Press Release
July 31, 2009

Press statement of Senator M.A. Madrigal

At long last, I have reached my decision.

During the month-long break and in the silence of my two-week retreat, I came to realize that the path I should take would be to serve my country in a greater capacity.

This I do, not out of personal ambition, but to share a vision that has been honed by my family's more than 100 years of service to the country.

My grandfather, Kapampangan hero and martyr Jose Abad Santos, has inspired me since childhood. From his heroism I learned true courage. From his example I learned the true meaning of integrity and justice. Dacal pung salamat, Ingcong Senseng.

My grand uncle - Pedro Abad Santos, founder of the Socialist Party of the Philippines whose love for the Filipino farmer cannot be measured - taught me the true meaning of conviction and palabra de honor.

My paternal grandfather, Bicolano Senator Vicente Madrigal, taught me how to love God and country. He inspired me to pray the rosary daily in devotion to Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. Abuelo, dios mabalos!

Thank you for being my inspiration.

During my term as senator, I have never compromised the people's welfare for personal gain. My voting record in the Senate speaks for itself. Where others have faltered, I have been decisive. I voted no against the E-VAT and other anti-poor tax measures. I also voted against the JPEPA which would result in loss of jobs and income to our farmers, fishermen and the poor in general. I was the sole dissenting voice in the Senate against the Anti-Terrorism Law in defense of human rights.

I continue to fight corruption with neither fear nor favor, be it the President of the Philippines or a colleague in the Senate because they have used their positions for personal gain to the detriment of the Filipino people.

I continue to fight for the rights of the vulnerable and the downtrodden: women, children and our indigenous brothers and sisters. After languishing in Congress for over a decade, the Magna Carta for Women was finally passed under my chairmanship. In defense of our children, I passed the Anti-Child Pornography Law.

I continue to fight for the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters who continue to be victims of illegal logging, mining and greedy corporate interests.

Panahon na upang makabawi ang Pilipino! Panahon na para ang gobyerno naman ang mamuhunan sa taongbayan!

Many have asked me to be an agent of change. Although I find the task daunting, I now choose to face the challenge squarely. I believe I am an agent of change because I have the resources to run a campaign without being indebted to vested interests.

My goal is selfless service, pure and simple. I will pay my debt only to the country. This country has given me so much and my gift to our people is to change their lives for the better.

Hindi ako magbabayad ng anumang utang na loob kundi sa sambayanang Pilipino. Sa aking paniniwala, ito ang tanging paraan upang matigil ang korapsyon. Ito ang tanging paraan upang makabawi tayo.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating mga kababayan sa inyong pagtitiwala.

Gusto ko ring pasalamatan ang aking mahal na Tita Chito na naniwala sa akin.

Salamat kay Juday sa kanyang malaking tulong at kay Presidente Estrada sa pagpili nya sa akin na mapabilang sa senatorial slate ng oposisyon noong 2004. Nagpapasalamat din ako kay FPJ at Susan Roces sa kanilang suporta.

Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, hindi ako naging senador.

Lastly, I should also thank PGMA, with whom I worked briefly when she was senator and vice-president, for showing me what NOT to become.

The country has been good to me and my family and this is my way of giving back.

Today, I cross the Rubicon. I am certain in my decision to run for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines and file my candidacy without hesitation on 30 November 2009.

And to those of you who may question my personal motives, I have none. My only goal is plain and simple. Simple lang ang layunin ko -- ang maglingkod nang tapat sa inyo. Panahon na para makabawi ang Pilipino!

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