Press Release
October 16, 2007

Statement of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. On President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's formation of a government team
to draw up roadmap for a Federal System by 2012

Because President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is like the Greeks bearings gifts (the Trojan horse), we in the opposition, should always be wary of dealing with her.

In any event, because my advocacy of federalism started long before GMA became president and transcends political considerations, the idea that it should now be discussed is acceptable to me.

But my acceptance of discussing the federalism proposal should be clearly understood that it:

1. does not mean our compromising the opposition stand against corruption in government, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and the like that mar the record of the present administration;

2. does not mean our ending the investigations into the ZTE, cyber-ed, and other anomalies in government;

3. does not mean our agreeing to any ploy that will extend GMA's hold on power in government even after her term is over;

4. means that we, in the opposition, will continue to advance the welfare of our people against anyone who stands in the way, including GMA and her cohorts; and that includes our continuing opposition to the misuse of people's initiative to bring about changes in the Constitution;

5. means that we agree to have the issue of federalism discussed with our people all over the land so that they will understand what it is all about; and

6. means that we believe that federalism will help bring about peace and development to the country and end the secessionist Moro wars in Mindanao and hopefully, the New People Army's armed struggle also.

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