Press Release
May 1, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr., chairman of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) today said Senator Lito Lapid may be courting political suicide if he gives in to the prodding of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to run for mayor in Makati City in the next local election.

Pimentel said Lapid should not allow himself to be used by the First Couple who wanted him to run against Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, PDP-Laban president, who has incurred their ire for his leniency in allowing the opposition and other groups to hold protest rallies against the Arroyo administration in the premier city.

In persuading Lapid to run for mayor of Makati, the President and the First Gentleman reportedly said that foiling Binays bid to run for a third and last term as mayor was the best way to prevent Makati from becoming a bastion of opposition protest activities against the Arroyo presidency.

In ordering Sen. Lapid to run for mayor of Makati, President Arroyo pulls out her last straggler in the Senate and pushes him to commit political hara-kiri, Pimentel said.

The minority leader said the curtailment of the peoples fundamental right of assembly by stopping anti-Arroyo protest rallies is abhorrent, if not a bizarre, way of convincing a politician to seek the mayorship of Makati which is bound to be repudiated by its residents.

Citing Binays voting strength because of his effective leadership, Pimentel said he does not think that a political import like Lapid will have a fighting chance against the incumbent mayor. Because of this, he doubted whether Lapid, whose political bailiwick, is Pampanga, would bite the First Couples proposition.

Unlike the Japanese troops at the closing days of World War II who jumped off the suicide cliff in Saipan rather than surrender to the advancing American troops, Lito has more sense than to obey his political patroness blindly, Pimentel said.

If Lito wants to run for local office, he can always make a bid for mayor of Angeles City where his beloved Kapampangans will rally behind him even against Glorias choice, he added.

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