Press Release
August 16, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today lashed back at Malacañang and its legislative minions for accusing him of making irresponsible condition before the opposition agrees to the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

There is nothing irresponsible, illogical or irrational in our desire to make sure that the anti-terror bill is not used by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to hunt down and harass her political opponents, he said.

Pimentel said such demand is within the bounds of reason in view of the palpable failure of the Arroyo administration to curb the extra-judicial killings of leftist activists and journalists which has earned for the Philippines a blackeye in the international community.

The extra-judicial killings go unabated by government bandits operating under the mantle of presidential tolerance. If the President is against extra-judicial killings, she should manifest that by issuing an order to the armed forces and the police to identify, arrest and punish those who are doing the killings, he said.

Pimentel challenged the Arroyo administration to act decisively on the recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights to prosecute members of the armed forces and police whose involvement in political killings, abductions and other human rights violations was exhaustively investigated by the Commission.

The CHR has often complained that justice and law enforcement authorities have been sitting on its reports and recommendations for the filing of criminal charges against soldiers and policemen accused of human rights abuses.

We also dare Mrs. Arroyo to issue a categorical order to the armed forces and the police not to engage in any extra-legal actions that intimidate or even exterminate unarmed civilians who are suspected of dissidence.

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