Press Release
April 7, 2006


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may have been stubbornly fending off the demands for her resignation but there will come a point when she will realize she has no choice but to step down, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said.

Pimentel said the fear of being charged with plunder and other criminal suits is the biggest reason why Mrs. Arroyo has rejected resignation calls.

He said the people around the President, who have benefited immensely from her administration, are instrumental in dissuading her from quitting because they are also afraid of being criminally prosecuted as accomplices to her misdeeds in office.

When the pressure from the people reaches a point where it becomes irresistible, she will have to step down, Pimentel said.

The minority leader said President Arroyos instinct for self-preservation and survival has induced her to cling to her office, knowing that she will automatically lose immunity from suit once she is out of power.

She could wind up being imprisoned for plundering the economy and, of course, for committing other misdeeds in office, he said.

Pimentel said the Presidents close associates are closing ranks in a bid to save her administration from collapsing.

In effect, they are keeping the President hostage of their own power play. But at the same time they are trying to save their own skin, he said.

Pimentel said Mrs. Arroyo is just trying to put up a brave face by ignoring the fact that about 65 percent of Filipinos want her out office, she does not command complete loyalty of the divided armed forces and police, foreign investors keep shying away from the country and the United States has started to distance itself from her government because of her lack of legitimacy and moral authority to govern.

He also said that many disenchanted citizens have stayed away from street protests not because they are indifferent to the lingering crisis in leadership but because of the risk of being maimed or killed by law enforcers tasked to break up demonstrations no matter how peaceful by virtue of the dreaded calibrated preemptive response (CPR) policy of the administration.

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