Press Release
June 12, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called on the people to be vigilant in safeguarding their liberties in the face of the tendency of political and law enforcement authorities to step beyond their powers that threaten democracy in the country.

Addressing the 108th anniversary of Philippine independence at Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan, Metro Manila, Pimentel denounced the continuing administration policy to curtail the peoples inherent right to peaceful assembly and the use fascistic tactics in clamping down on political dissenters.

Even today, our liberties are being threatened by the repressive acts of people in power who have shown disregard for the rule of law and constitutional process, he said.

Pimentel warned of a creeping militarization under the Arroyo presidency as clearly shown in the recent arrest, detention and torture five followers of former President Joseph Estrada, the spate of extra-judicial killings of leftist militants and crusading journalists; and attempts of Malacañang to curb the investigative powers of Congress over the actuations of the executive branch.

He said that the people should act and take a stand in opposing the repressive policies imposed by a government that seeks to put up a faade of stability amid persistent doubts over its legitimacy.

Pimentel urged the people to resist and condemn any and every attempt to diminish their freedom and live by the legacy and heroic deeds of their ancestors who sacrificed their lives in fighting foreign colonizers that enabled the nation to gain independence.

Today, more than ever, we need to recall and celebrate the fundamental values our heroes died for: freedom, democracy, human rights, we must protect our country from creeping militarization, he said in his inspirational message.

Saying that freedom is always a work in progress, Pimentel said that if the people fail to assert their rights and defend themselves from repressive practices, then they risk losing their freedom and human dignity.

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