Press Release
March 11, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the political turmoil in the country could not be solved by going to the Supreme Court to question Proclamation 1017 or by amending the Constitution to suit the plan of certain politicians.

Pimentel said the unrest in the military, national disunity and instability of the national government will go on for as long as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo resists widespread call for her resignation.

To my mind, there is no other legal, constitutional and feasible solution to the crisis except for Gloria to step down. And once, she vacates the presidency, we can have new election, he said.

The minority leader reiterated his stand on the issue following the suggestion of another opposition leader, Sen. Edgardo Angara, for the adoption of a Senate-House resolution to amend the Constitution for the purpose of cutting short the terms of office of President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro to pave the way for snap presidential election.

Pimentel said while Angaras proposal may have its merits, its approval is very unlikely considering that President Arroyo and her legislative allies who control the House of Representatives strongly oppose the shortening of the Presidents term.

He said the elected leaders would look like going overboard or overacting if they would embark on Charter Change just for the purpose of cutting short the terms of the incumbent President and Vice President.

If the President has delicadeza and sense of statesmanship left, she should voluntarily resign and agree to hand over power to a successor who can unite the Filipinos and run the country competently because they fully support the new leader, Pimentel said.

Pimentel said Vice President De Castro should also go although he is not in the same league as Mrs. Arroyo in terms of culpability in the abuse of presidential powers.

In any event, I believe Noli is a very popular person and theoretically at least, he has a chance to win the election if he runs again, he said.

In case of the resignation of the President and the Vice President, Senate President Franklin Drilon will serve as acting president until a new president and vice president are elected not later than 45 days after the vacancies occurred.

Pimentel debunked the criticisms that the opposition is espousing the early election proposal to enable them to grab power from President Arroyo.

I dont care if there is no candidate from the opposition I dont care who the candidates are as long as the people are given a chance to elect a new leader peacefully, he said.

The minority leader stressed that the nation cannot go on with a president who no longer enjoys the trust and confidence of the people.

We cannot continue with a president who is running amuck with the powers of her office in complete disregard of the precepts of the Constitution and the rule of law, Pimentel said.

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