Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NR0726:GMA's cha cha non sequitur answer to charges

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
News Release
July 26, 2005

GMA’s call for Charter Change non-sequitur answer to charges against her corrupt leadership; attempt to divert public attention from growing protests demanding her removal from office

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s blatant call for Charter Change was definitely a sign that she was acting under the direct control and advice of former president Fidel V. Ramos and House Speaker Jose de Venecia. He said that Pres. Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday wherein she made a call for the need for charter change but a non-sequitur answer to the charges against her, mainly corruption, failure to give resolution to worsening economic crisis, and intensifying political repression,

"She’s trying to buy time for herself and her drowning admnistration. By bringing the Chacha issue to the fore, it’s clear that Mrs. Arroyo is trying to divert the nation the issue from herself. "If Mrs. Arroyo thinks that by throwing the Chacha issue into the ring, the public’s attention will be diverted from its main focus which is to remove her from power, then she is mistaken. It’s mere desperately wishful thinking on the part of Mrs. Arroyo to hope that Filipinos will take up the issue of Charter Change and debate over its pros and abandon the agenda of removing her from Malacanang," he said.

"Now, more than ever, those demanding her resignation and ouster are determined to see Pres. Arroyo booted out of office. The fact she did not even have the strength of principle or even plain morality to address the specific charges against her in what was supposed to be a landmark speech to the Filipino people shows how weak she is and how pathetically crippled her leadership is. She chose to mince her way through the SONA, and to spring an issue the Filipino people are both apathetic and antipathetic to. It’s too pathetic for words," he said.

Beltran said that if there was anyone who got any sense from her SONA yesterday, it was only pro-Cha cha lawmakers led by Speaker de Venecia. "They have their own political and economic agenda that is quite removed from what the nation and the Filipino want much less need. Cha cha is and never will be the answer given the current composition of the political and economic ruling elite in the country. GMA, JDV and Ramos' Cha cha is intended to cement the monopoly of big foreign business interests oevr the country's resources on the one hand; and the permanent perpetuation of control of traditional politicians in the govenrment. Pres. Arroyo is certain to be aware of the public’s sentiments regarding Cha cha, but she is now pushing for it in a desperate attempt to push her own accountability in the shade and shift the public’s attention to the debate over Cha cha," he said.

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that Mrs. Arroyo’s call for the passage of a n anti-terrorism law was something to watch out for. He said that given the increasingly militarist character of the incumbent administration, the only kind of anti-terror law Arroyo allies in the House will pass can only serve to attack the civil and human rights of Filipinos demanding Pres. Arroyos’ removal from office and the overhaul of the country’s economic and political system. He said that an anti-terror law would also serve the objectiveof charter change, as it’s already a given that should the administration insist on amending the constitution without genuine public consultation and referendum, there’ll be even bigger mass protests. "The only anti-terrorism law this government has in mind is the kind that aims to maim and mangle right to political debate, dissent and assembly," he concluded.#

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