Press Release
February 25, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos declaration of a state of national emergency has no basis under the 1987 Constitution as he revealed an oppositions plan to question it before the Supreme Court.

Pimentel said what the President did by issuing Proclamation 1017 is to exercise martial law powers without mentioning the term martial law to avoid the constitutional requirement of concurrence by Congress.

She has purposely avoided the term martial law but the powers that she is now using are those of martial law, he said.

With these extraordinary powers in her hands, Pimentel said the freedoms of the press, of free speech and assembly, and other civil liberties can be curtailed by the government.

Pimentel branded the imposition of emergency rule as an act of deception on the people.

Reacting to reports that certain opposition leaders are among the personalities to be arrested for alleged involvement in the coup plot, Pimentel said the authorities should enforce the arrest if they have the evidence.

If these politicians have really committed a criminal offense, then it is within the right of the authorities to arrest them. They should not just make such threat and pretend in their actions, he said.

Pimentel said that if he has committed any wrongdoing, he should not be exempt from arrest.

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