Sunday, December 25, 2005

New photos

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Open Statement on Negotiations on Sevices Liberalization



We are Parliamentarians concerned about how the draft Ministerial text
on services tabled for negotiations, attached to the draft text as Annex
C ("Objectives, Approaches and Timelines"), sets the stage for a General
Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) agreement that gravely undermines
countries' capacity to undertake services sector liberalization at the
pace and to the extent most appropriate for their preferred development

We are alarmed that Annex C proposes an extremely aggressive process for
services liberalization that, moreover, will particularly hit the
underdeveloped countries that generally have the most backward services
sectors. It goes far in undermining countries' sovereign right to pursue
development according to their terms and according to what in their
judgment is to the greatest benefit of their people. Indeed, a GATS
agreement according to Annex C that severely restricts countries'
ability to assert their sovereign right to decide which services sectors
to liberalize and to what extent lays the basis for severe financial,
water, health, education and other crises.

The proposal according to Annex C overturns established negotiating
procedures in GATS - the bilateral request-offer system - and takes away
whatever development principles and flexibilities there are. Annex C
exerts severe pressure for faster and deeper liberalization by:
1. Setting "qualitative benchmarks" that ask member countries to bind
existing levels of liberalization in Mode 1 (cross-border supply) and
Mode 2 (consumption abroad), while asking for increased foreign equity
participation in the critical Mode 3 (commercial presence). This in
paragraph 1 of Annex C.
2. Obliging countries to enter into negotiations through the expansion
and strengthening of the "plurilateral" and "sectoral and modal"
approach that will replace the voluntary bilateral request-offer method
as the predominant negotiating method. Under this approach, groups of
member countries present requests in any specific sector or mode of
supply to another member that shall then be obliged to enter into
plurilateral negotiations. These are in paragraphs 7 and 2 of Annex C.
Among the important sectors apparently immediately targeted are the
power, water and health sectors.
3. Aiming to start negotiations on government procurement to enable
developed country corporations to corner lucrative government contracts.
This is in paragraph 4 of Annex C.

All told these mean to bring countries in the direction of forcing them
to enter into negotiations on service sector liberalization, preventing
them from ever undertaking policy measures that reduce market access,
and committing them to progressively liberalize. Under the current GATS
approach, countries are free to decide what sectors to liberalize and when.

Annex C is already highly contentious and has been criticized by so many
developing countries. The delegations of the country groupings
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and African, Caribbean
and Pacific Countries (ACP) - some 80 countries in total - have already
gone as far as drafting their own alternative texts that remedy the most
worrying elements of Annex C.

We are Parliamentarians anxious to defend the right of countries to
choose, now and in the future, the levels and extent of commitment to
liberalization in full accordance with people's needs and welfare and
with national policies and priorities. We call on our delegations to
protect this sovereign right.


Cong. Saturnino Ocampo (Bayan Muna)

Cong. Teodoro Casiño (Bayan Muna)

Cong. Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis)

Cong. Crispin Beltran (Anakpawis)

Cong. Liza Maza (Gabriela)

MP Yousef El-Maimani (Majlij Ashshur)
Saudi Arabia

MP Yasmeen Rehman (Pakistan People's Party), Pakistan

MP Aubert M. Helene
France, European Parliament

MP Vittorio Agnoletto (GUE/NGL)
Italy, European Parliament

MP Markov Helmuth (GUE/NGL)
Germany, European Parliament

MP Lotta Hedstrom (Green Party)

MP Jimmy Angwenyi

MP Shakeel Ahmed Mohamed

Benedict Martins (ANC)
South Africa

MP Dickson Mkono (ANC)
South Africa

MP Ivan Valente (PSOL)

MP Ludra Rosado (PSB)

MP Maria Helena Rodriguez (PSB)

MP Rupchand Pal (CPS-M)

MP Adhu Awiti

MP Caroline Lucas
UK, European Parliament

MP Agot Valle (Socialist Left)

Sen. Oya Zrihen (PS)

Rep. Karine Lalieux (PS)

MP Elsa Papadimitriou

MP Sisa Njikelana (ANC)
South Africa

Dr. Oburu Oginga

MP James Gachagua

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

NR1207: Is Negroponte here to pressure RP into acquitting 6 US

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release December 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Is Negroponte here to pressure RP into acquitting 6 US servicemen who raped a 22-year old Filipina?

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that the sudden arrival of top ranking US intelligence expert John Negroponte in the country well indicates the US government’s rising concerns over the delays of the passage of an anti-terrorism bill in the Philippines, and the escalating political tension over the rape of a 22-year old Filipina by six US Marines.

“Is Negroponte here to deliver his government’s ultimatum regarding the rape case? Under no circumstances should the US government through Negroponte or any other US
official be allowed to exert influence over this case or over any other controversial issue affecting the country’s international security affairs,” he said.

“The six US servicemen cannot and should not be allowed to leave the country and they must be convicted and imprisoned on Philippine soil. Not even US Pres. George Bush can be allowed to influence the outcome of the rape trial and the continuing criminal investigations. These servicemen should be taught a lesson and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

”The mounting calls for the abrogation of military treaties and agreements between the Philippines and the US such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) are also a cause of concern for the US. It cannot be denied that this rape case has reawakened anti-US military sentiment and rekindled the fires of patriotism in many Filipinos. The Macapagal-Arroyo administration will have yet another explosive situation in its hands if the courts acquit the US servicemen and bow to US pressure.”

The veteran labor leader turned legislator also said that Negroponte’s arrival in the country well signifies the US government’s concerns over the delays in the passage of the anti-terrorism bill, and the Philippine government’s positions on the upcoming discussions in the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) where the US is leading the campaign for the full liberalization of agriculture in the poorer economies.

“Negronponte is the US government’ henchman and errand boy here to deliver the orders of his masters to the Philippine government. He should go back to the US and tell his bosses that there is still strong and steadily growing resistance to the US continuing’ interference in Philippine economic, military and political affairs,’ he concluded.#

NR1207:Retired Gen. Garcia's "punishment" does not fit the crime

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release December 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Retired Gen. Garcia’s ‘punishment’ does not fit the crime; Garcia’s testimony lacks revelations regarding whom he worked with and for to accumulate massive illegal wealth

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the punishment being meted out to retired general and army comptroller Carlos F. Garcia was farcical and an insult to the collective intelligence of the Filipino people who have been monitoring the developments in this case for the longest time.

Garcia was sentenced by court-martial last week to two years detention at hard labor for suspicious wealth and the possession of a “green card.” According the reports, Garcia’s punishment so far consists of his being denied the right to use his cellphone.

“Considering the gravity of Garcia’s crimes, the AFP and the rest of the judicial arms of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration are moving suspiciously much too low on his case. This leniency already consists of special treatment. All this bolsters strong allegations that Garcia is only a small cog in a massive machinery of corruption within the AFP and the rest of the military institution. Garcia at this point is still being treated with kid gloves because of the knowledge and critical information he possesses are seriously incriminating and damaging against higher officials in the military and perhaps even in Malacanang,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that the soft handling of Garcia was yet another proof of how lopsided the justice system is in the country. He said that Garcia has essentially admitted owning millions of dollars in unexplained wealth and the chances that this money was accumulated through corrupt and underhanded means. “But why isn’t the maximum punishment of the law against such a crime being laid down against him? Because he’s from the military and his possible conviction might lead him to squeal on his higher-ups who are also involved in corrupt schemes that bring them millions?”

“Ordinary citizens when they become involved in petty crimes such as small time theft - say the theft of cellphones or wallets- they are immediately arrested and sentenced. Garcia and whomever else he works with and for has so far been treated with utmost care and the charges against Garcia has been delayed for the longest time. What does this prove but the anti-poor bias of the justice system. Garcia has nor reason to complain. “

Finally, Beltran said that he Sandiganbayan should hasten deliberations on Garcia’s case and convict him on the crimes of perjury and plunder. He also said that Garcia should also be compelled to reveal who his partners in crime. “If Garcia, a mere army comptroller was able to amass millions of dollars in liquid and assets, what more higher officials in the military? Without doubt, Garcia was able to skim off illegal wealth by working with and for even more corrupt officials within the military and the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” he concluded.#

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nr1206:Garci's charges against opposition lawmakers in May 2004 doesn't affect the higher crime perpetrated by GMA

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release December 6, 2005

Garci’s charges against opposition lawmakers in May 2004 doesn’t affect the higher crime perpetrated by GMA

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano’s revelation of the names of several congressmen including opposition lawmaker who supposedly made calls to him during the height of the May 2004 electoral campaign should not deflect the public’s attention from the highest official.

“Garcillano is determined to direct the public’s attention away from the fact that the most controversial figure he spoke with during last year’s elections was Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself. The issue of whoever else Garcillano may have talked to during the same period is only secondary to this,” he said.

“If Malacanang and Garcillano are calling the lawmakers hypocrites, then what does this make Macapagal-Arroyo? For the longest time she denied having talked to Garcillano but only came out and admitted that she actually did contact the Comelec commissioner when the public heat got to0 much for her,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that it was also highly suspicious that Garcillano has opted to reveal the names of opposition lawmakers instead of divulging those of members of the administration. “It’s obvious that Garcillano wants to destroy the credibility of opposition lawmakers, especially those who are at the forefront of the investigations into the Garci tapes and the campaign to remove the illegitimate president from Malacanang. If he and Malacanang think that using the same tact of exposing opposition lawmakers’ conversations with Garci would diminish the charges against Macapagal-Arroyo, they’re mistaken.”

“Garcillano and his handlers can lob all the accusations they want against opposition lawmakers, but in the end it will still be revealed that the biggest crime was still perpetrated against Macapagal-Arroyo. Hers was nationwide and large-scale electoral fraud, and there are many more evidence to prove this besides the taped conversations she had with Garcillano.”

Finally, the veteran labor leader turned lawmaker expressed support for leaders of the minority led by Minority Leader Francis Escudero and Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, saying that their respective reputations and credibility as guradians of the truth behind the Garci tapes and the May 2004 electoral fraud campaign of the administration will survive Garcillano’s accusations. He said that members of the opposition whom Garcillano charged of having talked with him for ‘favors’ and ‘assistance’ in the May 2004 polls need not worry about Garcillano at all.

“The man has been consistently lying from the day he surfaced. The fact that he has lobbed these accusations already stand as concrete reason for the formal and full-blown investigations into the Garci tapes and Garcillano’s involvement’s in the electoral fraud caper of 2004 should commence,” he concluded.#