Speech of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
State of the Party Address (PDP Laban)

Manila Peninsula Hotel, Makati City
February 27, 2018


Speaker of the House of Representatives and PDP Laban Secretary General Pantaleon Alvarez, Energy Secretary and PDP Laban Vice Chairman Alfonso Cusi, Members of the Cabinet, to all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to all governors, mayors, our other local government officials, to our special guests, Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (Quo Ye-Tso) and the members of the delegation from the Communist Party of China, and to all members of PDP Laban, good evening and a happy 36th Anniversary to all of us!

According to our Founder, my father, former Senate President Nene Pimentel: “Our Party was built to serve as a bridge over the troubled waters of martial law so that the youth of our generation could one day cross over in safety to the land where freedom, peace, justice would one day reign supreme.”

We have come a long way indeed. Our first Basic Membership Seminars were held under banana trees. I recall one trainer drowning in Macajalar Bay on his way back from Camiguin Island.

We are now the ruling party in the Philippines where we are building a society which provides a comfortable, fair, and safe life for all Filipinos.

Our Party began with a handful of members which grew to 600 in its very first assembly in 1982. PDP Laban began as a “non-traditional party” with some “unusual” fundamental principles like belief in God and belief in the dignity of the human being.

Fast forward to today. Although Party membership has ballooned to 300,000 members with 2 Senators, 122 Members of the House of Representatives, 38 Governors, 23 Vice Governors, 540 Mayors, and 316 Vice Mayors, we still believe that we are a “non-traditional party” for our Basic Principles and Objectives have remained the same for the past 36 years, to wit:

  • THEISM – faith in GOD, a Supreme Being;

  • HUMANISM – human dignity and respect;

  • ENLIGHTENED NATIONALISM – the Philippine national interest above all;

  • DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM – equitable distribution of wealth and equal opportunity for all and stewardship of talents and national resources;

  • CONSULTATIVE AND PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY – collective planning and decision-making;

  • FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT – where the problems and concerns of the ordinary Filipino can be heard and acted upon promptly by their elected leaders.

For the rapid expansion of our Party Membership, we have to be thankful to a lot of our dedicated members, like our lecturers, our recruiters, our local leaders, our Membership Committee members, our Education Committee members, and our cadres. p style="text-align: justify; width: 780px;" class="style2">But allow me to specially thank our Party Chairman, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for the strong and visionary leadership he is providing for our country. He is the best recruiter to our Party. Mr. President, your Party will stand behind you all the way as we implement our Program for Change in the whole country.

Thank you too to our Party Secretary General, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, for turning PDP Laban into the powerhouse party that it is now in the House of Representatives, with more than 120 members. He is also instrumental in recruiting in the grassroots, tirelessly making the rounds around the country to attend oath-taking ceremonies for our new members.

Let me give credit too to our Party Vice Chairman, energetic Secretary Al Cusi, for being the “organization man” in our Party. Secretary Cusi has been designated to head our Committee on Party Discipline. Through discipline, we will get quality members!

Let us take stock of our performance as the party in power.

Let us audit our delivery of the promises made by our Party’s Presidential candidate, now President Duterte, in the 2016 election campaign:

One, all-out war against crime, drugs, and corruption. This is already on-going and will continue to the very last day of the Duterte Administration. Check!

Two, income tax relief. Already done. The first P250,000 annual personal income of every Filipino is now exempt from income tax and the rates for income tax have been adjusted to reasonable and realistic levels under RA No. 10963. Check!

Three, increased pay for our military and our law enforcers. Already done under Joint Resolution No. 1, Series of 2018. Check!

Four, free irrigation. Already done under RA No. 10969. Check!

Five, free tuition. Already done under RA No. 10931. Check!

Six, independent foreign policy. We have veered away from a foreign policy dominated by a single power, and instead pursued a more multilateral approach where we pursue our own interests while remaining as a “friend to all nations”. We have remained friends with the US and Europe while our relations with China, Russia, Japan, and the ASEAN nations are at their all-time best.

PDP Laban contributed to our all-time best relations with China and Russia through our party-to-party relations and cooperation agreements with the Communist Party of China and the United Russia. In fact, we are celebrating the 1st Anniversary of our Cooperation Agreement with the CPC along with our anniversary.

So, independent foreign policy, Check!

Seven, pursuit of Peace. For the Mindanao situation, this is already ongoing. The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is now under consideration by both Houses of Congress. Unfortunately, the Peace talks with the Communist movement has been suspended.

Eight, Endo. There will soon be a proposal about Endo from the Executive Branch. In the Senate, our Committee on Labor is ready with its own proposal on how to end Endo. The House is also ready with its own version.

Nine, Federalism. We are moving forward. There are now proposals in both Houses on how best to implement our Basic Objective of Federalizing the Philippines.

Nine promises, six already fulfilled, all done within one year and a half (1½) of a six-year term! What a way to start a term! We did it because of team work. This is what we can deliver because our Team is united, not by personalities, but by ideology. We are all moving in the same direction, guided by common principles.

Of the 3 yet to be fulfilled campaign promises, one is our Party’s Basic Objective – FEDERALISM.

In PDP Laban, we are not after cosmetic changes. We want real change; structural change like Federalism! We believe that adopting the Federal System of Government will (1) accelerate the economic development and progress of the Regions, (2) equalize living standards across the country, and (3) “stabilize” the nation, thus allowing us to attain the comfortable, fair, and safe life that we want for all Filipinos!

So tonight, as we celebrate our 36th Anniversary and the 1st Anniversary of our Cooperation Agreement with the Communist Party of China, let me leave you with this message: Federalism is an idea whose time has come! The fight to adopt the Federal System of Government in our beloved country is still on-going. We cannot relax, there is still much work to be done ahead.

At this moment, this is our struggle. And we will succeed in this fight for so long as we remain united and bound by our principles.

With the help of our friends, with the help of our Party, I see a very bright future for the Philippines!

Congratulations to all of us!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang PDP Laban! Maraming salamat po!