DEPUTY Speaker and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (BUHAY) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Tuesday appealed to the personalities involved in the power struggle in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to refrain from belittling and diminishing the important role that former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. and the party played in the country’s fight for the restoration of democracy.
“Nene was one of the most genuine and real patriots, he never worried about his own safety and comfort,” Atienza said.
“Wag niyo namang kaladkarin sa putikan ang alaala ni Nene Pimentel sa inyong bangayan at pagnanais na mapasainyo ang liderato ng Partido na siya at si Ninoy Aquino at iba pang mga lumaban sa diktadurya upang maibalik ang ating kalayaan at demokrasya. I knew the man and worked with him in the struggle for the restoration of democracy as one of the 60 opposition members of the Batasang Pambansa,” Atienza stressed.
“I witnessed the genuineness of his desire to restore our rights and freedom which we are now enjoying. Wag niyong dumihan, maliitin at baliwalain ang kontribusyon ni Nene,” he said.
“Nung magwo-walkout kami sa Batasan, a great number of the elder members of the opposition cautioned us against doing so, saying that we just might find ourselves expelled. When I was vocal about our plan to walkout, Nene came to me and said, Lits, tuloy mo yang iyong plano. Wag mong pansinin yang mga sigurista sa ating grupo. Ano ngayon kung sipain tayo? We will be kicked out of the Batasan but we will end up in the hearts of Filipinos agreeing with our struggle for full restoration of our democracy. And he assured me that he will join the walkout. In the end, in fairness to all, all 60 opposition MP’s finally walked out,” Atienza said.
On Monday, Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged all critics of Pacquiao to give the boxing champion peace of mind while he is training for this fight against American Errol Spence Jr. next month.
Rodriguez called on Pacquiao’s critics and supporters and the people in general “to unite for his victory, as he is fighting for the Filipino nation and the Filipino flag,”
Pacquiao is acting president of the fractious PDP-Laban.
His faction, which includes Senate colleague Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr., has ousted Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi as vice chairman.
In return, the group of Cusi has elected the energy secretary as party president in place of Pacquiao.
The Filipino icon is training in Los Angeles, California prior to his fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 21 against Spence.
Rodriguez called on the two factions to elevate their leadership dispute to the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court, all after the fight.