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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesThursday, June 14, 2007
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Stop tampering
with legal holidays

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (PDP-Laban) yesterday called for an end to Malacaņang's distasteful practice of moving important legal holidays to other days to give the people a long weekend in line with the administration's so called holiday economics, a press release from his office said.

Pimentel said this practice dilutes the importance and meaning of the holidays, which are intended to enable the Filipino people to commemorate landmark events that have shaped the history and development of the nation.

He expressed dismay over President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's directive declaring June 12, this year (Tuesday) as working holiday and June 11 (Monday) a non-working holiday. June 12 marks the annual observance of the anniversary of Philippine Independence. "President Arroyo trivializes important public holidays, like Independence Day, by moving the celebration to other days. Changes cause holidays to lose meaning and transform them into leisure days when people in the cities go malling," the minority leader said in the press release.

Although June 12 was made a working holiday, the traditional ceremonies and programs in celebration of Independence Day were held throughout the country on that day just the same.

As a consequence, Pimentel said the people could not participate in the Independence Day rites in their respective communities since they either had to go to work or school.

Ironically, Pimentel said, Arroyo, by issuing Proclamation 1211, in effect overturned the declaration of her own father in 1964 transferring Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, the press release added.*

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Stop tampering with legal holidays