Press Release
January 29, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the Arroyo administration is sabotaging its own Charter Change campaign by trying to ram down on the peoples throat the undemocratic scheme to cancel the 2007 elections and automatically extend the term of members of Congress by three years.

Pimentel said the administration was caught in its own web of lies and deception by disowning the pronouncement of its leading political ally, former President Fidel Ramos, and its own spokesman, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, that a consensus was reached during the Council of Leaders meeting on Jan. 24 to junk the no-election proposal that was recommended by the rubber stamp Consultative Commission.

The administrations penchant for deception is sickening. They were pretending that they had nothing to do with the scrapping of next years elections. But under the table, they were doing the exact opposite of what they were saying publicly. They think they can fool the people, he said.

Pimentel said the administrations strange behavior over the no-el issue further exposes its lack of sincerity in advocating Charter Change.

Otherwise, he said the administration should have long junked the no-el proposal, knowing how unacceptable it is to the people and its potentially lethal effect on its own efforts to sell Charter Change to the people.

There is no way the people will agree to the cancellation of the 2007 elections because to do so would be like being an accomplice to the killing of democracy in this country. They will not allow themselves to be deprived of their right to choose and pass judgment on their political leaders, he said.

Pimentel said the administration aims to hit two birds with one stone by pushing for the scrapping of the mid-term elections:

First, it will use the resulting three-year extension of term to bribe the incumbent senators, congressmen and local government executives in exchange for their support President Arroyos continued stay in office until 2010 and for Charter amendments that will suit her selfish agenda.

Second, it will save administration politicians from the risk of losing their bid for a fresh electoral mandate due to the peoples disenchantment with their support for the discredited Arroyo presidency.

Pimentel said the Presidents political allies are scared that the electorate would get back at them for blindly supporting President Arroyo despite unresolved question over the legitimacy of her government and her loss of credibility.

He said the administration congressmen are being hounded by a ghost they themselves created, knowing that most of the Filipino people did not approve their dismissal of the impeachment case against Mrs. Arroyo last year on mere technical grounds.

The lone senator from Mindanao also said President Arroyo is moving heaven and earth to shelve the next elections, knowing this is the easiest way to keep her partys control over the unicameral parliament that will be created if a parliamentary system is adopted and installed.

Pimentel said Mrs. Arroyo knows that the moment the Lakas-led coalition fails to capture the majority seats in parliament, that will spell her own downfall.

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