Press Release
July 23, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the deployment of about 16,000 government troops to provide security during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos state of the nation address (SONA) smacks of overreaction to a perceived threat from alleged trouble-makers.

With 16,000 cops and soldiers guarding her SONA, Gloria reveals her state of siege mentality. She fears her own people, and even her own shadow. Time for her to resign, he said.

Noting that the number of security troops for the SONA is almost equivalent to the entire police force in Metro Manila, Pimentel said they are primarily meant to keep at bay the street rallysts who merely intend to express their disenchantment over the countrys state of affairs.

He said he could not see how the deployment of 16,000 troops could be justified especially after the military and police captured a group of Magdalo rebel officers and neutralized their alleged plot to sabotage the Presidents SONA.

Pimentel said the military and police are merely raising a phantom threat by allegedly intercepting purported New Peoples Army plan to infiltrate and bomb the rallysts.

He said the show of force by the PNP and AFP on the day of SONA is a glaring indication of the Presidents increasing isolation from the people and the extent of her efforts to keep herself in power.

Pimentel said the Presidents insecurity, the continuing repression of human rights and her heavy reliance on the military to prop up her government could be traced to her lack of legitimacy resulting from the massive fraud that tainted the 2004 presidential election.

She is ruling the country by the use of force, backed by the arms of the military and police, and not by the force of persuasion, he said.

News Latest News Feed