Press Release
April 30, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today asked Malacañang to stop creating a scenario to break up peaceful rallies during the Labor Day celebration on May 1 (Monday) by threatening to invoke emergency powers even in the absence of any reason to justify such drastic action.

Pimentel accused the administration of resorting to scare tactics to dissuade workers and other concerned citizens from participating in public assemblies that they traditionally hold on Labor Day.

I think they are trying to build a scenario to lay the basis for breaking up the peaceful rallies that the workers are planning to stage to celebrate Labor Day. They are again trying to scare the people, he said. They know that they cannot break up peaceful rallies. So they will probably create the troubles themselves.

The minority leader reminded the labor organizations to police their own ranks so that they will not be infiltrated by saboteurs and provocateurs.

Pimentel said the almost identical warning of Presidential Chief-of-Staff Michael Defensor and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez that President Arroyo is not ruling out reimposition of Proclamation 1017 contradict the pronouncement of other Palace officials and the Armed Forces of the Philippines that they have not seen any concrete sign that the Labor Day rallies will be used by various anti-Arroyo groups to launch another oust-Arroyo plot.

He said these contradictory statements only serve to confirm suspicion that the administration has fabricated the alleged destabilization plot to justify the plan to break up peaceful workers demonstrations.

Pimentel said it would be very unfortunate if the administration will try to desecrate the observance of Labor Day by creating a scenario to warrant a declaration of national emergency the same way it did during the 20th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt on Feb. 24.

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