Press Release
August 16, 2013


BACOLOD CITY -- Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, today said he will push for the passage of the elusive anti-dynasty law, among his priority electoral bills in Congress which include the party-list reform measure, air time rule for political advertisements and the general re-registration of all voters except for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the general re-registration of which has just been conducted recently.

Speaking before members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Negros Occidental Chapter, in Bacolod City, Pimentel, said that it is heartbreaking that long after the constitutional mandate was ratified, no law was passed to give flesh to the aspirations of the people versus dynastical rule following the restoration of democracy at the 1986 Edsa revolt.

The sensitive proposition has been introduced several times in the past, but all it got was lip service from its proponents and other members of Congress, many of whom did not want to touch the proposed measure with a ten-foot pole for obvious self-preservation of family clan members who have occupied various elective posts in government.

Lawyers, said Pimentel, who is himself a bar topnotcher, are considered as the architects of an evolving jurisprudence, playing a crucial role in the development of a just society. But, he added, the legal profession suffers from an image problem brought about by moral and related issues.

He, however, stressed that there is nothing to fear for so long as one is treading the right path as when he filed his electoral case in 2007, questioning the massive switching of ballots to favour certain candidates in what is now known as the infamous "dagdag-bawas"" scheme which led to his reinstatement and the abrupt resignation of another candidate.

"Apart from mathematical statistics, I practically had no hard evidence to prove massive cheating in 2007. I just held on to my principle and my strong desire for truth and justice to prevail. Against all odds, I fought for what I believed was right. And indeed, I was proven right," said Pimentel. "Pag nasa tama ka, never give up."

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Pimentel said that he will be filing the "Anti-Chamber Practice Bill" to preserve objectivity in the justice system, and will introduce amendments to the Speedy Trial Act to resolve cases without delay.

"It is hope that when the chamber practice is outlawed and the dispensation of justice is made speedier, the legal profession will be accorded the respect due it as a profession that is reserved for individuals whose purpose in life is to be faithful devotees to the altar of law and justice," said Pimentel.

Pimentel, who is also the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), challenged the lawyers, led by IBP Negros Occidental Chapter president Atty. Enrique Tabino and immediate past president, Atty. Felomino Tan, to make a difference in the sacred and noble legal profession.

Lawyers, he said, are necessarily in the forefront of protecting the people's rights that "we just have to do our very best as lawyers to see to it that justice is done to every man, woman and child who seek our services as advocates of the law, and protectors of the Constitution."

Meanwhile, President Aquino has already signed into law four measures sponsored and co-authored by Pimentel. They are the Electoral Processes Accessibility Act (RA 10336), Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act (RA 10367), Local Absentee Voting for Members of Media (RA 10380), and Overseas Voting Act (RA 10590).

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