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.#

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