Press Release
February 28, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today expressed deep concern over the impending arrest of party-list congressmen from leftist and progressive organizations as he assailed the failure of the leadership of the House of Representatives to protect their rights and to question the legal and factual basis for the filing of rebellion charges against them.

Pimentel assailed Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. for acquiescing to the move of justice and police authorities to arrest the party-list representatives without even inquiring into the grounds for the filing of rebellion charges against them and exhausting all means to uphold and safeguard their rights as elected lawmakers and as ordinary citizens.

Congressmen who are threatened with arrest should not allow themselves to be placed under custody of Speaker De Venecia unless they are willing to suffer the same fate as former Congressman Mark Jimenez, he said.

Pimentel stressed that the party-list congressmen should not be denied the right to due process, since none of the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution is suspended despite the proclamation of a state of national emergency by Malacañang .

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