Philippines - The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice-President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada will not stop Senator Koko Pimentel if he decides to leave the coalition.
Pimentel is unhappy with UNA's decision to include his rival in the 2007 elections, Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, in its 2013 senatorial slate.
Pimentel still has a last minute meeting with Estrada to discuss his future with the coalition.
The senator admitted on Tuesday that he is having a hard time deciding.
"I need to do some consultations, as well as some prayers. I need to say some prayers to guide me," said Pimentel, who is currently president of PDP-Laban.
"Basta whatever will happen, I will have to talk to UNA leadership and members. Puwede ko silang schedule per meeting, kausapin si Erap and Binay before I make my decisions," he said.
"Nung binuo namin ang UNA, wala pa naman si Migz sa picture eh. Dumating siya ngayon, dito na kami nagkagulo," he told Lynda Jumilla in an interview on "ANC Presents: Road to 2013."
Pimentel denied that he has struck a deal with the Liberal Party which is willing to include the senator in its line-up.
"I will never leave PDP-Laban. It's been my only party since 1982. A possible solution, I will be running as a PDP-Laban candidate. I can be adopted," he said.
"The PDP-Laban and LP have already a history of working together. LP's openess to adopt me will not be considered when I make the final decision regarding UNA," he added.
Pimentel insisted that he cannot have Zubiri as a runningmate under UNA. "Kung ako'y aalis ng UNA, it's because of the principled stand that I have that I cannot run with Migz Zubiri who cheated in the 2007 elections. Ang mukha ng victim ako, but the actual victim ay ang taong bayan."
"I have forgiven Migz Zubiri," he said. "When I see him in an affair in public, nilalalapitan ko yan, kinakamayan ko at kinakausap ko. That's the definition of forgiveness."
"Hindi ko alam kung nagbago na ang ibig sabihin ng salitang forgive kasi ang gusto mangyari ng leadership ng UNA, sa aking mata ha, is also to reward him. Kasi when I run with him, in effect sa mata ko, I am rewarding him. Pag magkasama kayo sa slate hindi ba ang ibig sabihin nun ay ineendorso ninyo ang isang isa kaya nga kayo magkasama," he explained. - with reports from ANC