Press Release
March 4, 2006


Former President Corazon-Aquino was the real target of Malacañang when it tried to link her brother, former Tarlac Congressman Jose Peping Cojuangco, Jr., and his associate, businessman Pastor Boy Saycon, to the coup plot against the Arroyo government.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said this explains the apparent determination of the administration to implicate Mr. Cojuango and Saycon as possible coup plotters despite the thin evidence that has surfaced.

The real target there is not Cojuangco and Saycon but Cory, Pimentel said.

He said the administration wants to portray Mrs. Aquino as a key player in the coup and possibly to initiate charges against her to get back at the former president for steadfastly leading the campaign for the resignation of President Arroyo.

Perhaps by linking her to the coup, the administration thinks it may cow Mrs. Aquino into giving up her efforts to persuade President Arroyo to step down, Pimentel said.

He pointed out that Mrs. Arroyo has reportedly stated in public that she is not advocating extra-constitutional and violent means of changing the national leadership.

Pimentel noted that he and the former president favor the voluntary resignation of Mrs. Arroyo to pave the way for a snap election to elect a new president.

Both Cojuangco and Saycon have categorically denied any involvement in the coup. A Time Magazine report said Saycon during a gathering of more than a dozen businessmen and middle-level public officials on the evening of Feb. 23, called up a person code-named Delta (Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim of the First Scouts Ranger Regiment) to inquire about the coup.

The gathering was held at the Cojuangco residence in Dasmarias, Makati.

Cojuangco and Saycon said the participants at the affair were veteran of EDSA People Power 1 and 2 who were preparing for their participation in the commemorative activities of the 20th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA revolt.

Pimentel said Cojuangco and Saycon were personalities unlikely to have a hand in the coup since they are both Arroyo appointees.

Cojuangco is the president of the Philippine Sports Committee while Saycon is member of the EDSA People Power Commission. Mr. Cojuangcos wife is a prominent administration official, Margarita Ting Ting Cojuangco, president of the Philippine Public Safety College under the Department of Interior and Local Government.

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