Press Release
January 15, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should stop insisting on staying in office until 2010 on the basis of a spurious electoral victory in 2004.

Pimentel said Mrs. Arroyo does not deserve to remain in office any day longer since she stole the presidency through massive electoral fraud that is supported by incontrovertible documentary and testimonial evidence. He said Malacañang has been trying to suppress such evidence through its dictatorial control over the House of Representatives and Commission on Elections and its gag order on officials of the executive branch.

He also blasted the proposal of Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. for a French-style transition parliamentary government under which Mrs. Arroyo would remain president with undiminished powers but share some of the powers with a prime minister.

De Venecias formula for sharing of powers is unacceptable. To share stolen power is like sharing stolen goods. And it makes one as guilty as the original thief, he said.

Pimentel said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should heed the public clamor for her to step down now and prepare her exit plan, instead of concocting trickeries to hang on to her office such as a so-called three-year transition period from presidential to parliamentary system of government.

He said even Mrs. Arroyos staunch ally and senior adviser, former President Fidel V. Ramos, apparently doubts the legitimacy of the Arroyo presidency. He said this is clearly indicated by Ramos insistence on shortening the Presidents term but stepping down in mid-2007, thereby giving her a graceful exit.

Mr. Ramos support may be one of the reasons for preventing the collapse of the Arroyo presidency. But its obvious that the former president is worried that the country will remain mired in political instability and economic shambles for as long as Mrs. Arroyo stays in power because of her lack of credibility and moral authority to govern, Pimentel said.

The lone senator from Mindanao also criticized the President and leaders of the ruling Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats for playing deaf and dumb to the sentiments of the Filipino people over the issue of cutting short Arroyos term and of Charter-Change.

Pimentel cited the findings of the fourth quarter survey (Nov. 27-Dec. 4) of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showing that 54 percent Filipinos want President Arroyo to step down before 2010 and she should have resigned in 2005.

The survey also indicated that 54 percent of Filipinos would support Charter Change provided that Mrs. Arroyo should quit first.

The opposition senator said the President and her partymates blatant disregard for the public sentiments betrays their arrogance and determination to perpetuate themselves in power no matter what it costs.

News Latest News Feed