Tuesday, November 15, 2005

NR1114:Put aside talks on Charter Change; GMA's worsening schizophrenia

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release November 14, 2005

Charter Change debates should be put aside for discussions on how to alleviate the impact of the EVAT, oil price hikes on the poor; GMA's worsening schizophrenia

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that debates on charter change should be considered low priority given the country's more pressing economic and political problems. He said that amending the 1987 constitution was the farthest thing from the Filipino people's minds, and that they were more preoccupied with trying to find solutions to their worsening economic burdens brought about by the implementation of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) and the almost weekly increases in oil and petroleum prices which in turn also cause a chain reaction of increases in the prices of basic products and rates of social services such as water and electricity.

"Congress should put away all talks about Charter change and instead go into discussions on how to solve the successive oil price hikes, the problem of high unemployment and low wages, and the disastrous impact of the EVAT on the economic welfare of the Filipino poor," he said.

"It's doubtful that our lawmakers are not aware of the increasing burdens of our kababayans because of the crisis that the Macapagal-Arroyo administration has failed to solve. Congress should get in line and drop all unnecessary and self-serving discussions on how to perpetuate ambitious politicians in power and instead focus on crucial economic reforms the Filipino poor are in dire need of," he said. "Charter change is only the agenda of a few legislators whose motives for pushing amendments to the Constitution are suspect and questionable."

Beltran said that Macapagal-Arroyo herself was using Charter change to distract the public from the calls for her immediate removal. He said that Arroyo was trying to pass off charter change as an alternative to these calls, "As if by amending the Constitution, the political crisis brought about by her electoral fraud, corruption and continuous lies will be resolved. Her credibility isso severely eroded that she's grasping at straws to find a way to recover it, even if it means making compromises such as power sharing."

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader turned legislator said that president of dubious legitimacy Macapagal-Arroyo's renewed calls for unity in the wake of the first two sessions of the Citizens' Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) should be ignored.

"Macapagal-Arroyo is by no means being sincere. She's actually become politically schizophrenic-- offering peace one moment, and then threatening to arrest her critics and detractors the next. What Macapagal-Arroyo really wants is to silence the opposition so she can continue her illegally appropriated term and implement her destructive economic and political programs. Her offer of peace and reconciliation is objectionable and should be outrightly rejected. There can only a chance for peace and reconciliation with her if she admits to electoral fraud and corruption, and steps down to make way for a transition council."

Beltran said that Macapagal-Arroyo's olive branch offering was also a means to appease and reaassure big busines groups who are in a quandary about continuing their support for her beleaguered administration. "She wants to project an image of strength and magnanimity, but in truth she's already appearing schizophrenic." #


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