Wednesday, August 03, 2005

NR0803:On Cha cha survey; impeachment complaint

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release August 3, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
cp number 09213907362

Survey exposes Filipinos’ sentiments against Charter Change; fundamental orientation and priorities of service and spending more crucial than form of government

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that proponents of Charter Change led by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Speaker Jose de Venecia and ex-president Fidel V. Ramos should well consider the results of recent surveys pointing out that seven out of 10 Filipinos oppose amending the Constitution. According to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll conducted nationwide from May 14 to 23, 70 percent of Filipinos said "no" when asked if certain constitutional provisions "need to be changed now" as against the 30 percent who answered "yes." Most respondents also stated their opposition to recommendations that PGMA be allowed to become prime minister under a new federal system of government.

“Most Filipinos do not even understand the difference the proposed federal government and the current presidential system. They do understand all too well, however, that if the same names and faces remain in office and in control of the country’s funds and politics, there will be no essential or meaningful change in the quality and standards of live of the poor majority,” he said. “The assertion of pro-Cha cha legislators that other nations are shifting to the federal form of government is not worth anything to the Filipino people. What is more crucial is the orientation of service and budget priorities of the national government and its leaders. Even if the regions and provinces go federal, if their funds derived from taxes and other revenue generating activities are directed towards privatizing resources, solidifying monopolies over land and paying off debts and dispersing political favors, then the situation will be even worse for Filipinos. More levels of corruption to deal with.”

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that the fact that the national government even plans to allot P6.4 billion for charter change is one more reason to oppose the moves. “There are heavier, more important things the government should spend money on. The quality of life of Filipinos continues to deteriorate, and the government should focus on measures and reforms which will genuinely address the people’s poverty and need for social services such as health, housing and education. Employment generation is also a serious problem that should be immediately addressed.”

Complaint most substantial in form and content should be the focus of deliberations and transmitted to the senate

In the meantime, Beltran said that the House leadership led by House Majority Floor leader Prospero Nograles was only feigning confusion regarding the issue of which impeachment complaint should be taken up and considered for forwarding to the senate. He said that it’s only common sense that should prompt Rep. Nograles and other hard-line lawmakers favoring Mrs. Arroyo to focus on the impeachment complaint filed Atty. Oliver Lozano and sponsored, strengthened by members of the House opposition led by Minority leader Francis Escudero, solons of the independent bloc of representatives of progressive partylists, and leaders of various cause-oriented groups and people’s organizations.

“There should be confusion on this matter. Evidently, it's the complaint which is most substantial in form and content that should be finalized by Congress and transmitted to the senate. This is a matter of carrying out justice, and the essence of the law is clear on this, even if there are some differing views on what the letter of the law states. The House leadership and allies of Pres. Arroyo should stop putting unnecessary and deliberate roadblocks in the way of the impeachment complaint,” he said. “We appeal to the better sense and social conscience of members of the majority and urge them to support the impeachment complaint and allow the impeachment process to begin.”#


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