Press Release
November 15, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today challenged the Arroyo government to solve the bombing at the Batasang Pambansa as quickly as possible to quash speculation that it had something to do with the incident as part of a plot to justify the declaration of a state of emergency.

Pimentel said the people could not be faulted for thinking that the government had a hand in the Batasan bombing because it happened at a time when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is trying to hang on power in the face of a renewed moves for her ouster or resignation due to the growing dissatisfaction over her misrule and corruption in government.

He also noted that when the Glorietta Mall in Makati City was rocked by explosion last month, there was instant public reaction that it was the handiwork of the government to divert public attention away from the spate of scandals hounding the Arroyo presidency.

"The government must act fast to identify, arrest and prosecute those responsible for the Batasan bombing. That is the only way you can restore the confidence of the people. The government must show it is on top of the situation," the minority leader said.

"But President Arroyo must be warned against doing a Musharraf, because she might be tempted to place that at the back of her mind as an option. It is not an option because if she does that, she will have more problems in her hands than she has bargained for."

Pimentel observed that President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency in Pakistan has only worsened the political turmoil in that country, triggering widespread calls for his resignation.

With the timing of the Batasan bombing, he said the opposition is tempted to believe that the incident could very well be a part of any plot to destabilize the situation in the country for the purposes of declaring a state of emergency.

He said some groups that are exploiting the present situation may have carried out the bombing.

"I'm not ruling that out. The problem of the government is that it has no shred of credibility whatsoever so that any explanation on its part is always subject to doubt in the minds of the people," Pimentel said.

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