Wednesday, March 30, 2005

NR0331:National ID via Executive order

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 31, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

GMA abusing powers, trying to impose a national ID system via
an executive order - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today expressed strong alarm over reports that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might issue an executive order clearing the way for a national ID system by early next week. This if she approves the recommendations submitted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on the proposal. The report is said to contain recommendations to utilize the data already available to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and the National Statistics Office (NSO).

"Since the president and her advisers are well aware that they will not be able to impose a national ID system via legislation without meeting the strongest wall of opposition fro human rights groups and civil libertarians, they're resorting to executive abuse. President Arroyo is abusing her executive powers and authority by releasing one executive order by another, totally bypassing the authority of the Senate and Congress. By ordering the creation and implementation of a national ID system via an executive order, she is circumventing the limits of her office, bypassing Congress, and attacking civil rights all in one move," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that President Arroyo has so far released over 50 executive orders in the last year alone. "She has taken to creating and abolishing departments and agencies via executive orders, and now here she is ordering the creation of what is well-acknowledged as a potentially vicious weapon against civil liberties and democratic rights with yet another executive order," he said.

"It's long overdue that this alarming development of the president releasing one EO after the after without the benefit of prior public scrutiny and consultation be investigated. If she succeeds in imposing the national ID system through an EO, there's no telling what else she can order with a similar EO. She and her infamous circle of national security and so-called anti-terrorism advisers could well out together an EO on anti-terrorism no different from the anti-terror bills being cooked by her allies in Congress. This bids ill for what little there is remaining for the democratic processes in the country,' he said.

Deteriorating popularity

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that results and conclusions of t he latest Pulse Asia survey revealing that Pres. Arroyo's approval ratings have hit the lowest mark since 2001 will most likely prod the administration to take drastic political and propaganda measures. "For sure, Pres. Arroyo will embark on yet another grand tour of the country, shaking hands with the masses and kissing babies; distributing land titles and housing deeds. All these, however, will not be able to offset the disgust and antipathy the poor and working people have against her and her administration." Beltran said that the latest shenanigans of the First Gentleman in Las Vegas fuels the disenchantment of the public with the President. While the country sinks deeper and deeper into economic crisis, the president's own husband is living in the lap of luxury. It's no wonder that Pres. Arroyo's credibility as a fighter against corruption is down to zero."

"The string of activist killings, the corruption scandals, the one-after-the-other railroading of new regressive tax measures as well as the increasing rates of electricity and prices of gas and petroleum are all points against the administration and Pres. Arroyo. It will take no minor miracle for her to be able to recover from this latest slump in her popularity," he said. "If she wants to stop the continuing deterioration of her approval ratings, Pres. Arroyo should drop the new tax measures; but even that will not be sufficient to cushion the negative opinion of most Filipinos." #


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