Press Release
June 7, 2010


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. today advised administration officials who have been issued midnight appointments by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to tender their courtesy resignation upon the assumption to office of incoming President Benigno Aquino III.

Pimentel said Mr. Aquino, as Chief Executive, has every right to review these appointments and to revoke the same to give him a free hand in choosing members of his administration team.

"Beneficiaries of what are deemed midnight appointments should not insist on staying put upon the expiration of President Arroyo's term. Out of delicadeza, they should voluntarily tender their courtesy resignation and give way to the appointees of the new president," he said.

The senator said the Arroyo appointees should realize that they could not work effectively and harmoniously with the administration of Aquino since they do not enjoy his trust and confidence.

According to confidential documents leaked to ABS-CBN News, as many as 250 midnight appointments were issued by Mrs. Arroyo and 195 of them were signed from March l to 9 alone. The ban on midnight appointments took effect on March 10 or two months before the May 10 elections.

Pimentel said the questionable circumstances behind the issuance of the presidential appointments lend credence to suspicion that they were issued in circumvention of the ban.

"There was deceit and lack of transparency in these appointments since they were made public several weeks after they were supposedly signed by the outgoing president. This gave rise to suspicion that they were antedated to make it appear that they were issued before the effectivity of the appointments ban." he said.

Pimentel said the revelation that even Mrs. Arroyo's manicurist was appointed member of the Pag-Ibig Fund board of directors and the Palace gardener was named to the board of the National Parks Development Council indicated that the qualification standards for the positions covered were not complied with in the issuance of the presidential appointments.

He said Mrs. Arroyo showed bad faith in issuing these appointments because she knew very well that they would undercut her successor's authority in choosing officials who would manage the various state agencies that would implement his platform of government.

"If only for these reasons, the incoming president has the prerogative to ask for the courtesy resignation of the beneficiaries of midnight appointments," Pimentel added.

Criticizing the midnight appointments as a blatant abuse of presidential power, the senator from Mindanao said it is very unfortunate that Mrs. Arroyo would commit such offensive acts instead of exercising restraint and judiciousness in her decisions in her last months in office to ensure smooth transition and avoid conflicts with the new administration.

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