Press Release
July 22, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos badly-eroded credibility will make it difficult for the Filipino people to distinguish between truth or lies in her state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday.

The problem with the President is she has no more credibility. So whatever she says, the people will think she is lying and they will not believe her, he said.

Pimentel said Mrs. Arroyo has acquired the reputation of a leader whose words conflict with what her government is doing, as shown in the governments handling of graft and corruption, human rights, violations, mass poverty, unemployment, communist and Muslim insurgency and the peace process.

We have a president who says one thing and does another, he said.

He said even if a politician is telling the truth, nobody will believe it if he or she has lost the trust and respect of the people.

Gloria is in a very bad fix and it will be hard for her to overcome that problem, Pimentel said.

The minority leader said the administrations campaign against graft and corruption has been a dismal failure because it is soft on erring public officials who are close to the Palace but harsh on those who are identified with the opposition.

He said that the Presidents much-ballyhooed allocation of P1 billion for the anti-graft drive appears hollow as long as she does not lift a finger to bring back former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante to face investigation and prosecution for the misuse of the P728 million fertilizer fund.

Pimentel said that while the President had boasted about the repeal of the death penalty when she met with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican City last month, the list of leftist activists and journalists who are victims of extra-judicial executions is getting longer.

The abolition of the death penalty is part and parcel of our reverence for life. As much as possible, we should not allow any person to be executed. There is no more death penalty but the extrajudicial killings go on, Pimentel said.

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