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Pimentel allays concerns over PDP-Laban ties with China's reds.

Senate President Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel III shrugged off on Wednesday concerns raised over the ruling party's partnership with the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) celebrated last Tuesday its 36th founding anniversary, marked the first year of its cooperation agreement with the CPC, and launched a book about Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Pimentel and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the party president and secretary general, respectively, attended the event along with some 200 party members and a CPC delegation led by Vice Minister Guo Yezhou.

Although the ruling party has control over the executive and legislative branches, it continues to be a 'nontraditional party' as its objectives and guiding principles have remained the same, said Pimentel.

'Bad taste in mouth'

PDP-Laban's ideology is based on its guiding principles of theism, humanism, enlightened nationalism, democratic socialism, consultative and participatory democracy and federalism.

The Liberal Party, however, issued a statement assailing the joint celebration, saying it 'leaves a bad taste in the mouth.'

The opposition party pointed to the 'most aggressive military buildup by China in the disputed waters of West Philippine Sea, with the Philippine government disturbingly quiet.'

'Building our networks'

Sought for comment, Pimentel said: 'The PDP-Laban can choose who to partner with, especially if we were invited [to be partners]. Other political parties have their own networks. We are also developing our own networks.'

Aside from the CPC, PDP-Laban has also partnered with United Russia, the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ruling party of Vietnam has also invited PDP-Laban to ink a cooperation agreement.

Pimentel dismissed the possibility that his party would adhere to CPC principles, explaining that their cooperation agreement only involved activities such as exchanges with high-level party officials and holding roundtable discussions over subjects of common interest.

'[The cooperation agreement] did not say that we need to copy the principles of the other side,' he clarified.

The Senate leader cited previous speeches made by Xi in which China's leader had stated that his country 'has no interest in exporting to other countries their system' because its system was only applicable in China.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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