Sunday, August 14, 2005

NR0812:Two releases on OPHs/EPIRA; Justice Committee ruling

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release
August 12, 2005

GMA’s undermining of Filipino’s economic welfare is a bigger impeachable offense

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today lauded the Supreme Court’s final decision on the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) petition on behalf of Meralco for a rate increase, saying that this should put the ERC in its place. He said that the ERC was lawyering for Meralco, and that as a government agency, it was violating its mandate to take up the cudgels for consumers and the public.

“The Supreme Court should also make a ruling on the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) which is what the ERC, Meralco, Napocor and the independent power producers (IPPs) are using as the legal basis for their connivance and theft from consumers,” he said. “At this critical and ever worsening juncture in the country’s economic affairs, the High Court should take the initiative and make a review of the
various pieces of legislation and government programs that attack the Filipino people’s day-to-say survival. Among these laws are the EPIRA and the oil deregulation law.”

Beltran said that the High Court’s review of the said laws, which should hopefully, and eventually lead to their repeal would be a valuable and crucial contribution to the Filipino people’s struggle for economic relief. He said that there were already bills in Congress calling for the repeal of the EPIRA and the oil deregulation law.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator in the meantime slammed anew President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her failure to make the slightest dent in the people’s worsening poverty. “There are more impeachable offenses against Pres. Arroyo much
worse than electoral fraud and corruption. The fact that the country’s unemployment rate continues to increase along with the prices of basic commodities and service such as health, housing and education is an impeachable offense by itself. This is serious undermining of the Filipino people’s economic welfare,” he said.

“It’s an outrage the way Malacanang still has the gall to demand that the people tighten their belts further when daily the charges against the president pointing to her and her family’s massive theft flourishes. The oil price increases and the high rates of electricity and water are doing the people in, and Pres. Arroyo has done nothing beyond posing for photo-opportunity shots for the media,” he said. #

Committee on Justice, Arroyo allies in the House pushing Filipinos to take to the streets against PGMA

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Committee on Justice’s decision to hear the Lozano impeachment complaint in its original form was a clear move to kill the impeachment process. He said that the Committee itself was making a mockery of the impeachment process and blatantly exercising its shameless bias for Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The Committee knows that the Lozano complaint has been improved and made even more substantial and credible with the amendments made by the Minority and the complainants from the people’s organizations. The Committee is deliberately being too literal about the ruling that the first impeachment complaint will be the one heard, and ignoring the precedent already set during the deliberations over the impeachment complaint against former president Joseph Estrada.”

“The Committee of Justice is acting most unjustly. It’s acting as a complete pawn of Malacanang, doing its best to protect the queen,” he said.

Beltran warned that all tactics to dismiss the impeachment complaint would only serve to heighten the disgust and disillusionment of the public with the so-called ‘rule of law.’ “The Committee on Justice and the die-hard Arroyo loyalists in Congress are tempting fate by employing these transparently underhanded tactics to kill the impeachment complaint. They are grievously mistaken if they believe for a
moment that the clamor Pres. Arroyo’s removal from office will be crippled if they kill the impeachment complaint. They’re only pushing people to take to the streets and participate in massive nationwide protests,” he concluded.#


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