Monday, July 04, 2005

NR0704:On FG's return, Sen, Joker's comments

News Release
July 4, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

FG Arroyo should not be allowed to leave country again until jueteng investigations are finished

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the return of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo to the country was a welcome development. "Now that he has returned, he can face the jueteng and other corruption charges against him squarely. He should never have been allowed to leave in the first place, given the gravity of the charges against him and other members of the First Family."

"No one really believed this melodramatic explanations that he left the country last week to help soften the blows against his wife the President. In fact, rumors are rife that he left for Hong Kong last week so he can meet with other jueteng lords and other top honchos of the underground jueteng network and come up with a gameplan on how to kill the investigations and clean whatever paper trail remains," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that the First Gentleman’s passport should be put on hold pending investigations. "It’s not at all unlikely that the First Gentleman is already in the midst of plans on how to extricate himself from the jueteng mess, and he’s consolidating efforts abroad," he added. "He, his son Mikey and brother Iggy Arroyo have not been able to clear themselves in the investigations, and they have so far merely been trading accusations with whistleblower Sandra Cam. What’s really missing is the clear political determination of the Senate to get to the bottom of the jueteng scandal and recommend punitive actions against the likes of the First Gentleman."

Sen. Joker Arroyo’s comments disappointing

In the meantime, Beltran said that Senator Joker Arroyo’s reaction to the political developments concerning strong public calls for the removal of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from office is disappointing, "to say the least."

"This kind of reaction from such a well-respected and highly regarded anti-corruption and human rights champion is a disappointment," Beltran said, referring to the negative comments of Sen. Arroyo against the Opposition and the mainstream Left movement, both of whom are calling for the resignation and ouster of the president on the grounds of corruption and betrayal of the people’s mandate.

"The people expect more from Sen. Arroyo – in fact, many are expecting his support and championing of the cause to clean the government of corruption and the cleansing of the presidency through the removal of an illegitimate presidency," he said. "It’s surprising that Sen. Arroyo does not see it fit to support these calls, considering that he, of all people, is one who has had a history of battling against corruption and attacks against the economic and political welfare of the Filipino people."

"We hope that Sen. Arroyo will still change his mind and stand with the people on this national issue. The fight for the removal of this corrupt presidency has still ways to go, and Sen. Arroyo’s help would be of valuable assistance. He has proven time and again that he has the Filipino people’s interests at heart. He should not disappointment them this time," he said.#


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