Thursday, June 30, 2005

NR0630: Stop obstruction of justice, play the tapes!

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 30, 2005

Pro-Admin solons obstructing justice by refusing to
hear "Hello, Garci?" tapes from being played; delays
in hearings will not delay protests demanding the
removal of PGMA from office

Joining broad rallies in Liwasang Bonifacio this
afternoon, Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
today said that since the distinguished legal
luminaries invited to yesterday's congressional
hearings on the "Hello, Garci?" tapes have all given
the opinion that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has
essentially waived her right to privacy when she
admitted that it is her voice on tape, there should be
no more opposition to having the tapes played and its
contents scrutinized.

"Some of the top legal brains in the country have
agreed that there are no legal obstacles that stand in
the way of having the tapes played, and that solons
should have no fear of repercussions. It's most
imperative now that the tapes be played and its
contents transcribed and analyzed line-by-line," he
said. "This issue is, after all, the crux of the
hearing. Determining the seriousness of the tapes'
contents is one of the responsibilities of the
committees spearheading the investigations."

Beltran said that it was indicative of the desperation
of pro-administration solons that they continue to hem
and haw over the issue of having the tapes played for
the deliberative body. He said that it was evident
that the solons blocking the playing of the tapes were
still intent on protecting President Gloria

"Why are the pro-administration solons so against
having the tapes played as part of the investigations?
The same official they are dead-set on protecting has
already admitted that it's her voice that's on the
controversial tape. The only reason we can see as to
why they still fight against having the tape played is
because they don't want the truth to come out, period.
This is clear-cut obstruction of justice," he said.

Beltran added, however, that for all the delaying
tactics pro-administration solons are employing to
keep the tapes from being played, the protest against
Pres. Arroyo will not be delayed. "The pro-Arroyo
solons are defending a fast-crumbling fortress that is
the Arroyo presidency."

In the meantime, the veteran tabor leader turned
Lawmaker said that President Arroyo and her
spokespersons led by presidential spokesperson Ignacio
Bunye and Department of Justice secretary Raul
Gonzales should now cease and desist from issuing
threats against individuals and groups who insist on
distributing and disseminating CD copies of the taped

"Sec. Gonzales must be eating his foot right now: a
violent case of foot-in-mouth disease. After at the
threats he has issued against those who want the tapes
heard, he has exposed himself to be something of a
censor and dictator," he concluded.#

NR0629: Susan speaks out; FG Mike leaving the country

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 29, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

The First Gentleman should not be allowed to leave the
country as investigations into jueteng far from over

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said
the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo’s decision to leave
the country supposedly to spare President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo from further criticism will work
against the President and further weaken the already
crumbling presidency.

“FG Arroyo’s decision to leave is actually
self-serving and aimed towards saving himself from the
jueteng scandal. He should not even be allowed to
leave the country because the investigations on his
involvement and even leadership of the underground
jueteng network in the country is far from concluded,”
he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that the
First Gentleman was
very big liability to the president, “But his wife
has even bigger concerns of her own not related to
jueteng. Between the two of them, they have created
the most corrupt administration since the halcyon days
of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Even if the First
Gentleman leaves, the protests against her wife will
continue and intensify until the inevitable happens
and she is booted from office,” he said.

“If the First Gentleman wants to help his wife and
save her from further criticism, he should urge her to
cut her losses and step down. The best thing for the
President and the First Gentleman to do would be to
remove themselves from Malacanang and face the charges
against them squarely. Their stubborn refusal to admit
their crimes is only exacerbating the already
turbulent political situation in the country. They
both stand accused of the biggest crimes against the
Filipino people,” he said.

Ms. Roces speaks out against GMA

In the meantime, Beltran said that former presidential
candidate Fernando Poe Jr’s widow Ms. Susan Roces’
statement denouncing what she termed as Pres.Arroyo’s
apology was fake and not enough was a sign of signs to

He said that Ms. Roces was a loved public figure, and
being the widow of the main and immediate victim of
Pres. Arroyo’s electoral fraud, her word carries a lot
of weight with most Filipinos.

“The public sympathy is with Ms. Roces,” he said.
“Pres. Arroyo should have first apologized to Ms.
Roces and admitted the electoral fraud she
perpetrated in May 2004. Ms. Roces, despite her
refusal to be so, is a source of inspiration and
strength to many Filipinos who feel betrayed by the
incumbent administration. Her word carries a lot of
weight, and her call for the President Arroyo’s
resignation is certain to strengthen the protests
demanding that the executive step down.”

“Ms. Roces has our support and sympathy. We hope that
she continues to speak out against the corruption and
illegitimacy of the incumbent presidency, and
encourage immediate political reforms to clean the
government. She is, perhaps, the one single individual
who can truly unite the opposition because she has no
public record of corruption or personal political
interests. When Ms. Roces speaks, many Filipinos
listen,” he concluded.#

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

NR0628: GMA's sorry not acceptable

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 28, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Protests against corrupt and illegitimate presidency to continue
and escalate until PGMA steps down

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said
that the Filipino people should not give President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo another chance despite the
latter’s apology last night and admission that it was
her on the controversial tapes.

“There is no absolution for Pres. Arroyo. She may have
admitted that it is her on the tapes, and she may have
said that sorry; but for all that she did not admit
that she cheated in the May polls and that she takes
responsibility for the economic and political chaos
that that has erupted over the controversy,” he said.
“Her tactic and attempt to appeal to the usually
forgiving nature of Filipinos has fallen flat on its

“There is no reason for the Filipino people to forgive
Pres. Arroyo. Nothing has changed, and the demand for
her to step down and resign remains the same. Even
before this infamous tape controversy erupted,
Filipinos especially the basic sectors of workers,
urban poor and farmers have been calling for her
ouster and resignation because of her anti-people
policies that have wrought untold damage to the
welfare and livelihood of millions. Now, these issues
as well as the continously piling corruption scandals
involving the President and the members of her
immediate family including the issue of jueteng and
the massive electoral fraud all the more strengthen
and justify the demand that the president immediately
step down.”

Beltran said that if it was the Pres. Arroyo’s intent
to diffuse the protests against her with her admission
and apology, she is mistaken. “If anything, Filipinos
already outraged over her government’s corruption and
failure to alleviate the people’s poverty are more
determined to show her the door. The protests will
continue and increase in number and intensity,and they
will continue to do so until Pres. Arroyo is removed
from power.”

On the committee hearings

The veteran labor leader turned legislator also said
that now that President Arroyo has admitted that it’s
her voice on the tapes, she should give in to the
popular demand and resign. He also said that the
president’s admission also removes all obstacles to
the congressional hearings on the tapes. “All the
excuses and reasonings of pro-admnistration allies in
the House to bar the tapes from played and its
contents analyzed in the hearings have been rendered
moot and academic.”

”Malacanang spokesperson Ignacio Bunye and Department
of Justice Raul Gonzales have been both proven be
liars. Their boss herself has exposed them to be so.
Now, the succeeding Congressional hearings should be
more orderly and systematic given that the wind has
been taken out of the sails of the pro-Arroyo solons.
Their defense of the president has significantly
weakened. The no longer have any compelling reason to
stop the tapes from being played in the hearings,” he

Beltran said that all solons whether
pro-administration or members of the opposition should
now focus on the work at hand and give all their
attention to analzying, scrutinizing the contents of
the tapes and determining the general and specific
implications on the current presidency.”#

NR0627:Martial law and bribery to stop hearings

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin BeltranNews Release June 27, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Malacanang abusing authority by ordering congressional hearings on the tapes to stop; lawmakers should resist attempts of the executive to threaten
or bribe them into opposing hearings

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the moves of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to block the congressional hearings on the controversial taped conversations of the president exposing the massive electoral fraud she perpetrated in May 2004 will not pass the notice of the Filipino people already fed up and disgusted with the administration.

He said that the reasoning of Malacanang that a more systematic system was necessary to conduct the hearings was transparently self-serving. He also said that Malacanang has no right to order the deliberations to stop.

“The executive is flagrantly abusing its authority by making such a demand on Congress. The legislative branch is an independent and separate institution, and if the executive insists on imposing its will this way, then what we have is a virtual dictatorship. Pres. Arroyo might as well abolish Congress and proclaim martial law.”

“Who has been sabotaging the hearings and causing all the disorder and chaos but the allies of President Arroyo in the House? It’s the pro-administration solons who have been doing their best to ensure that the deliberations run around in circles and never head anywhere. Remove the rabid pro-Gloria allies from the hearings and let the solons who want to expose the truth and without doubt the hearings will prosper,” he said. He added that it was quite unfortunate that more solon appear to be loyal to the president than to the Filipino people and the country. “My honorable colleague should be reminded that they pledged their allegiance and service not to president Arroyo but to the Filipino people.”

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that reports that Malacanang was going to utilize the presidential social fund and other funds in the effort to convince solons to vote for the scrapping of the congressional hearings was no surprising.

“President Arroyo has already been accused of tapping other social welfare and benefit funds to fuel her electoral campaign in 2004. She and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and general manager Winston Garcia are strongly accused of siphoning millions of GSIS funds for the president’s electoral bid last year. To put it bluntly, Malacanang is not above using more of taxpayers’ money and other government funds to bribe lawmakers into being silent over the issue of the tapes. Desperate times call for desperate measures is now the official motto of Malacanang,” he said.

Beltran said that lawmakers should not be afraid to come forward and speak their mind regarding the tape controversy. “For the sake of the nation and the Filipino people, lawmakers should support the congressional hearings and demand to have the tapes heard in Congress,” he said. “Lawmakers should stand up against all attempts of Malacanang to cover up its crimes and to protect an illegitimate presidency. The truth must be heard, and literally it’s on tape.”#

Embargo till 7pm

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 27, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Pres. Arroyo’s call for unity and denial of electoral
fraud too late and does not deserve to be met with
forgiveness and support

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said
that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s announcement
this evening that she is under no circumstances guilty
of electoral fraud in the May 2004 elections is too
late a denial.

“Her silence on the issue in the last three weeks has
cemented her guilt in the minds of most Filipinos who
have from the beginning been skeptical of her victory
in the last elections. The back-peddaling of her
spokespersons led by Sec. Ignacio Bunye has done
nothing to clear the doubts of the people as to who
the voices on the taped conversations are and what the
conversations revolved around.”

“The voice is hers, the command to implement massive
electoral fraud was hers, and the immediate punishment
commensurate to such a crime is her resignation.
Pres.Arroyo cannot ask for forgiveness neither does
she deserve it because she has not admitted her crime
and instead she, through her various spokespersons
such as Bunye and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales has
issued threats against her critics and those who seek
the truth. Such deceit and arrogance in the highest
executive of the land is unacceptable: Pres. Arroyo
must step down. Her refusal to do so only exacerbates
her crimes against the Filipino people and further
worsens the severe economic crisis the country is
sufffering from.”

Beltran said that the basis of the demand for the
president’s resignation was a compund of economic and
political reasons. “She has been inutile in helping
Filipinos better their lives and instead her policies
have resulted to the worsening of economic conditions
of millions more. Under her administration, oil price
hikes have been a monthly reality, electricity rates
have almost doubled, and employment remains high. In
truth, electoral fraud, though a serious crime, is
nothing compared of the devastation she has wrought in
the economic lives and welfare of Filipinos.”

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that
Filipinos will not be taken in by the president’s
attempts at issuing an apology and her call for unity.
“This is not a simple misdemeanor or a case of
misunderstanding between the Filipino people and the
president. This is an issue that’s rocking the very
foundations of the presidency and weakening the
already questionable system of elections in the
country. The only way Pres. Arroyo can even begin to
ask foregiveness is if she resigns from office

Sunday, June 26, 2005

NR0626: On Sec. Gonzales' upcoming testimony

News Release
June 26, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Sec. Gonzales’ testimony to feature more legal double-talk and threats; talks circulating on Malacanang’s preparation too offer bribes to close down investigations

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Congressional investigations on the electoral fraud scandal involving Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will continue to gain the support of Filipinos despite the machinations of pro-administration solons to derail the investigations. He said that it was clear that so far, the officials called in to testify have not been truthful and upfront regarding their knowledge of the controversial tapes, what they contain and what they imply for the presidency.

“But in the course of the investigations and the deliberations, Malacanang’s allies are exposing themselves. They are intent on protecting the president, disregarding the fact that the swore on the bible that they would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So far, spokesperson Ignacio Bunye and National Bureau of Investigation chief Reynaldo Wycoco have issued nothing but excuses and run-around-questions. All this, however, serve the purpose of further exposing Malacanang’s desperation to stay and delay the investigations until they can think of more means to help the President get out of this latest predicament,” he said.

Beltran said that the administration’s political machinery is certain to break down in the coming days and weeks as more and more influential figures in the country’s political and economic sectors begin speaking out on the issue. He also said that as the economic crisis further worsens because of the instability of the presidency, the pressure on Pres. Arroyo to resign will also mount.

Beltran said that the upcoming hearing wherein Justice Sec. Raul Gonzales is the main invited guest is certain to be another show of Malacanang’s desperation. “Sec. Gonzales has proven himself to be one of Malacanang’s sharp-shooters, issuing threats and dodging sticky questions. Sec. Gonzales is expected to give another stellar performance this coming week as he testifies in Congress. He has earned the ire of many civil libertarians and human rights advocates because of his statements attacking freedom of expression,” he said. “He’s one of the more hard-line of Malacanang’s henchmen bent on keeping the truth behind tapes under wraps. It’s ironic that he’s the secretary of justice because Gonzales in one who firmly in the way of the truth and justice.”

He added that it was still crucial that the controversial tapes be played in Congress. “This is the most logical thing to do. All the other legal considerations and excuses pro-Malacanang lawmakers are issuing against this move are secondary to the matter. What is most important now is for the tape to be played, the voices in it heard, and the contents deliberated upon line-by-line.”

The veteran labor leader meanwhile said that there was already talk circulating that Malacanang though its allies in Congress was already prepared to make it worth legislators’ while and release millions to convince the solons to drop the congressional investigations.

“There is already talk that Malacanang is prepared to issue P2 million per lawmaker just so they support moves to stop the hearings. It would not be surprising if Malacanang is indeed thinking of making such a move as issuing bribe money. The President is already accused of rigging the 2004 national elections – any other corrupt act would not be at all above Malacanang,” he concluded.#

NR0623:Pro-admin solons sabotaging hearings

News Release
June 23, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Pro-Arroyo solons deliberately suppressing the truth; Protests against PGMA to continue as defection with the administration begins

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Congressional committee hearings on the controversial tapes exposing Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s electoral fraud was making some headway despite the machinations and moves of pro-administration solons to derail the hearings and have the issue thrown out. Beltran said that the public was monitoring every second of the deliberations, and it was evident that the pro-Arroyo solons were doing their best to keep the truth from being heard.

“There is utter chaos in the deliberations despite the careful, considerate and able management of the committee chairmen led by Rep. Gilbert Remulla. The pro-Arroyo solons are determined to block all motions that will lead to the playing of the controversial taped conversations. They project themselves as obedient to the letter of the law, but they are essentially ignoring and dismissing its essence. They are deliberately delaying the hearings by spouting various legal references, none of which applicable to the issue at hand. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of this issue, but the administration die-hards are already working full-thrust to kill the hearings,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that if the Committee hearings on the tapes will not head anywhere, the matter is certain to be settled elsewhere – in the arena of public debate and consciousness, most Filipinos are already convinced that the voices on tape are those of Pres. Arroyo and Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. The pro-administration solons can close their ears and minds against the tapes and their contents, but the public has already heard the tapes with their own ears and they’ve made up their minds that Pres. Arroyo cheated in the May 2004 elections,” he said.

According to Beltran, Pres. Arroyo’s hold in the presidency is also being weakened by the slow but deliberate withdrawal of support of members of the private sector for her administration. He also said that the international community can also be seen waiting for the turnover of power in the coming weeks and months. “Pres. Arroyo is already a spent and washed-up political force. She has no more credibility to speak of. Her spokespersons can continue putting up a brave front, but the truth is, even as we speak, many Arroyo allies have already begun to plan their defection,” he insisted. He predicted that there will soon be announcements from cabinet members and officials that they are leaving Arroyo’s sinking ship.

In the meantime, Beltran reiterated his stand that the longer Pres. Arroyo remains in power, the worse it will be for the Philippine economy.

“She is one of the biggest reasons why the economy is in crisis. An illegitimate presidency that espouses anti-national policies that wreck the economy should not be allowed to continue. The protests against Pres. Arroyo will grow and worsen until she is forced to step down. She is courting even greater disaster for herself if she continue to be stubborn and silent against the countless charges of corruption and electoral fraud against her and members of her immediate family,” he said.

Beltran and fellow Anakpawis solon Rafael Mariano will be joining the anti-Arroyo rallies tomorrow beginning 1pm. The demonstration/people’s march against corruption and poverty will be from Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City to Liwasang Bonifacio. #

Saturday, June 18, 2005

NR0619:On Cory's visit to Susan

News Release
June 19, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Ex. President Aquino’s visit to Ms. Susan Roces an indirect sign of the former’s stand on the electoral fraud scandal

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that ex-president Corazon Aquino’s recent visit to Ms Susan Roces already fuels speculations that the former is not siding with Malacanang on the controversial tapes issue. He said that ex pres. Aquino has not so far issued any statement giving the incumbent president the benefit of the doubt. “And now that she’s made a visit to the widow of the rightful winner of the 2004 presidential polls, it will not be surprising if many would see this as a sign of support.”

Beltran said that Ms. Roces was indeed a source of strength for the followers of her deceased husband; “Now she is also revealing herself as a potent force to unite Filipinos against the corruption of the incumbent administration. It’s clear that the good lady does not want the political responsibility much less the public attention generated by this controversy, but be that as it may, whenever she speaks, the public will listen.”

“We can only hope that Ms. Roces will to some degree take up what her deceased husband swore to do during the election campaign – mainly to help clean up the government and root out the thieves and parasites that are bleeding the country dry.”

“This tape scandal exposes the extent of the incumbent administration’s greed and lust for power. This should compel Filipinos to seek genuine political and economic reforms, and stop the cycle of corruption in government. What the country needs are leaders that do not have personal, self-serving ambitions and truly have the Filipino people’s needs and interest at heart. Ms. Roces would make a powerful impact, even as a private citizen, issuing such statements. She has the love and respect of many Filipinos, even those who did not vote for FPJ in the last elections.”

Finally, Beltran said that Vice-President Noli de Castro is definitely not in the running to replace beleaguered President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “There is no clamor for the veep to replace the president, but there are mounting calls to remove de Castro as well, given that the election results were also likely in his favor last May 2004,” he said. “De Castro is an unlikely candidate for the presidency. Malacanang need not worry over whatever political ambitions de Castro has.”#

NR0619:Garcillano's best defense: He merely acted on PGMA's orders

News Release
June 19, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Commissioner Garcillano should not fear prosecution as his alibi is solid: he was acting upon the orders and instructions of the President

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that it was evident that the Malacanang has already instructed infamous man-of-the-hour Comelec commissioner Virgilio arcillano to keep his head low in the midst of the escalating political controversy regarding his taped conversations with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Beltran said that it was highly irregular that a man who has become a Filipino household name is deliberately hiding from the limelight. “Flight is often taken as a sign of guilt- especially in this case when the individuals concerned have not only maintained an uneasy silence, but are actually keeping away from the media and refusing to air their side,” he said.

Beltran said that Garcillano should surface if only to air side. “Commissioner Garcillano should not be afraid to come forward. The public blame and political accountability does not rest on his shoulders because he acted as a mere accomplice to the crime of electoral fraud. Granting that it’s a serious crime that should be meted a weighty punishment and complete prosecution, Garcillano was merely acting on the orders of the executive. The pressure on him must have been very great,” he said.

“How does the President and her coterie of advisers expect this scandal of international proportions to be settled? The President refuses to issue statement of denial or admission, and her alleged partner-in-crime is in virtual hiding, in this particular case of electoral fraud being Garcillano.”

“Malacanang’s prayers will not work – this time, this issue will not just dry up and go away or be relegated to the back pages. This is a mystery that has gripped the entire nation and Filipinos will not rest until the case is solved and the antagonists given their just punishment,” he said. He said that the Committee on Public Information should issue a subpoena compelling Garcillano to appear at the Congressional hearings on the controversial tapes.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator urged Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos to take a more active role in searching for Garcillano. “Chairman Abalos is Garcillano’s immediate superior, and he has all the right to know the latter’s whereabouts and to seek clarifications regarding the massive mess he has been exposed to be involved in.”

“It’s unjustifiable the way Malacanang officials appear to be washing their hands of Garcillano, and this inaction only confirms the guilt being attributed to the President. Malacanang think-tankers believe that the longer the President and Garcillano maintain their silence, the more time it buys for the president. Sooner or later, however, something’s going to give and all the worse for PGMA,” he said.#

NR0618: ON Laarni and martial law rumors

New Release
June 18, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

PNP’s tack to pin Laarni Enriquez in tape scandal diversionary tactic; on martial law rumors

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) revelation that TSgt. Vidal Doble allegedly received P2 million from ousted Pres. Joseph Estrada’s mistress former actress Laarni Enriquez in exchange for Doble’s participation in the wire-tapping of Pres. Arroyo’s controversial poll-fraud conversation was very convenient for the PNP and the Macapagal-Arroyo admnistration.

"The administration is on the keen look-out for escape hatches and fall-guys to pin the current predicament it’s now in. The PNP’s latest revelation on Ms. Enriquez isn’t a new twist, and it’s an attempt to deflect the attention of the public from President Arroyo and the controversial tapes proving her poll fraud. Time and again, the admnistration has pinned the blame on the opposition for all it’s foul-ups. Vidal Doble is currently in the custody of the PNP, and it’s at all unlikely that the supposed sworn and signed affidavit he has given implicating Ms. Enriquez is fabricated. This is a very transparent move on the part of the PNP. "

He said that it was likely that Doble is being pressured or threatened into implicating Enriquez or members of the opposition. "The PNP can do or say whatever it wants and pass it off as Doble’s statements because they have the latter under custody. The PNP and Malacanang are going to try their hardest to use Doble as their weapon of defense and deflect the heat from Pres. Arroyo and turn it on the opposition."

Beltran said that PNP director Arturo Lomibao shouldn’t count his chickens yet just because he has Doble in custody. "The balance hasn’t wavered in favor of the administration. The angle that intrigues and causes strong outrage among Filipinos now isn’t so much how the tapes came out or who did what to tape the conversations, but what the tapes contain and what it implies for the presidency."

"Ms. Enriquez’ dare that she will by all means attend congressional investigations if Pres. Arroyo will do the same should be taken up. Up to now Pres. Arroyo has said nil regarding the tapes, and this silence only fuels the believe of more and more Filipinos that one of the voices in the tapes is hers orchestrating election fraud," he said.

Regarding the threat of martial law being imposed, meanwhile, the veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that it will not be easy for Pres. Arroyo to make such a declaration. He said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and even the PNP were not solidly behind her administration. "The rank and file of the military are severely demoralized by the continuing corruption in the government and the lack of genuine reform in the armed forces. Furthermore, there’s a solid bloc of civil libertarian forces that will immediately rally and stand up against any attempts to plunge the country under martial law."

"Pres. Arroyo’s lust for power will inevitably prove to be undoing. Her credibility has been whittled away to almost nothing and she remains in Malacanang by the skin of her teeth. No machinations or strategies to blame the opposition for the tape scandal will save Pres. Arroyo. She can’t even answer the most basic of questions – is she or isn’t she the woman whose voice is in the tapes? It can’t be Ate Glo or even Willy Nepomuceno," he concluded.#

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

NR0616:Garci, GMA's weakest link

News Release
June 16, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Anti-fraud, anti-corruption groups to picket Comelec tomorrow; Solon demands Garcillano not b be allowed to go into hiding or leave the country

Anakpawis solons Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano will join other progressive lawmakers and leaders of anti-corruption, anti-fraud groups in tomorrow’s big protest rally in front of the Commission on Election to denounce what they termed as one of the biggest cases of electoral fraud since the Marcos dictatorship. Anakpawis has expressed condemnation anew for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s decision to remain mum on whether commissioner Virgilio Garcillano will be reappointed as to the COMELEC. Protestors from Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and the anti-corruption group Patriots as well as members of organizations under the umbrella of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) will rally in front of the Comelec beginning 1PM.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said on Wednesday there was "no indication from the President if commissioner Garcillano will be reappointed or not." Garcillano is alleged to be the election officer whom the President was talking to in the "wiretapped conversation" now circulating in country. The conversation was said to be about plans to manipulate results of the May 2004 election. Garcillano, together with commissioner Manuel Barcelona, were bypassed anew when the Commission on Appointments failed to act on their confirmation before Congress adjourned on June 9. It is the president who has the prerogative to reappoint them to the elections body. There are reports that the two no longer attended the Commission’s en banc meeting early this week as they have not received their reappointment.

“Is there now a gag order against Garcillano? Speculations are already rife that Malacanang is keeping Garcillano from issuing statements, but it’s dilemma to keep Garcillano employed in the Comelec is largely due to uncertainty: will Garcillano speak, and what will he say when asked about the taped conversation between him and the president?”

”Without doubt, anything that comes out of Garcillano’s mouth will be directly linked to the President. After all, they are the ones who had those shocking conversations on vote manipulation in the My 2004 polls,” he said. “Garcillano is the President’s weakest link when it comes to this poll fraud scandal, the same way the President’s husband and eldest son are her weakest link when it comes to issues of massive corruption.”

The veteran labor leader said that Garcillano should not confirmed at the Comelec, “But neither should he be allowed to go into hiding or to leave the country. The investigations into this tape scandal have yet to fully unfold, and Garcillano is a key player. Garcillano has single-handedly put the credibility of the COMELEC and even the entire election process in serious doubt. His conversations with the President on poll manipulation has jolted the entire nation awake and has sparked even more calls for the president’s resignation. By no means should Garcillano be allowed to leave the country,” he concluded.#

NR0616:Sins of the president

News Release
June 16, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Church groups, religious leaders should not give PGMA their support; 7 capital sins of the president unforgivable

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s attempts to woo church organizations and religious groups should not be met with enthusiasm by church leaders much less the faithful.

“President Arroyo has committed far too many sins and crimes against the Filipino people for her to be forgiven instantaneously. “At this juncture when she remains to be tight-lipped and mum on the burning issue of electoral fraud that’s been exposed because of the expose of her taped conversations, President Arroyo doesn’t deserve the support of the Church. She first has to admit to her sins before she can even ask for support or even just forgiveness,” he said.

Beltran said that President has committed her own version of seven capital sins: 1) Allowing the oil companies to incessantly increase oil prices; 2) Letting Meralco jack its already anomalous rates; 3) implementing a foreign policy with the United States that’s one-sided and anti-sovereignty; 4) unleashing a vicious military campaign of repression and liquidation of journalists, activists and human rights advocates; 5)conniving with employers to keep workers’ wages down; 6)passing a series of tax measures that will bury Filipinos deeper in poverty; 7) lusting after wealth and power to the extent of orchestrating massive electoral fraud in the May 2004 elections and letting her family run the jueteng network in the country.

“These are not sins that can be forgiven easily, and the punishment for such sins should neither be light nor negligible,” he said. “Our church and religious leaders should not give in to Pres. Arroyo’s pleas for support, much less enjoin the Filipino people to stop the protests against her. At this juncture, the Church should help lead Filipinos in the campaign to end corruption and push for crucial socio-economic reforms.”

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that the longer Pres. Arroyo keeps her silence on the burning issue of the controversial tapes, the worse the repercussions will be on her and her administration. “She cannot remain silent on this. The Filipino people need and demand answers. If she cannot and will not answer charges and allegations against her credibility and legitimacy, more stringent actions should be taken to compel her to speak.”

He added that COMELEC commissioner Virgilio Garcillano should also be compelled to speak on pain of arrest and prosecution. “Electoral fraud, especially concerning the presidency, is a serious crime. Pres. Arroyo and Garcillano’s taped conversations are shocking to the say the least, and all steps should be taken to expose the matter fully. An illegitimate presidency is in power, and this can and will only lead to worse economic and political turmoil.”#

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

NR0614:On Vidal Doble's statements re tapes

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
June 14, 2005

Vidal Doble’s surfacing exposes rift in the AFP, existing plot against the presidency; tapes already etched in the public’s awareness

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said the surfacing of alleged wire-tapper T/Sgt. Vidal Doble exposes a bigger problem or the already beleaguered Macapagal-Arroyo administration. He said that the initial statements of Doble reveal that there is a massive rift within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and that there is indeed brewing tension within the AFP. “It’s becoming clear that there is a anti-Arroyo faction within the AFP and it wants to have the president ousted. There are forces within the AFP leadership who are plotting against Macapagal-Arroyo and it’s already made its move by releasing the controversial tapes of the President.”

Beltran said that Pres. Arroyo faces not just the outrage of the civilian populace disgusted with the electoral fraud she perpetrated and the relentless corruption of the First Family, but also the threat of the military withdrawing its support from her administration. “The tapes are clearly authentic, and they did not come from nowhere. It’s slowly being discovered that the source is from within the military because it, aside from the Philippine National Philippines (PNP) are the institutions readily able to wire-tap. Why these tapes have been exposed only now indicates something regarding the plans of the anti-Arroyo faction in the AFP. Clearly, it’s not t he Opposition who released these tapes because if were, it would have revealed the existence of the tapes long before and did not allow Pres. Arroyo to sworn in June 24 last year,” he said.

He pointed out that even if the AFP and the ISAFP pressure T/Sgt Vidal into denying all knowledge of the tapes and retracting his statements to the media that the wire-tapping was all part of a scheme to establish “a revolutionary government”, the damage has already been done.

“The main damning evidence is still the controversial tapes. They exist, the public has heard its contents, and no amount of explaining or denials on the part of Malacanang can erase the public’s awareness of these tapes. At this juncture, it doesn’t matter much who released the tapes – what is crucial here is the tapes’ contents and what they imply about the incumbent presidency. What we have is a bogus president, the victor of a rigged election, and a supposed leader who has no moral or legitimate mandate to lead.”

“It’s only a matter of time before this administration falls apart. It neither has the people’s support, and its now being revealed that there is in truth a plot against it coming from the disgruntled ranks of the military. The sooner the tapes are examined and its contents verified, the sooner the downfall of this bogus presidency. An independent body should be formed to examine these tapes,” he said.#

Monday, June 13, 2005

NR0613:Rep. Mikey should focus on showbiz career

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 13, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Perhaps Rep. Mikey Arroyo is better off focusing on his fledgling career instead of continuing as a lawmaker - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today expressed strong agreement with Sen. Richard Gordon and his suggestion that Reps. Mikey Macapagal-Arroyo and Iggy Arroyo should resign in the light of the shocking jueteng controversy in which they are being implicated.

Beltran said that the two accused representatives, as close relatives of the president of the republic, have been consistently in the limelight not so much because they have shown exemplary prowess in the legislative arena, "But mostly because both of them have been implicated in various corruption scandals."

"Neither relative of the president has shown that they are legislators to reckon with, neither promoting pro-people legislation or rulings nor taking definitive stands on issues confronting the Filipino people's economic and political welfare. The fame they possess is largely due to the fact that they are relatives of the executive; this apart from being implicated in some of the biggest scandals that have rocked the administration," he said.

"Perhaps Rep. Mikey Arroyo would be better off focusing on his fledgling movie career. He should resign now he could focus more on promoting his movies." Beltran said that the Arroyo scion has a movie coming out with Ms. Ethel Booba, titled "Sablay ka na, pasaway ka pa" under Cine Suerte pictures.

Beltran said that Rep. Iggy Arroyo's previous admission that he is the notorious "Jose Pidal" who owns the questionable bank accounts of allegedly laundered money has already tainted his credibility.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that the two aforementioned solons were also adding to the less-than-pristine reputation of Congress. "Many Filipinos already think that Congress is an institution housing the most corrupt and disreputable politicians in the country; the two solons should resign as they have lost all credibility as Congressmen and their constant denials of involvement in jueteng do not convince anyone any."

Beltran said that even as he believes that the jueteng investigations were bearing fruit in the sense that the revelations are being made, he was skeptical of the chances that anyone - particularly the Arroyos-will be indicted. "For all the strong words laid down by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that she supports the investigations and that the law should favor no one, not even her own relatives, it's not likely that she will allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to proceed with the laying down of charges against members of the First Family."

He also said that the testimony of jueteng 'bag lady' Sandra Cam against the two Arroyos should not be dismissed lightly. "The woman has come forward at the risk of her own life and safety given that she's accusing the close relatives of the highest official in the land. Her testimony is so far the most damning and telling, and appears to be credible. She has not even made excuses for her involvement in jueteng."#

NR0610:Change in the system, not just change of administration

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 10, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

A change of administration not enough; GMA must resign and a national coalition government of anti-corruption, pro-people reform advocates established - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that instead of calling for snap elections, anti-Macapagal-Arroyo forces should support calls for the establishment of a national coalition government, an adhoc committee comprising all anti-corruption and pro-people reform forces and groups that will coordinate on a general plan of action as to where the Philippines should go in the coming weeks.

"A snap election will take too long and the results could still well be rigged. Also, the Macapagal-Arroyo camp will be getting breathing space and time to recover, regroup and tacticize. Pres. Arroyo should be made to resign now and a national coalition government composed of democratic and progressive people's organizations and the opposition should be set-up. As a supposed expression of democracy, elections in this country are for the most part an exercise dominated by the rich and influential, and those backed by the US government."

"The Filipino people is demanding not so much as a change in government and talking heads, but more crucial a change in the economic and political system. A change in the anti-national, anti-patriotic character and orientation of governance of the present administration and its predecessors. A change in the system, not just another round of musical chairs among the country's members of the ruling elite," he said.

"We don't want to see recycled faces in power. The leadership style, political orientation and economic platform of the country's leading officials have been tried, and the results are evident in the way the country continues to deteriorate. A change of administration is not enough. What this country needs is a complete economic and political overhaul."

Beltran said that all efforts must now be exerted to force Pres. Arroyo to resign. "She never had the Filipino people's mandate, and she used her position to further destroy the economy and compromise the nation's sovereignty and political independence from foreign interests. The results of the May 2004 elections never favored her, and so she should immediately step down, along with all the members of her cabinet," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that Pres. Arroyo is risking being overthrown by People Power by resisting calls for her resignation. He said that the bells are already tolling for the administration. "She has become one of the most unpopular presidents in Philippine history, as well as one of the most corrupt. One can even say that her corruption runs in her family, given that her husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, eldest son Mikey and brother in law Iggy are all accused of various acts of corruption." #

Thursday, June 09, 2005

NR0609:2 nrs on meralco First Family scandals

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 9, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Solon demands COA audit Meralco books;
says GMA, First Family's shenanigans worsening econ crisis

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today joined protests led by Anakpawis party-list and other organizations affiliated with the alliance People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates (POWER) continue to assail the 14.67 centavo per kWh rate increase proposed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). The said groups, including the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kadamay, Gabriela, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Piston, Courage, AGHAM and BAYAN, staged a "rain-or-shine picket-rally" in front of the Meralco Building along Ortigas Avenue.

The protestors reiterated their opposition to the private firm's rate hike proposal to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Beltran said that the rally was held to "intensify the fight against unwarranted rate increases", in addition to "signifying the formal intent to oppose the Meralco rate hike through filing a complaint at the ERC" last week. "Meralco's rate hike is based on the company's sheer greed and its unscrupulousness to make consumers pay for its expansion projects. This is a public crime - it's practically theft."

Beltran said that a government audit of Meralco was long overdue. "Before Meralco can jack its rates some more, the government, particularly the Commission on Audit, should step in and audit Meralco's records. The Supreme Court (SC) itself, the highest judicial body in this country, has ordered Meralco to open up its books for auditing-something which it has yet to comply with. Also, Meralco even dares to mock the legal process by applying for a new rate hike which is definitely higher than its previous ERC-approved rate hike, which has later declared illegal and unjustified by the SC? Meralco dares to hike its rates when it has not even completed the SC order for the refund of the P90 million collected from consumers," he explained.

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader said that the longer Pres. Arroyo remains in power, the speedier the deterioration of the economy will be. He said that since the President's taped conversations ordering the implementation of large-scale electoral fraud was exposed, the peso lost more ground against the US dollar. Already, the controversy has caused the peso value to fall to 54.780 pesos to the dollar, after closing at a two-week low of 54.670 on Wednesday.

"It's the scandals and controversies involving the President and members of the First Family led by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Rep. Mikey Arroyo and Rep. Iggy Arroyo that are causing the peso value to further slide. This and the political jitters triggered by talk of possible fresh attempts to destabilize the government," he said.

"President Arroyo should not wait for another EDSA uprising to unseat her from Malacanang. Constantly falling economic indicators point directly towards her and her family's various acts of corruption and mismanagement of the government . Another series of oil price hikes has begun, and electricity rates are hitting the roof. Pres. Arroyo is causing the economy to fall apart, bringing down the quality of life of Filipinos. She should give in to the popular demand and step down. Her already widespread unpopularity can only worsen as more details of the electoral fraud she and her allies orchestrated in May 2004 are revealed," he concluded.#

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

NR0608:Poll fraud, not wire-tapping the main issue

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 8, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

PNP should go to Malacanang to seek the source of destabilization; wire-tapping not the main issue, massive electoral fraud is - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today scoffed at the Philippine National Police's (PNP) strong words regarding its supposed preparedness to defend the Macapagal-Arroyo administration against any and all forces plotting against it.

"The PNP led by Director General Arturo Lomibao is trying to score some brownie points by saying that they're capable of stopping all destabilization plots against the government. What's there to nip in the bud? It 's President Arroyo and her family who are the cause of the worsening political turbulence. Every time the Arroyo administration bungles, its allies and henchmen in the police and military all try to outdo each other in crying 'destabilization.' They've done it so often it's already become tiresome. This administration is self-destructing, disassembling from within. Morale, without doubt, is quite low within the administration," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that Lomibao and the PNP's loyalty should not be to the president but to the Filipino people and the country. "The PNP is projecting itself as a hard-core, pro-GMA institution ready to defend it to the death. The rank-and-file if not the leadership of the PNP should begin getting it into their heads that this administration is committing various crimes against the citizenry. Pres. Arroyo herself is now even being accused of rigging the May 2004 polls and directing the cheating tactics herself," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran said that the outrage of certain quarters over the supposed wire-tapping of President Arroyo's calls is a tactic being used by Malacanang to divert the issue of the President being exposed as manipulating first-hand the results of the May 2004 elections.

"The uproar over wire-tapping should not be allowed to cover the real issue, that of the president's controversial conversation that was caught on tape. The contents are a dead give-away that there was massive electoral fraud in 2004, and the President was at the helm of it. Who surrendered the tape to Malacanang, anyways? The palace must already know who is behind it. How the conversation was taped is also an interesting story the public needs to know," he said.

"Wire-tapping is one of the recommendations of Malacanang allies in Congress to supposedly counter terrorism and there's a provision for its legalization in the anti-terror bill being cooked in Congress. Now that it's coming out that the president's own calls were tapped, will her allies still push for the legalization of wire-tapping? Her conversations with her allies and underlings are more interesting and controversial than the calls of ordinary citizens," he said. #

NR0608:GMA urged to do as erstwhile Bolivian president did

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 8, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Members of the first family, President Arroyo a major headache for Filipinos; solon urges PGMA to do as the Bolivian president did and step down

"Sablay ka na, pasaway ka pa."

This is what Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran says he wants to say to the members of the president's family and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He said that each of the eldest members of the Macapagal-Arroyo family led by the president herself, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and Rep. Mikey Arroyo are all involved in shocking controversies involving corruption and massive cheating.

'Sablay ka na, pasaway ka pa,' incidentally, is the title of the new film starring Rep. Mikey Arroyo and Ms. Ethel Booba. The film is produced by Cine Suerte productions and is scheduled for release in the coming weeks. He said that that three Arroyos and their respective spokespersons have been dodging accusations left and right, but they have not been successful in convincing the public of their full innocence. "How can they? It's been one controversy, scandal and scam after the other. President Arroyo is already in boiling water because of the worsening economic situation and a restive citizenry gripped by poverty; it doesn't lower the social temperature any to know that she also cheated in the May 11 elections."

"Since reports came out that her approval ratings have plummeted, the president has made herself relatively scarce and surrendered the floor to her spokespersons. Now that this latest scandal has broken out regarding the president's hands-on monitoring and illegal, underhanded manipulation of the results of the May 2004 polls, her ratings will without doubt hit rock-bottom and will not recover," he said.

"Impeachment, ouster, forced resignation are the terms being bandied about these days whenever the presidency is mentioned. The executive has long before lost the support of the Filipino people and she remains in power because her administration is being propped up by the US. Pres. Arroyo has no moral or political ascendancy to remain in office. The controversial tape exposes what many have known all along - she was not the true victor of the 2004 polls."

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker urged Pres. Arroyo to do as Carlos de Mesa did recently - resign. The erstwhile president of Bolivia resigned yesterday, ending his 19-month old government because of mass protests against his government's inutility in alleviating widespread poverty. Protests in Bolivia steadily increased as the country's Congress increased oil taxes."

"De Mesa did what was necessary for the country. His administration was highly unpopular with the poor and working people. The same is the case with the Macapagal-Arroyo administration - not only has it turned out that Pres. Arroyo is betraying the mandate of the people and grossly failed to bring employment up, bring high costs of living down and improve the quality of life of the majority, it' s being revealed that she never even won the mandate in the first place."

De Mesa's decision came after more than three weeks of escalating protests by powerful indigenous and anti-globalization groups demanding that the government nationalize the private energy firms that flocked to Bolivia to mine Latin America's second-largest natural gas reserves.Though Congress on May 17 sharply raised taxes on foreign multinationals, among them Petrobras of Brazil, Repsol YPF of Spain and British Gas, the population was not placated. Protests in recent days have blocked most highways, isolating cities and making gasoline and staples like milk and eggs scarce.

Mr. Mesa became president in October 2003 after protesters forced President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada to resign. He convened a referendum last year in which Bolivians asked for more state control of the country's natural gas. His administration was rocked by more than 800 protests, as indigenous groups in the western highlands demanded more say in the country's economic future and pro-business groups in the country's affluent east sought more autonomy.#

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NR0607:Railway project constitutes treason

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Philippine government entered contact of "betrayal and treason" with
China over building of Northrail project; Congress should scrutinize contract as it turns RP resources as collateral to China

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that patriotic legislators and nationalist groups and individuals should file a diplomatic protest against China even as they oppose the Philippine National Railway Modernization and Rehabilitation Program (PNR-MRP). He said in this project building the Northrail, China has taken full advantage of the Philippines while the Philippine government led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allowed it to happen.

The Northrail is being built from Caloocan to Clark Airbase, Pampanga to the Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales and there's an extension from Caloocan to Fort Bonifacio and another from Clark heading towards Poro Point in La Union. All the parts of the project are in the midst of implementation at various levels; what is clear, however, is that the construction is being hurried. According to latest reports, the construction of the rail from Caloocan to Alabang (Southrail Phase 1) and the line from Calocooan to Malolos, Bulacan (Northrail Phase 1 Section 1) is being done at top-speed, and the houses of more than 7,000 families from Malabon to Valenzuela and hundreds of others in Caloocan have already been demolished;

"This project which the government is touting to be pro-people and pro-development is highly questionable. Close scrutiny of the contract between the Philippines and China will expose the project as onerous and that it constitutes a wholesale betrayal of national sovereignty and the welfare of the Filipino poor," he said.

The loan contract between the Philippines and China (titled "Buyer Credit Loan Agreement No. BLA 04055 between the Export-Import Bank of China and Department of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines for the NorthRail Project-Phase 1, Section 1) stands as the official document on which the financial aspects and actual construction plans of the project is based. "The terms and conditionalities are stated in this contact, as well as the responsibilities of both contracting parties are shocking," he and cause for national outrage," Beltran said.

In the contract for the loan release signed on February 26, 2004, the following are stated:

a. The amount the Philippines borrowed for the project is US$400 million. This will be paid for within twenty (20) years with an interest rate of three percent (3) per annum.

b. The payment amount will be divided in 30 installments, with each installment amounting to US$13,333,333.33. The payment schedule however, as stated in a provision in the contract, will be determined by China and cannot be disobeyed or changed by the Philippines. There is the possibility here that China can demand payment of two, three or four installments in one year and can create payment difficulties for the Philippines.

c. The Philippines will pay a Management Fee of 0.2% of the amount borrowed, or US$800,000 sixty (60) days after the contract signing. Apart from this, the Philippines will pay a Commitment Fee which is the same amount per annum, also 60 days after the signing. The Philippines will also pay US$10,000.00 for the preparations and ratification of the loan agreement.

d.The said loan is what will be utilized for the PNR-MRP project for which the only designated contractor is the China Machinery and Equipment Corporation which is owned by the Chinese government.

"It's patently clear that the provisions on the loan conditionalities alone are enough to drive the country even deeper in debt. At the minimum, the Philippines will be paying double the amount it is borrowing, and the country's foreign debt (already pegged at US$57 million) will again grow exponentially if debt payments are delayed;

The activist solon also said that the following conditions are also stated in the contract:

a. The Philippines cannot cancel or rescind its part of the contract;
b. All the taxes and fees for various permits necessary for the construction and completion of the project will be shouldered by the Philippines;
c. The laws to govern the contact will be the laws of China, and not of the Philippines, and in the case of any foul-up, the Philippines can be charged by Chinese courts;
d. The Philippines waives its government's control over its assets. This means that the Chinese government can sheriff and take control over the assets of the Philippines with the exemption of diplomatic missions, military installations, and facilities that are "for public use." Apart from this, China can also take control of the Philippines' natural resources, as well as government-owned and controlled corporations and the like;
e. Any loss in profit, financial damages and other expenses that will be incurred as a result of the failure of the Philippines to obey the provisions of the contract will be shouldered by the Philippines;

"The Philippine government's involvement in this contract with China constitutes a national betrayal as the government surrenders national sovereignty and patrimony to China. The Philippine government led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has put up the country's natural resources and other assets as collateral and financial guarantee for a project that will not benefit the Filipino people but instead provide greater convenience to foreign investors at the expense of Philippine laws and the welfare of hundreds of thousands of residents. Congress should closely scrutinize the contract and investigate the events and circumstances that led to the finalization of such contract," he said.

NR0607:Malacanang dared:play the original tape!

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Rep. Beltran to Pres. Arroyo and Malacanang spin doctors:

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Presidential Spokesperon Ignacio Bunye was "falling all over himself" trying to pass of the taped conversation between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a yet unnamed official, supposedly an official from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

"We expect Spokesperson Bunye to literally stutter in the coming days as he struggles to contain this gigantic can of worms that Malacanang itself unwittingly opened," he said. "Hopefully, Malacanang is paying Bunye enough because in the next few days, the only thankful thing he will be grateful for in his job will be his salary. Malacanang better put up its storm windows because a major political calamity involving President Arroyo is swiftly coming," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that for all of Malacanang's desperate statements and attempts to appear unfazed in the face of this latest damning controversy, the truth will eventually come out. He said that neither the President nor her spokesperson have denied the existence of the taped conversation, or the fact that it's really the president whose conversation was taped.

"There are three clear things that we're certain of: 1) there is indeed a taped conversation between the president and a yet unnamed individual; 2) the conversation's content is highly damaging to the president; and 3) Malacanang is working overtime to kill the issue, and it's failing to do so. A few important question remains - who is the President talking to, and what are they talking about? It must have been something Pres. Arroyo never dreamed would get out, and now her worse nightmares are coming true," he said.

Beltran said that there was a voice clip already circulating which supposedly is a taped conversation between the President, the first gentleman Mike Arroyo and a man named "Garcillano" from Mindanao and the topic of the conversation is the vote countring developments in the May 2004 presidential and senatorial elections. "This voice clip was even aired over at dzRH last Monday June 6 pm program of bbroadcaster Deo Macalma," he said.

"This "Garcillano does not appear to be a COMELEC official. Who is he and why is Malacanang in a massive panic over this voice clip?" he said. Beltran said that for all its attempts to pacify the public over the issue, Malacanang spokespersons have not been able to deny that it is really President Arroyo on tape.

Malacanang is in a frantic panic to cover up the issue that it released a fake tape even before the original tape that's being questioned could be aired to the public. A comprehensive cover up is clearly in the works, and Malacanang's spin doctors and image protectors are not above using electronic tampering and voice manipulation to come up with a fake tape," he said.

"Bunye's move to present two different taped conversations all the more makes the issue more controversial. Air the original taped conversation and let the Filipino public decide which is which!" he said. Beltran said that it was President Arroyo herself who was laying the grounds for her own impeachment or ouster. "She is giving the Filipino people more and more reasons to demand that she step down," he said. #

Monday, June 06, 2005

NR0606:Mike Arroyo jueteng lord in Bicol

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 6, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Witness links Mike Arroyo to jueteng payola in Bicol; Pressure on Malacanang to act on revelations mounting - Rep. Beltran

"The First Gentlemen will not be able to shrug off these accusations against him. Constant denials are not enough. It's raining accusations, and the First Gentleman is the most bespattered."

This was the reaction of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran to the accusation made by a witness during today's Senate investigation on the numbers racket. The witness named presidential spouse Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo as the one who gave the go-signal to Undersecretary for Bicol Affairs Mario Espinosa to collect jueteng payola for three provinces in the region. Demosthenes Abraham Riva told senators during the panel investigation that Espinosa points "Attorney Arroyo" as the one who gave him the blessing to collect jueteng money in the region.

Espinosa was appointed as presidential assistant for Bicol affairs by President Arroyo. He holds the rank of Cabinet undersecretary.

Beltran said that the Senate investigations keep getting warmer and warmer. "The names, place and amounts are coming out in a flood; and the pressure on the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, particularly on the executive, also keeps mounting. The natural, logical process of law should then follow - legal measures should be taken to investigate those being implicated, and swift, decisive steps to close down the jueteng network in the provinces are necessary. This is a mountain of a controversy, and it's going to take one major propaganda campaign on the part of President Arroyo and her spin doctors to level it," he said.

Beltran urged officials of local government u nits and other government officials to help strengthen the credibility of the senate investigations and share information, expose the jueteng network in their respective provinces.

In conclusion, Beltran said that Pres. Arroyo's ratings will continue to plummet as the days go by and more damning details regarding the jueteng syndicate in the country is revealed. "It might be the First Gentleman and two other close presidential relatives who are being accused, but the implications and inevitable impact will be on the presidency itself."

NR0606:PCSO to run jueteng operations?!

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 6, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

KAMPI proposal to make PCSO head jueteng operations will corrupt the charity institution

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said expressed strong condemnation for recommendations that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) take charge of the operations of jueteng. This recommendation made by allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Beltran said, was, an affirmation of the essentially corrupt character of the administration and the twisted means it implements to generate funds for itself.

"The PCSO is an institution supposedly run on goodwill and for the benefit of the needy. If it is made to head jueteng operations, its mandate is severely compromised and altered for the worse. It will mean taking more money from the poor and exploiting their desperation to earn even through games of chance," he said. "This is proposal that the Church and other charitable institutions working with the PCSO should stringently oppose and condemn."

The veteran labor leader said that it was clear that Malacanang is no longer backpedaling on the issue of jueteng. "Malacanang and its allies have adapted a new tact - that of admitting that jueteng is here to stay and so it might as well be legitimized and legalized. By doing this, Malacanang is further embracing and promoting a gambling culture, instead of developing programs and projects that will proved genuinely productive for the poor and their need for sustainable employment."

"The Philippines is swiftly turning into a gambling nation, and the gambling lords are people in influential and powerful positions. As one of the ruling parties, KAMPI's position carries weight, and is indicative of true views of Malacanang and the executive on the issue of jueteng. It is as if Malacanang is already decriminalizing jueteng and by extension, saying that the crimes being attributed to the First Gentleman, Rep. Mike Arroyo and Rep. Ignacio Arroyo are not real crimes at all and will eventually be transformed into legitimate, income-generating deeds on behalf of the Arroyo administration."#

NR0606:Malacanang's paranoia; searching 4 sum1 to blame

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 6, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

On Malacanang's escalating paranoia;
Bunye's quest for someone to blame for the sinking economy

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang's "excessive paranoia" was bordering on lunacy, given Malacanang through presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye's expose that the opposition is all set to unleash a plot to destabilize the Arroyo administration. Bunye has revealed that Malacanang intel has unearthed a supposed plot on the part of the opposition to release a taped conversation between Pres. Arroyo and the Commission on Elections officials last year prior to the announcement of the winners of the May presidential elections.

"Talk about being desperate to be ahead of the enemy," Beltran said. "Malacanang is now probably housing number of psychics and seers with various crystal balls, tarot cards, and ouija boards all in the goal of keeping one step ahead of its critics and the opposition. How else could spokesperson Bunye and the members of Malacanang's intel and advisory group could have come by such information regarding the plans of the opposition?"

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said, however, the existence of such a tape, if indeed it exists, would cause serious tremors that will shake the Arroyo administration to its foundations. He said that Malacanang's defensiveness regarding the tape was very noticeable. "Malacanang insiders must walking around eggs right now, and everyone is highly-strung. A taped conversation between President Arroyo and COMELEC officials will blow a hole through the roof of this already weakened administration. Up to this day, a huge majority of Filipinos are still convinced that Pres. Arroyo is not the real victor of May 2004 polls, and that she forced herself into a second term using large-scale tactics of lying and cheating," he said.

"I for one am interested in hearing this so-called tape and its mind-blowing contents."

Levity aside, however, Beltran said that the growing paranoia of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration immediately ceases to amuse because the administration is already calling in the troops. "Malacanang is desperately conducting loyalty checks among the top-to-bottom ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and without doubt concocting a scenario wherein the opposition and other critics will be the main target of attack. Already, there are rumors flying that die-hards of the Arroyo presidency are planning to stage a coup in support of the beleaguered president and pre-empt any other possible military-led uprising."

The activist solon also expressed strong contempt for Spokesperson Bunye's assertion that it was the exchange of accusations and bickering Malacanang and the opposition that was keeping the economy down.

"The good spokesperson is living in a fantasy world. There is no way that the economy is going to take off with Pres. Arroyo and her twisted economic policies and regressive tax measures at the helm. The corruption of this administration alone is keeping probably a third of the Filipino population in deep poverty. Malacanang and the opposition can shake hands and be merry and the economy would still be drowning in the gutter because of the pro-globalization, anti-national trade, business and finance policies of this government," he said. "If Bunye wants someone to blame, he should go to his boss and blame her." #

Sunday, June 05, 2005

NR0604:Thanks but no thanks, Mrs. President

News Release
June 4, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran

Keep your false sympathy to yourself, Mrs. President” – Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today dcried President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s statement that she “feels the Filipino people’s pain” and that she understands and regrets the crisis the people are going through.

“President Arroyo is adding massive insult to already grievous injury. Her false sympathy does not touch anyone. She and her administration are incapable of even empathizing with the Filipino people and their economic woes and tribulations because this govenrment’s policies are at the core of these woes. The president is better off shutting up on this matter because she’s only digging a deeper hole for herself,” he said.

The veteran labor leader said that for all her and her spokespersons’ declarations that they are doing everything they can to help Filipinos cope with the crisis, “Their deeds and actions speak more deafeningly that any of their words and excuses.”

“Has the president done anything decisive against the oil price hikes? No. Has she done anything to stop rising electricity and water rates? Again, no. Is there ay significant, positive change in the lives of the poor majority since she came into power? Can fish crawl on land and is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) an graft and corruption-free institution?”

Beltran challenged the President to prove her sincerity that she “feels the people’s pain” and “actually do something to relieve the pain.”

“But it’s not just a headache or minor back pain we’re talking about here. What’s needed is major surgery, but the President is ony willing to offer a tablet of paracetamol. If she’s serious about her sympathy, then she will defy the dictates of foreign creditors and run the risk of earning their ire by vetoing the new tax measures such as the expanded VAT and call on Congress to repeal economic laws that cause Filipinos anguish,” he said. Among these laws, Beltran said, were the EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) EPIRA, the oil deregulation law, and the wage rationalization law which keeps wages nailed to the floor.

The veteran labor leader said that the President’s plummetting ratings will not be able to recover so easily given that the main cause of the people’s dissatisfaction and even digust with her is the economic crisis.

“Nope, the photo-opportunity shots of her kissing babies and hugging the elderly will not save the president this time.The Arroyo admnistration is a rapidly deteriorating ship with so many holes just barely plugged in to keep it from completely sinking,” he said. “Another successive round of oil price hikes, electricity rate increases and more lay-offs should make more Filipinos throw in the towel and give up on this administration. As for the middle sections of society, the spate of political killings of journalists and activists, as well as the relentless financial scandals involving the president and members of the First Family are certain to fuel the fire of moral outrage,” he said. “We might be seeing yet another people’s uprising in the making, and it’s not farfetched that the disgruntled rank-and-file of the AFP will support the Filipino people yet again in calling for the relief of the president.”#

Friday, June 03, 2005

NR0601: Congress should question Meralco-ERC relationship

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 2, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Congress should question Meralco and the ERC's collusion regarding series of rate hikes

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the House Committee on Energy should summon the executives of Meralco and officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and ask them, once and for all regarding their relationship of coordination and cooperation which are expressed in the smooth approval of Meralco's petitions for rate hikes. Beltran said that the ERC and Meralco have worked out and perfected a system wherein Meralco owners the Lopez business groups get it into their heads to jack rates because they want more funds for their other business ventures, and the ERC gladly and graciously cooperates.

"It's a clear cut case of business opportunism," he said of Meralco's recent rate hike petition. "Even the basis for the rate hike - the financial records, the computations, the technical justifications - is anomalous. This recent rate hike, like its predecessors, is being implemented out of sheer business greed and opportunism."
The veteran labor leader said that Meralco's greed has exceeded all boundaries. "Meralco is literally stealing from its costumers and consumers. Consumers are being made to pay higher rates for services they've already paid for, and Meralco is making them shoulder the costs of its expansion projects and development of other Lopez-owned ventures."

Beltran said that the Napocor and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation submitted inaccurate accounts of their financial status, the formula for the rate increase, and basic premise for their petition for a rate increase. "The primary reason for the increase was because NPC creditors demanded that the NPC's Return on Rate Base (RORB) be steadily pegged at eight percent. The purchased power adjustment cap was previously pegged at a lower rate of 40 centavos per kilowatt hour, and this meant that the NPC was unable to reach the eight percent RORB. This rate increase should be immediately stopped, and the rates rolled back," he said. On June 22, 2004, Napocor and PSALM filed before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) an application for the approval of a revised RORB with Time-of-Use (TOU) based Generation Charges for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Grids, with prayer for provisional authority. The filed petition was accepted by ERC and was numbered ERC Case No. 2004-178.

Before the scheduled hearings, ERC received several letters and pleadings from people's organizations, consumer groups, local government units, distribution utilities and concerned government officials manifesting their comments and opposition to the application filed by the NPC and PSALM. The ERC conducted six hearings from July 31, 2004 to August 31, 2004 in additional to the three hearings conducted by the ERC.

In one of the hearings, PSALM Vice President for Finance Nonito Bernado attested that the Napcor needs to attain an eight percent (8%) RORB to meet its loan covenants. After nine (9) hearings and submission of fifty six (56) comments and position papers on the NPC and PSALM application, ERC issued on September 3, 2004 an order granting provisional authority to implement an average of Php 0.9798/kWh adjustment in NPC power rates which commenced on September 26, '04. The ERC authorized NPC to provisionally impose Php 3.8054, Php 3.0374 and Php 2.0700 average basic generation charges for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao respectively .

Many oppositors filed their respective motions for reconsideration of the aforementioned order. Different legislative bodies of various local government units also passed several resolutions manifesting their objections. "The ERC, however, denied the said motions for reconsideration supposedly for lack of merit. The ERC did not even bat an eyelash when it waved out all protests to the rate hike petition, regardless of the fact that the protests had very strong grounds," he said.

Beltran said that the NPC has been unable to present justified, reasonable and believabale arguments for a rate hike. The NPC was ordered to prove the following: (1) revenue requirements of the NPC should include costs incurred on plants it operated after the termination of its Build Operate Transfer (BOT) contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs); (2) the rationale for NPC's bad debts; (3) the loss on foreign exchange (FOREX) fluctuations should form part of the revenue requirement to rebase said component of the generation rate as of CY 2002; and (4) there are several completed projects that should be included in the calculation of NPC's rate base;

"It was found out immediately after that (1) certain assets included in NPC's rate base were not eligible for inclusion among the reason to justify the rate hike; and (2) that the mismanagement of the assets and the inefficiencies of the NPC were the causes of losses incurred by it. There have also been assertions from the Commission on Audit pointing out more anomalies," he said. "The assets presented by the Napocor were also appraised by an independent company, and it was proven that the contention that the values of the assets presented by the applicants may not be used as fair bases for fixing the rates."

Beltran said that during the March 1, 2005 hearing , Director Jaime P. Naranjo of the COA proved the following points: (1) that NPC has not submitted to the ERC a reliable listing of the assets proposed for inclusion in the rate base; (2) that the values stated by the applicants in their evidence are unreliable and there is a need for an appraisal by an independent appraisal company of the said assets; and (3) that the expenses of NPC were attended by management inefficiencies.

"Despite all this, the ERC was single-minded in its determination to give the Napocor what it wanted. It ignored the contentions made by the oppositors of ERC Case No. 2004-178, and on April 13, 2005 granted an average of Php 1.0354/kWh increase in Napocor power rates. Such a decision is unjust and unwarranted as proven by the petition and position papers submitted by oppositors, different local government units, concerned government officials, consumer groups and people's organizations. Congress should intervene and speak up against the implementation of the Napocor and PSALM's power rate adjustment. The ERC's process of deliberations are also highly questionable and one-sided in favor of the petitioners. It's long overdue that the ERC be investigated for its apparent bias for the Napocor, Meralco and the independent power producers," he concluded.#

NR0602:PNP can't beat jueteng bcause it doen't really want to

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release June 2, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

PNP's powerlessness in fighting jueteng because of pro-jueteng orientation among higher-ups; DOJ only doing a pantomime of going after jueteng lords - Rep. Beltran

"For a change, the Philippine National Police is admitting the truth that it's inutile in the fight against jueteng and, by extension, the PNP exposed its own previous lies that it was on top of the jueteng situation. Given this admission, however, the PNP is already washing its hand of its responsibility to put an end to the illegal numbers game and round up the gambling lords that run the syndicates," he said.

This was the comment today of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran regarding the admission of PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao that the PNP is powerless to stop jueteng.

"We knew that all along. But this supposed 'powerlessness' in fighting jueteng is not so much because the PNP lacks the manpower or the skills, but because the higher-ups in the institution are not genuinely determined to capture any bigtime gambling lords, including the jueteng masterminds and protection-money collectors," he said. "Lomibao should qualify his admission because in truth, there are still PNP officers, men and women who have integrity and are honestly doing their best to fight jueteng. The problem lies with the higher-ups and the ranking officers in the PNP, many of whom are alleged to be on the payroll of jueteng lords and ensure the number game's proliferation and smooth operations in the provinces."

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker also pointed out that even Lomibao is being suspected of involvement in jueteng, not as a bettor, but as a syndicate protector. "The credibility of the very people tasked to put an end to the gambling network is even questionable - so it's not surprising that the campaign to put an end to jueteng is just going around in circles. The fact is this: it was only the persistence of staunch ant-gambling and anti-corruption advocates such as Archbishop Oscar Cruz and their relentless ventilation of the issue that's forced the PNP and the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to take action againt jueteng. Otherwise, it will be status quo: the jueteng lords will continue to build their underground gambling empire and the PNP will make occasional but half-hearted raids on jueteng dens just to project an image that it's doing its job."

In the meantime, the activist solon said that Malacanang's go-signal to the Department of Justice and secretary Raul Gonzales to go after those being implicated in the senate jueteng inquiry was just for show.

"The DOJ and secretary Gonzales can't be relied on to go after the individuals being named in the senate inquiry, especially if it's the likes of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, the president's eldest son Rep, Mikey Arroyo, and the president's brother-in-law Rep. Ignacio Arroyo. "Sec. Gonzales has already proven in his previous statements and actions that he is on the side of the members of the presidential family when it comes to this issue. The DOJ will only be conducting an elaborate pantomime if it actually takes steps to go after the members of the First Family. What's certain is that Sec. Gonzales will focus on the small fry and leave the big alone," he concluded.#