Thursday, August 25, 2005

NR0825:Defer talks on budget until Arroyo is removed from Malacanang

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release August 25, 2005

Budget talks should be deferred until Macapagal-Arroyo is replaced; Allocations being used by Malacanang to woo and bribe LGUs and officials of agencies, institutions like AFP and PNP to remain loyal to beleaguered executive

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the deliberations for the 2006 Budget should be put on hold given that the nation is in a uproar over the corrupt and illegitimate presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He said that there was no point in talking about the 2006 budget when there could be a new and different administration and government by next year.

According to Beltran, this reason and the fact that the incumbent but illegitimate administration plans to earmark P931 million daily for interest payments under the proposed budget for 2006 is also strong and compelling reason to demand the step-down and ouster of Macapagal-Arroyo.

“This is yet another budget program that’s severely twisted, seeing that like its predecessors it prioritizes foreign debt servicing and intelligence. The insensitivity of this administration is appalling. The times call for radical restructuring of the budget, to have it directed towards expenditures that will concretely and directly give aid to Filipinos and their ailing families. Public housing, education and health are sure to get the short end of the stick again,” he said.

The activist lawmaker said that it was certain that Malacanang was going to use the budget appropriations to bribe local government units and officials of various departments and institutions including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) into continuing their loyalty to the beleaguered president.

“Without doubt, this budget proposal is going to be used like a very big carrot to woo officials and dissuade them from abandoning Macapagal-Arroyo.”

According to reports, debt service remains the biggest priority of the government, cornering P340 billion, or one-third of the P1.05-trillion outlay Malacañang wants Congress to approve. The proposed interest payments are P38.3 billion bigger than this year’s P301.7 billion. The total debt payment of P721.7 billion is reportedly 80 percent of what the government plans to spend this year.

“This budget proposal is also one compelling reason why Macapagal-Arroyo should be removed from office. It’s immoral and unjust to inflict this kind of budget prioritization on the Filipino people. It’s insensitive and insulting – rubbing salt into the serious wounds of the poor. All hearings on the national budget should be suspended and they shouldn’t even begin so long as Macapagal-Arroyo is in power.”

“These talks on the budget and Charter Change are being used to take attention away from the hearings on the impeachment complaint. There is nothing normal in the situation the country is currently in—we are in the midst of removing a corrupt and illegitimate president who has no qualms at all about proving her allegiance to foreign creditors at the expense of her impoverished constituents and their needs. ”

“The poor and working sectors of society have not been remiss in informing the administration of their demands for immediate economic relief; but it’s evident that all their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The Arroyo administration’s hard-heartedness when it comes to the needs of the Filipino people is equaled only to the eagerness the Macapagal-Arroyo has in giving in to all the demands and requisites of foreign big business and international creditors.”

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that henceforward, the 2006 budget proposal will be one of the reasons for demanding the impeachment, resignation and ouster of Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo. #


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