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Re-electionist Koko Pimentel brushes of ‘no-el’ fears in 2019: May team na nga PDP-Laban

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Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday allayed fears on a “no-el” or no elections scenario during the mid-term elections in 2019.

“Siguro nagkakaroon ng ugong kasi nga (because sinusulong yung) pederalismo. Akala siguro ng iba, iniisip na pati petsa ng election ay gagalawin. Pero hindi naman po. ‘Yung 2019 masyadong malapit ‘yan para magalaw o mabago ang new constitution,” said Pimentel who is running for re-election in 2019.

This early, Pimentel has named five other bets on Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan slate for 2019: Pimentel said that aside from him, the other candidates will include Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.

What’s more realistic, Pimentel said, is to have the plebiscite, seeking public approval on the planned shift to federal form of government, coincide with the 2019 mid-term polls.

“Actually ‘yan ang pinaka-realistic na timetable, na sana isasakay na natin ang plebisito para sa tao, para sa bagong Constitution. So doon pa lang natin malalaman kung magkakaroon tayo ng bagong Constitution. So tuloy ang elections (in 2019),” he said.

President Duterte has been advocating for the shift to federal form of government to address underdevelopment, especially in some areas in Mindanao.

Federalism is seen to provide more powers to local governments including the power to establish courts, implement business regulations and impose taxes.

Recently, he appointed his PDP-Laban party’s Federalism Institute executive director Jonathan Malaya as assistant secretary at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).