Press Release
August 11, 2006


The Filipino people will be the biggest losers if the Senate will be abolished because it is the only institution of government that is standing up for their rights.

This was the response of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) to the vicious call of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (Ulap) for the abolition of the Senate for being a useless institution.

Pimentel said it is a pity that Ulap, dominated by pro-Arroyo local chief executives, has degenerated into a puppet organization of the administration by waging a smear campaign against the Senate for resisting Charter Change.

It is obvious that Ulap is allowing itself to be used as a prop for the advocacies of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, the senator from Mindanao said.

Ulap does not seem to realize that the Senate is standing up to the administration in defense of the rights of the people. Ulap apparently wants to be the lapdog of Mrs. Arroyo in the hope that some of its officials will get more funds from the government.

Pimentel said Ulap, in seeking the scuttling of the Senate, is merely parroting the line of Malacañang which is scared of the senators for their no-nonsense investigation into mega scandals that have rocked the administration, from the Hello Garci tapes to the P728 million fertilizer scam.

It is a sad day for the country when the Ulap plays deaf and dumb to the shenanigans of the administration, he said.

The minority leader pointed out that the inquiries conducted by the Senate are part and parcel of its constitutional duties and are intended to maintain the system of checks and balance between the executive and legislative branches of government.

He pointed out that the investigations do not affect the Senates law-making function since the hearings are held in the morning and afternoon before 3 p.m. when the plenary session is held for deliberations on bills and resolutions.

If there are anomalies in government like misuse of public funds, it is the obligation of the Senate to investigate them, he said.

Pimentel said it is important for the people to know that they can always run to the Senate for redress of legitimate grievances otherwise they will lose faith in the government.

At this time in the history of our country, the biggest challenge for the Senate is to continue standing up for the rights of the people and keep its independence from the domination of the executive, he said.

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