Friday, October 14, 2005

NR1013:Ka Bel, UP Law Center NorthRail Project Team press for criminal charges against Northrail proponents

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release October 13, 2005

Rep. Beltran, lawyers of UP Law Center's NorthRail Project Research Team hold presscon tomorrow; Solon supports call for criminal charges against project proponents

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran will be joined by the members of the UP Law Center NorthRail Project Research team and leaders of the Stop NorthRail Project Coalition and the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) in a presscon tomorrow at 10 Am the UP Balai Kalinaw in UP Diliman, Quezon City. Beltran has expressed full support for the study the counsels have presented to the last Senate investigations on the possible anomalous nature of the NorthRail project contract between the Macapagal-Arroyo government and China.

Beltran said that the charges of Commissioner Abcede of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) that the UP Law Center was plotting against the Arroyo government and should be abolished were fanatic and ignorant. He said that the study of the UP Law Center as well as the Northrail project itself should be scrutinized fully in a full-blown senate investigation, and the main proponents from both the Philippine and Chinese govenrments should be summoned.

Beltran himself has already filed three resolutions in Congress calling for investigations into the impact of the project in urban poor residents; the possible violations of the contract provisions on Philippine economic sovereignty laws; and the alleged corruption that's going in the National Housing Authority's (NHA) relocation operations in Bulacan.

"The Northrail Project has been highly controversial from day one, and was kept under close wraps. So secret it is that it did not even undergo the scrutiny much less approval of the Senate. Now the impact of the project implementation is already being felt -- translating in the chaos erupting in the communities being demolished to make way for the project," he said.

"I fully support the recommendation of the UP Law Center study team that civil, criminal and adminsitrative charges be filed against the Philippine govenrment officials who pushed for this infamous project. These officials, of course, are led by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Mr. Noli de Castro," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that the nitty-gritty of the Northrail project deserve to be exposed because they will reveal to what extent the RP government went to secure the contract which is seriously prejudiced against the Philippines. "It's still shocking to realize how far and how low the Macapagal-Arroyo government will sink and how much it will compromise to secure loans," he said. "What's most outrageous in this is that it's the Filipino people who will pay these off and suffer the consequences.'

Beltran urged senators to subpoena Mr. de Castro and other officials directly involved with the project, including heads of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the National Housing Authority ( NHA) and compell themm to answer questions regarding the project. #

Media Coverage of the presscon is requested. Thank you!


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