Press Release
July 20, 2009

Statement of Sen. Pia Cayetano on today's issues
Chair, Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development

On alleged rape of anti-narcotics agent's daughter:

"The abduction and rape of the drug enforcement agent's daughter by suspected members of a drug syndicate deserves national condemnation in the highest order. It's disturbing how women have increasingly become targets of collateral damage, as in the recent case of Rebelyn Pitao, a school teacher who was abducted, raped and killed by virtue of her being a rebel leader's daughter in Davao. This cycle of acts of violence against women should stop. Government must strike down hard on the perpetrators and make them rot in jail. The investigations must lead to their arrest, prosecution and conviction."

"Any act of violence committed against family members of law enforcement agents and whistleblowers for the purpose of sowing fear on them should be considered aggravating circumstances in such crimes. These acts include, but are not limited to, abduction, rape, harassment and homicide."

On SONA and con-ass:

"For now, I will take the House Speaker's word that he'll be able to rein in his colleagues from forcing the joint SONA assembly into an illegal constituent assembly. I'll hold him to his word, albeit with much skepticism. It's my responsibility to attend SONA as a nationally elected legislator, but I'm also ready to walk out at any indication they'll hijack it as part of my sworn duty to serve our people and protect our Constitution."

On Executive Order setting MRPs of essential drugs:

"The President must have the political will to bring the prices of medicines down. Pharmaceutical companies are just like any businesses. I understand why they will oppose any such move. That is why I expect and demand that the President protect public health and comply with the constitutional mandate for the state to "adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other services available to all the people at affordable cost."

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