Press Release
April 25, 2009

Pimentel cites need to identify real oppositionists from fake ones

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. (PDP-Laban) today stressed the need to identify and distinguish the real oppositionists from the bogus ones as the various parties in the opposition attempt to unify their forces and rally behind a common presidential candidate in the 2010 elections.

Pimentel said the efforts to consolidate the opposition forces might be spoiled and derailed by the presence of politicians who are merely pretending to be among them because this is a convenient and popular thing to do to boost their chances of being elected or reelected to public office.

For instance, he noted that there were former members of the opposition who defected to the administration after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power, but who have started making overtures to go back to the opposition fold now that the next elections are drawing near.

Pimentel said he welcomes the announcement of former President Joseph Estrada that he will spearhead the holding of a national convention of all opposition parties and their respective presidential aspirants that aim to chose the common standard bearer of the united opposition.

"But before we hold that national convention, let us first look at the potential candidates of the opposition. There may be people there masquerading as oppositionists when the truth is they be Trojan horses who are out to prevent us from merging our forces and from choosing a single candidate for president," he said.

"In other words, there should be a winnowing process on who should qualify to participate in an honest-to-goodness convention of so-called presidentiables."

In support of this idea, the senator from Mindanao said that the leaders of the opposition should now start setting the criteria for the selection of the common standard bearer, as well as the mechanics and procedures of the selection process.

Pimentel said that the presidential aspirants should present their platform of government and express their views on various national issues during the unification convention.

"Otherwise, after Gloria is gone, happy days are here again for people who have been manipulating the powers of the presidency," he said.

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