Press Release
February 17, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today inquired from the military authorities what they are doing to stop so-called rogue officers from plotting a coup against the present government.

Pimentel said if the Armed Forces has really uncovered a plot by Magdalo officers to seize power, the AFP leadership should not hesitate to round up the conspirators.

They should arrest the coup plotters and remove the cause of instability, he said.

The minority leader said that while he is for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it should not be done by violent and other extra-constitutional means.

Pimentel said it is puzzling why the AFP has not made any arrests to foil the coup plot in the face of reports about certain retired and active military officers going around military camps to recruit soldiers.

He said voluntarily resignation is an option that President Arroyo should seriously consider to prevent the outbreak of a coup and other extra-constitutional means of overthrowing her which could lead to bloodshed.

Let us make use of people power, in a judicious manner to remove Gloria from office. I think we are entitled to that as a people, Pimentel said.

He said that should President Arroyo, as well as Vice President Noli de Castro resign, Senate President Franklin Drilon will temporarily act as president. Drilon, in turn, will call a special presidential election not later than 45 days from the date the vacancies in the presidency and vice presidency occurred.

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