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ROUGH CUTS| Reactions from local PDP pioneers

Last Monday, we wrote about two personalities with the potential to become achievers in their own rights. One was about the possibility of Davaoeno-Ilonggo Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria being appointed Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP) once Gen. Rodolfo Azurin retires on April 24 this year. The other was about a woman likely to succeed Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel in the PDP political group and even possibly in the Senate.

Koko Pimentel’s term will end come 2025, and as of now, he is the only remaining bastion of the proud PDP in the Upper Chamber. Koko’s father, the late then Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who hails from Cagayan de Oro City and a proud Mindanaoan although Ilocano by blood, was the founder of PDP that in the beginning had tied up with Lakas ng Bayan (Laban) of the Aquinos.

The first person we wrote about is among the four or five, at the most, in the running for the Director General post of the PNP. While his rivals may have the top credential most of which is their regional base, Dubria has his solid performance in his previous assignments as his primary qualification.

But then again, appointment to such a position in the PNP is a matter of Presidential trust in the candidate. Performance comes in second only. That is one primordial consideration that normally goes with the choice of who will be the next PNP national head. But of course, no one really knows how much the President, as appointing authority, knows about the lieutenant general from Davao and Negros. But there is no doubt that the long years of Dubria’s service in the police is an open book, and the President is likely to closely look into it when the opportune time – even starting as early as now – comes.

Meanwhile, we have the wife of Sen. Pimentel Kathryna, as the second person we wrote about as one with massive potential as a possible PDP member to take a crack in the Senatorial race and may possibly pull a surprise to keep the PDP oil burning in the midst of the juggernaut that occurred during the last 2022 elections by candidates representing several parties or political organizations but clearly allied with the administration.

That item in our column which we based on a social media post we read some two weeks back, was to us just one of the many ideas that usually come to mind when we are short of local issues to write about.

We did not expect that the Kathryna Pimentel item would generate reactions from people in Davao City who claim they were among those who did not hesitate to Join Koko’s father Aquilino Jr.when the late Mindanaoan lawmaker invited them to join him in the new political party. The reactors to our item claim they were with local personalities like the late Davao City OIC mayor Zaf Respicio, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon, the newly demised former Davao de Oro governor Joe Caballero, Bal Sator of Davao del Norte, and many more names who the reactors claimed were pioneering members of the PDP in the Davao Region.

These people, who said that they are regular readers of our column in this paper, further commented in conversations we have over the telephone and in e-mails that it would be a pity if Koko will bow out from the Senate with no one from his Party representing the group in the Upper House.

The callers and e-mail communicators told us that when they read about Koko Pimentel’s wife being a potential replacement for her husband in the Senate, their hope for the continuation of a PDP representation will keep the party intact even as they said that there are people both inside and outside of government who claim affiliation with the PDP. Our callers and commenters said they believe that most of those claiming PDP membership actually represent the “adulterated” PDP.

One reactor who requested that his name be kept secret for the time being said that as of this period, the most logical person who could possibly carry the torch of the genuine PDP in either the Senate or the Lower House is none other than Koko’s wife Kathryna who has been supporting her husband through thick and thin in the battle for party’s survival when the advantage takers who joined the group for political expedience jumped ship in search for a more viable new political vehicle. This splinter group eventually claimed to be the more dominant and legitimate political party, the new PDP.

And when we told them that the Filipinos, including Mindanaoans, may not be supportive of Kathryna Yu Pimentel because she is hardly known in the political and social circles, they hastened to add more information about the Pimentel woman.

According to them, while Senator Koko was fighting a lonely battle to save his father’s party, his wife silently worked for him on the sidelines. Aside from running the PDP social development arm, the PDP Cares Foundation, Inc., she is an active breastfeeding advocate, being a mother of three herself.

The PDP members from Davao further said that Kathryna Pimentel, aside from being Senator Koko’s wife, runs her own
restaurant wellness businesses. But she still finds time to represent her husband in undertakings normally done on select occasions, like launching of advocacies where women are the more credible role models.

Unfortunately, we failed to ask them if, aside from Koko, other Pimentel siblings exist to take the former’s place in the party. That was one Mea Culpa we had.

But the one thing that these leading and pioneering Davao PDPs manifestation of their complete trust that Koko’s wife Kathryna’s strong potential to be successful in the arena of politics is her personal achievements despite her being totally independent and a low-key wife of a leading politician.

We can only hope that the local PDPs are right in their assertion, as we ourselves would also want the PDP to continue its relevance in Philippine politics.

And if the surviving contemporaries of the late Senate President Nene Pimentel are bullish about a Kathryna Pimentel taking her husband’s place, then so be it.


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