Friday, July 22, 2005

NR0722:Militant solons to boycott SONA

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
News Release July 22, 2005

Militant lawmakers to boycott PGMA’s SONA; says protests are also
geared against Veep Noli de Castro


Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said
that he and fellow Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and
the other solons of Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women’s
Party will not be listening to Pres. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo’s state of the nation address (SONA)
on Monday, July 25, 2005 and instead they will be
focusing on the protest rallies outside.

“We are boycotting this year’s SONA. It will be
sickening to see and hear Mrs. Arroyo offer yet
another batch of lies, excuses and promises in person.
We will listen to her SONA alongside the Filipino
people who will gather outside Batasan denouncing her
corrupt, politically repressive and illegitimate
presidency,” he said.

“It would be more instructive to hear what the basic
sectors have to say about Pres. Arroyo’s SONA. It will
be quite difficult to stomach to witness other
lawmakers applaud Pres. Arroyo’s speech to the extent
that they will give her a standing ovation. Chances
are Pres. Arroyo, aside from offering platitudes, will
be making more promises and begging for another chance
to supposedly fulfill the mandate which she never had
in the first place. We have heard and seen enough of
Pres. Arroyo. The last four years under her leadership
has seen the Philippines plunge into deeper economic
crises, and made us rank even higher in the list of
most corrupt nations.”

He joked, however, that if Pres. Arroyo will deliver
her resignation speech on July 25 during the joint
session, he would gladly attend. “I’ll fight to get a
front-row seat and even lead the applause,” he said.

The veteran labor leader in the meantime also shared
that the anti-SONA protests were also geared against
vice-president Noli de Castro. He said that the
vice-president should also step down and put away all
ideas or illusions that he can succeed Pres. Arroyo if
and when the latter is removed from office.

“Mr. De Castro has been taking the safe side by
keeping mum on the matter, but the indisputable fact
is that he cannot become president. We cannot and
should not subject the Filipino people to five years
of his kind of lackluster but undeniably pro-big
business kind of leadership. Noli de Castro is neither
a fiscalizer nor a man with compassion and bias for
the poor and working people. If, heaven forbid,
becomes president, he will be nothing but a mouthpiece
of the electricity and water companies; controlled and
manipulated by advisers who no doubt have their own
self-serving agenda.”

Beltran said that even as Pres. Arroyo tries to put
together a new cabinet, the call for the establishment
of transition council has already caught fire.
“Already people’s organizations and anti-corruption
groups are preparing their respective platforms and
calls for economic and political reforms. Much has to
be done to undo the massive destruction Pres. Arroyo
and her liberalization, anti-national policies have
wrought the country. Filipinos are already looking
beyond Pres. Arroyo and she has been denied a second
chance. For all of Malacanang’s attempts to prop up
Pres. Arroyo’s image, her time has already run out.”#

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