Full Name: Aquilino Martin de la Llana Pimentel III
Date of Birth: January 20, 1964
Place of Birth: Cagayan de Oro City
Provincial: 135 Archbishop Hayes St., Cagayan de Oro City
Metro Manila: not given
Civil Status: married
Spouse: Jewel May Colmenares Lobaton-Pimentel
Office: not given
|Elementary education||not given||not given|
|Secondary education||Ateneo de Manila High School||not given|
|B.S. Mathematics||Ateneo de Manila University||not given|
|Bachelor of Laws, 1990 Bar Topnotcher||University of the Philippines||not given|
|Legal Resource Person||Catholic Media Network||not given|
|Legal Adviser||National Press Photographers||not given|
|Professor||Far Eastern University, Institute of Law||not given|
|Professor||Far Eastern University, College of Business Administration and Legal Management||not given|
|Professor||Adamson University, College of Law||not given|
|Commissioner (representing Mindanao)||National Youth Commission||1995-1998|
|Partido Demokratiko Pilipinoâ€“Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban)||Secretary general|
|Integrated Bar of the Philippines||Member|
|Couples for Christ||Member|
|Rotary Club of Manila Bay||Former President|
- Rule of law
- Empower the youth through science education
- Local autonomy
- Gawad Kalinga governance
- Decision-making principles
Millions of Filipinos are suffering this very day from debilitating poverty. Araw-araw, â€œIsang kahig, Isang tuka.â€ Ni hindi na makapanaginip ng isang magandang bukas.
Have you ever wondered why the Philippines has remained poor while our close neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and Korea have prospered, when barely a century ago, all of us suffered from the same level of poverty?
Why then have we been left behind? The answer is found in the kind of leaders we have been electing through generations. Our past leaders have misread history and have misread the calling of their own time. They subscribed to the idea that the peopleâ€™s choice was limited to either â€œbread or freedomâ€. The present occupant of MalacaÃ±ang Palace, in her own subtle way, has been trying her darn best to also limit the Filipino peopleâ€™s choice to either â€œbread (which is â€˜economic, social, and political stabilityâ€™ in her own words) or freedomâ€.
But history teaches us that, in the end, the peopleâ€™s struggle for freedom always wins, for even the bread disappears when there is no freedom. I predict that the Philippine future will not be different.
Under claims of protecting national security and promoting stability, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) has assaulted our basic freedoms in the following manner:
- In September 2005, MalacaÃ±ang implemented the Calibrated Pre-Emptive Response Policy (â€œCPRâ€). Under the CPR, the police was given the power to forcibly, even violently, disperse assemblies and gatherings held pursuant to the Peopleâ€™s Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly. The Supreme Court nullified CPR, striking it down as a â€œdarkness that shrouds freedomâ€.
The score: The Filipino People 1, GMA 0.
- In September 2005, GMA issued Executive Order No. 464 prohibiting members of the entire Executive Branch from appearing before legislative investigations without first securing her consent. The Supreme Court nullified EO 464 holding that it is an unconstitutional denial of the peopleâ€™s freedom to access information on matters of public concern.
The score: The Filipino People 2, GMA 0.
- In February 2006, GMA issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 (and General Order No. 5). PP 1017 was an attempt to impose de facto martial law in the country without formally proclaiming it, circumventing our Constitutionâ€™s requirements for the proclamation of martial law. GMAâ€™s reason for issuing PP 1017 is an alleged plot to unseat her. The Supreme Court declared PP 1017 â€œultra vires and unconstitutionalâ€.
The score: The Filipino People 3, GMA 0.
- In February 2006, a group identified with GMA allegedly started gathering signatures for a Peopleâ€™s Initiative to amend the Constitution. In August 2006, they asked the COMELEC to schedule the plebiscite to approve their amendments, which included, among others, the abolition of the Senate and the recognition of the term of GMA up to June 2010. The Supreme Court declared the Peopleâ€™s Initiative unconstitutional for â€œfailure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting Peopleâ€™s Initiativeâ€. The SC further stated that â€œThe Constitution, as the fundamental law of the land, deserves the utmost respect and obedience of all the citizens of this nation. No one can trivialize the Constitution by cavalierly amending or revising it in blatant violation of the clearly specified modes of amendment and revision laid down in the Constitution itself.â€
The score: The Filipino People 4, GMA 0.
- In May and August 2006, the PCGG officials refused to appear before the Philippine Senate in an inquiry in aid of legislation citing Executive Order No. 1. Because of this contemptuous conduct, the PCGG Chairman was arrested and detained by the Senate. The SC struck down EO No. 1 for being inconsistent with the principle of public accountability, and for being violative of the peopleâ€™s right to access information on matters of public concern.
The score: The Filipino People 5, GMA 0.
- In the last quarter of 2006, the GMA-controlled House of Representatives attempted to railroad the approval of amendments to the Constitution by authorizing a Senate-less Constituent Assembly, which was a clear violation of the Constitution. GMA lost in the Court of Public Opinion.
The score: The Filipino People 6, GMA 0.
- In January 2007, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) implemented, already during the election period, an Order from the Ombudsman dismissing from service and perpetually disqualifying from public office, Governor Niel Tupas of Iloilo Province, a well-known (and well-liked) anti-GMA political leader with no known credible opponent in the upcoming May 2007 elections. The said Order is clearly illegal as, under the law, only a court of law can dismiss a local official elected by the people, and given its timing and the severity of the penalty, is clearly political as well. The Court of Appeals issued a TRO in favor of Governor Tupas.
The score: The Filipino People 7, GMA 0.
This is all too unfortunate as I cannot imagine why a leader would want to deny her people their basic freedoms when in our modern world, man is obviously entitled to both freedom and bread. Modern man need not choose, he is entitled to both freedom and bread as a matter of human right.
While our leaders have given us this false issue to debate upon and fight over, our country in effect has been â€œjogging in placeâ€ all these years while our more focused neighbors have sprinted ahead of us in the quest for better and higher standards of living for their people.
Given these assaults on our freedom, there is therefore an urgent need to uphold freedom. I shall stand for freedom in all its forms and defend it against all assaults.
After securing our freedoms, how shall we use them? We should use our freedoms to improve the standard of living of our people. We can do this by first addressing the root causes of our peopleâ€™s massive poverty.
1. RULE OF LAW
How can we break the cycle of poverty plaguing our country?
We have to give our people jobs. We have to create jobs by attracting investors, foreign and local, by observing the Rule of Law. This is the only way we can convince foreign and local investors to take a risk and invest in our country, thereby creating those much needed jobs.
In our globalized world, investors from the nations with capital expect no less than a regime of the Rule of Law, which is observed in their own lands.
The Rule of Law means stability of judicial decisions as well as executive (economic, financial, and monetary) policies. It also means the impartiality, fairness, and promptness of our justice system (â€œequal protection of the lawsâ€). It requires the objective application of policy as embodied in the law.
The regime of the Rule of Law means that everyone, rich and poor, must have access to competent legal assistance and advice. Rules are rules both for the governing class and the governed. All government officials must accept that they too are subject to the law. The Government itself must be law-abiding.
Our country needs the culture of the Rule of Law.
2. EMPOWER THE YOUTH THROUGH SCIENCE EDUCATION
I believe that education is the key to breaking the chains of poverty. We should â€œinvest in our peopleâ€. And the most important type of investment in people is education. Education not only raises productivity in the future but a more educated population leads to better government, which benefits everyone.
However, I firmly believe that science education is the key to the long-term viability of our country. We cannot forever be a country of consumers. A strong science culture based on competent and widespread science education will allow us to produce scientists, inventors, creators, innovators, and make the Philippines a producer and not merely a consumer society. Science education therefore will in the long-term give us the financial freedom and prosperity we all desire.
Our country needs the Science Culture science education brings.
3. LOCAL AUTONOMY
Local autonomy is the key to bringing development to the countryside. This will break the provincesâ€™ dependence on the central government represented by â€œimperial Manila.â€
The peopleâ€™s problems must be solved by and on the level of the people affected by the problem. Why ask Manila what is best for Mindanao? For Bicol? For Visayas and the Ilocos Region?
The revolutionary law known as the Local Government Code of 1991 is already 15 years old. We have seen this lawâ€™s beneficial effects with the mushrooming of numerous growth and progressive centers outside Metro Manila. We have seen that leadership at the barangay level, on the whole, can be trusted.
In our increasingly complex world, Local Governments need to be run more like corporations, with an emphasis on planning and competent management.
It is therefore time to bring local autonomy to the next level. Let us not only give more power and resources to the frontliners of government, the barangays, but also assist their leaders gain expertise.
Our country needs the culture of Self-Reliance.
4. GAWAD KALINGA GOVERNANCE
Gawad Kalinga (GK) has shown us what effective governance is in the Philippines. We need a â€œKapitbahayanâ€ where everyone is helping everybody else.
GK provides manâ€™s basic material needs in order to provide manâ€™s basic intangible need of dignity and respect. GK provides manâ€™s basic needs under an integrated plan: land for the landless, accessible housing, sustainable livelihood, and values formation.
Restore to man his dignity and give him sufficient initial support, then you break the cycle of poverty which has enslaved our people since time immemorial.
Our country needs the Culture of Sharing.
The status quo is far from desirable: the hundreds of extrajudicial killings and thousands of other crimes unsolved; the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor; the ever increasing cost of living (as well as of dying); the slow wheels of justice; the turmoil after every contested election result. We need to free ourselves from the stranglehold of our undesirable present by adopting the following reforms:
- Police Reforms to improve our law and order situation through improved crime-solving abilities, better equipment, and better institutional morale;
- Judicial Reforms to improve and speed up the administration of justice as well as make effective the effort to minimize, if not eliminate, corruption (ex. applying stricter standards for appointees to the judiciary; institutionalization of electronic courts [â€œe-courtsâ€™]; review of court processes and procedures);
- Health Reforms to make affordable health services and medicines accessible to our people;
- Military Reforms to boost the morale of our military, to curb military adventurism, and to adopt the concept of a citizensâ€™ army;
- Taxation Reforms to lower tax rates, simplify tax rules, improve collection and reduce system losses and corruption;
- Electoral Reforms to ensure the most efficient way to honestly and accurately determine the will of the electorate;
6. DECISION MAKING PRINCIPLES
Since it is impossible to foresee all problems and issues which could possibly crop up during a Senate tenure, I announce to the Filipino Nation my adherence to the following principles and beliefs:
- The Filipino Youth is the Hope of the Filipino Nation.
- Access to quality education is a human right.
- Public Office is a Public Trust.
- Good Governance means honest, competent, and responsive leadership.
- The playing field must be truly level so that cronies are not favored.
- The rules must be transparent and stable, not changing from administration to administration.
- Bureaucratic red tape must be eliminated and corruption, lessened, if not eradicated.
- The government debt servicing schemes and borrowing splurges should be reformed so that we do not unnecessarily over-borrow and mortgage the future of our children.
- Government must stop bailing out private and state (public) corporations and guaranteeing debts of the private sector.
- Encouragement of domestic savings.
- A Balanced Budget is a desirable objective. Just like a responsible family, the country must also live within its means.
- Adherence to the countryâ€™s international commitment to devote at least 20% of the budget to basic health, basic education, nutrition, and sanitation.
- Overseas Filipino Workers are heroes and must be given a greater say over how their welfare funds are handled and how other plans for their benefit are conceptualized and implemented.
- The Mindanao agenda is a National Agenda. Mindanao should be getting its fair share in government development funds so that the island and its environs may become a primary engine of growth of the Republic. Peace must be pursued in Mindanao at all cost.
- The problem of poverty must be tackled holistically. It is not only an economic issue, it is a political and sociological issue as well.
- Cooperatives are appropriate vehicles for our people to improve their economic lives.
- Corruption is an impediment/obstacle to economic development and progress. Nobody must be spared from the drive against corruption.
- Federalism will lead to faster economic development and it will bring about a just and lasting peace for the country but especially for Mindanao.
- There is need for Genuine Love of Country.
- Societal reform to achieve social order can be based on the values taught by the great books (the Bible and the Koran).
- Education Skills must match with Specific Skills Needed by the Job Market.
- Productivity is a key to a higher standard of living.
- Stewardship Concept for the Nationâ€™s Natural Resources.
- We need to take care of the Environment now.
- The Humanization of the Laws.
- Upholding of Human Rights.
By stating my set of principles, I hope to help free our people from â€œtrapo politicsâ€ and start the Culture of Accountability. This is the program of government I offer to the Filipino People.