Press Release
April 27, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today voiced optimism that the issue of constitutionality of Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of national emergency will be decided by the Supreme Court in favor of the democratic rights of the citizenry.

Pimentel said the protection of the rights of the people and the investigative powers of their duly-elected representatives was foremost in the mind of the Supreme Court when it struck down two presidential edicts that curtail the democratic processes in the country.

Declared as unconstitutional and therefore void by the high tribunal were the provisions of Executive Order 464 requiring presidential clearance before Cabinet members and subordinate officials can testify in congressional inquiries. Also invalidated by the SC was the administrations calibrated pre-emptive response (CPR) policy which suppresses the constitutionally-guaranteed peoples right to peaceably assemble and seek redress of their legitimate grievances.

Proclamation 1017 is waiting to be decided. Its bound to come because the way the Supreme Court has been rendering its decisions would indicate that they are desirous of upholding the strictures of the Constitution, in other words of upholding the rights of the people as defined by the Constitution even against the wishes of the President, he said.

The minority leader said the high tribunals decisions in the two landmark cases should serve as a reminder to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that she could not cover up her misdeeds and the scandals in her administration in her desperate bid to ensure her political survival by resorting to dictatorial methods and by trampling upon civil liberties.

In my opinion, there are now two strikes against Gloria, one more strike and shes out. It is a warning against her that she cant just convert her wishes into law by her own self by issuing executive orders and administrative orders and expecting the Filipino people to follow what she wants, he said.

Pimentel also said the high court ruling on EO 464 is a clear indictment of President Arroyos propensity to ignore constitutional principles and processes and to act like a despot to get what she wants and to evade responsibility for her actions.

I think the Supreme Court very clearly sent a message on the need to put brakes on the excessive use of power by any department of government. And that is why there is a tripartite division of the powers of government in our Constitution which Gloria would do well to follow and uphold, he said.

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