July 13, 2006
CONGRESSMEN SHOULD NOT BE COWED
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today assailed Malacañang over its threat to withhold the release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of congressmen, whether from the administration or opposition, if they will support the impeachment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Pimentel, however, expressed the hope that the lawmakers will not allow themselves to be cowed by the threat by deciding on the impeachment case according to its merits and the dictates of their conscience.
There is no question that Glorias threat to withhold the PDAF allocations of the congressmen and women who support the impeachment move would impact adversely on their desire to remove her through that means, he said.
Unfortunately, some members of Congress cannot rise above partisan and monetary considerations even in the discharge of their duties.
That means that these people would take Glorias threat seriously and would thus refrain from supporting the impeachment attempts. I hope that there would be more, not less who would stand up for what is right regardless of the consequences.
Earlier, Presidential Chief-of-Staff Michael Defensor warned that administration congressmen should not expect Malacañang to help them in their reelection next year if they would sign the impeachment resolution.
Pimentel said the impeachment case against the President last year failed to get the required number of votes because some congressmen who had committed their support for the move backed out after succumbing to her tempting offer of quick release of their PDAF, not to mention additional funding allocations.
I can only hope that the congressmen and women concerned do not allow Gloria to buy them off as some of them had turned around after she unleashed her financial clout over them, he said.
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