Press Release
May 22, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said proposals to amend the Constitution would fall flat if it is not made clear that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo shall have no role in the proposed parliamentary system of government.

Pimentel said the prevailing sentiment of the people, as shown by public opinion surveys, is for the President to step down because of the spate of scandals in her administration that has eroded her credibility and trust in her leadership.

He said the people are confused because House proposals are not clear on the issue that President Arroyo will not serve as head of government or as head of state once the parliamentary system is put in place.

It is not clear what role Gloria will play subsequent to Charter Change, Pimentel said. Maybe its being done on purpose.

Pimentel said the Senate minority bloc has been firm in its stand that the President should cut short her term and resign to pave the way for the election a new leader without a stigma of electoral fraud and corruption and who can command the respect and support of the people.

It is important to resolve the issue of the term of the President, he said.

Pimentel said the senators have already unanimously agreed through a resolution that all proposed amendments should be voted upon by the Senate and House of Representatives separately, and not jointly as sought by the administration congressmen.

As far as we are concerned, the bottomline is we Senate and House can probably have joint discussions but we should not vote jointly on the amendments, he said.

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