Senate President and PDP Laban President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was in Beijing during the weekend to represent both the Philippines and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) in the World Dialogue of Political Parties organized by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
It was the first and largest gathering of political parties around the world, with representatives of political parties from 120 countries present.
“This is an excellent forum for international cooperation in bringing about a better future for all mankind. Political parties are sources of policy. When political parties around the world meet, we can determine the direction/policies of the world,” said Pimentel.
The PDP Laban President met with Chinese President and CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping on Friday, where he relayed the message of President and PDP Laban Chairman Rodrigo Duterte congratulating the former for the successful hosting of the dialogue, thanking him for his support of the Philippines ASEAN chairmanship, and congratulating him for the successful and historic staging of the CPC 19th National Party Congress.
Other dignitaries that met with Pimentel included Zhang Dejiang, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress and a member of the CPCs policymaking Politburo Standing Committee, Wang Huning, First Secretary of the CPCs Central Secretariat and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, and Song Tao, the head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.
Pimentel delivered a speech during the Welcome Banquet of the event on Friday, where he told the assembled delegates, “Our constituents support us because of [our] principles and values. To me, this means we are not here to represent our governments. We are here to represent the ideals of our peoples.”
Discussing the need for political parties to adapt and cooperate with the phenomenon of the global village, Pimentel said, “We can no longer be insular and limit our activities to our own countries. Events in one country will have ripple effects on others. Our nations are in different stages of development, yet are facing common problems.”
During his trip, Pimentel also visited the CPC Central Party School, which trains top government officials and CPC members in matters of governance and public administration.
In the visit, Pimentel expressed hopes of looking to the school as an example of how to train party members on issues of governance and party ideology.
Pimentel said, “Politics in other countries are based on ideology and policy, as put forward by political parties. In our country, our politics is still personality-based. There is no consistency in policy and institutions are weakened, leading to many of the problems that we now face. We must strengthen the party system in the Philippines.”
PDP Laban as a party advocates Theism, Humanism, Enlightened Nationalism, Democratic Socialism, Participatory and Consultative Democracy, and Federalism.
Pimentel said, “A strong party system begins with the individual members of the party. I will report to the Party leaders on my observations in this trip so we can determine how to produce more quality members and instill party discipline among our members. The change to better Philippine politics will begin with PDP Laban.”