Thursday, March 03, 2005

NR0304:Babies not spared from big Sister Gloria

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 4, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Solon says not even the babies are safe from Big Sister Gloria's National ID system

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proposal that newborn babies be included in the national ID system was a shrewd attempt to make the proposal seem harmless. "Not even the babies are spared from Big Sister Gloria's spying eye," he said.

"The birth certificates and the other identification documents of the babies are sufficient; but it's clear that it's not the babies the government wants to monitor, it's the parents. Again, the real motives behind the proposed National ID system are not to improve efficiency; but to spy on the public. At this juncture in the country's economic and political development when everything is mostly in chaos, the government wants to impose an ID system in the attempt to keep tabs on the Filipino people and their whereabouts and even their affiliations. It's not the ID per se that we're opposing - it's the use of t he database the government will be creating from the information it will get from Filipinos," he said.

"Information is power, and the increasingly militaristic and dictatorial administration of Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo is most certain to use any information it can get against its enemies, among them civilians critical of government programs and policies. The country's democratic protest movement and the Muslim people are definite targets of this ID system," he said. "Unionized workers, farmers and their organizations, activist student groups, critical journalists: these sectors are fair game to the government and its military forces. These are the sectors that are at the forefront of countering the government's attacks against the people's economic welfare and collective democratic rights."

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker meanwhile said that President Arroyo and her allies are in a desperate rush to have the anti-terrorism bill and the national ID system passed and implemented to placate foreign investors who have expressed second thoughts about doing business in the country.

"The administration is in a bind - wanting to secure these foreign investors but at the same time, to ensure that the full blown liberalization of the economy and the siphoning of public funds and resources takes place, civilian political dissent must be done away with. All this the administration wants to do by imposing a crackdown against its critics and their protests via an anti-terror bill and a national ID system," he said.

On the Budget Row

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran said that the increasing row between Congress and the Senate over the passage of the 2005 national budget was actually just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. "Malacanang knows that even its allies are straining at the leash and their unity is weakening at the seams. For the Filipino people, the Congressional version of the 2005 budget and that of the Senate are no different: both budgets have twisted priorities, and both are directed towards foreign debt payments and militarization. Both budgets contain severe cutbacks on government agencies including public schools and hospitals that provide service to the poor and marginalized," he said.

"The skirmishes between congressmen and senators mean bunk to the Filipino people who are the real victims of the power struggle in the legislative branch. The power brokering of the Senate is to the benefit of Malacanang, as it's clear that Pres. Arroyo has given her go signal to the senate's passage of theits own version of the 2005 budget bill," he said. #


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