Friday, October 28, 2005

NR1027:Malacanang fears the CCAT; Bird flu outbreak to GMA's advantage

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release October 27, 2005

Malacananang staff exhibiting signs of instability -- reflecting the mindset of Macapagal-Arroyo and her staunch allies

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the shameful conduct of Emilio Magdangal of the Office of the Press Secretary did not come as a surprise given the climate of paranoia and increasing desperation in Malacanang. Magdangal tore up the summons delivered by leaders of the Citizens' Congress for Accountability and Truth (CCAT) yesterday.

"Magdangal is only exhibiting the symptoms of the admnistration and bosses he represents," Beltran said.

"His behavior -- along with the behavior of his immediate superiors including Malacanang spokesperson Ignacio Bunye -- is not surprising given how stressful the situation inside the Palace must be. Illegitimate president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is under siege, and the pressure for her to resign contiues to mount. It's no surprise that even underlings like Magdangal are becoming belligerent and throwing all pretense at diplomacy to the winds," he said."So much for the confidence of Malacanang to meet charges against it with dignity and decency."

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that Filipinos seeking truth and justice against the Macapagal-Arroyo administration's corruption will without doubt support the CCAT and its deliberations.

He said that the CCAT is the venue Filipinos are looking for wherein the details of Macapagal-Arroyo's lying, cheating and stealing will be exposed and judged.

"The Macapagal-Arroyo version rule of law has already been exposed as a sham as her allies in Congress threw out the impeachment complaint without even skimming its surface. Where Congress deliberately failed, the CCAT will succeed. It's long overdue that the full details of the various charges against Macapagal-Arroyo be discussed, and a people's verdict laid down."

Malacanang might use looming bird flu epidemic to its advantage

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader said that even as Filipinos should be made aware of the supposed looming threat of a bird flu outbreak, it's still crucial to divine the other motives of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration for hyping the supposed threat.

"This is a far cry from the previous handling and stance of the administration regarding a possible bird flu epidemic. It used to downplay the situation, focusing on efforts to convince the public that there's nothing to fear and that everything is under control. Now the government through the Department of Health is trying to shock Filipinos into fearing for their very lives because of the bird flu."

"It's not a farfetched idea that Malacanang is going to use the bird flu issue to deflect public attention from the worsening political crisis and the calls for the illegitimate president's removal. Diverting public attention from the political crisis and turning it on a possible health crisis would work well for Macapagal-Arroyo.The media will be forced to cover the bird flue issue instead of delving into the developments in the political situation. It will buy her some time. Suffice it to say, a bird flu epidemic is exactly what Malacanang needs. It wouldn't be surprising is Malacanang is actually praying for an outbreak," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker, however, said that if a bird flu epidemic was sure to hit, Malacanang should immediately order a substantial wage and salary increase for all workers and rank and file govenrment employees. He said that the best way for the populace to survive this supposed imminent epidemic is if they were prepared beforehand.

"That means stocking up on the required medicine and having sufficient hospital and contingency funds. Majority of Filipinos are ill-equipped to deal with a medical crisis because of severe economic restrictions. Macapagal-Arroyo should order a wage and salry increase now, apart from ordering the immediate implementation of free medicine distribution program, especially to the urban and rural poor communities."

He also said that gauging from the red alert the DOH is issuing, the hospitals said to be upgraded in preparation for an imminent bird flu outbreak are not enough. Some 21 hospitals are said to be prepared to handle bird flue case -- among them the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, and the Davao Medical Center in Davao City.

"Macapagal-Arroyo and the DOH should immediately compel even the largest private hospitals in the country to prepare for the bird flu outbreak and order them to admit for free even indigent patients stricken with the flu. We can't have Filipinos being denied medical treatment just because they don't have money to pay for the services. The govenrment must ensure that the poor are fully assisted against this bird flu menace, or any deaths of Filipinos because of bird flu will be on its head, " he said.#


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