Thursday, February 16, 2006

'Palace Initiative' for Cha-Cha will only entrench GMA in power


*February 16, 2006 *

* *

*Rep. Beltran: 'Palace Initiative' for Cha-Cha will only entrench GMA in
power, *

*true Peoples' Initiative is to oust Arroyo and start genuine social reforms

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today scored the Malacanang-sponsored
information-drive on Charter Change as a 'Politician's Initiative' or
'Palace Initiative' for political survival, rather than a genuine 'Peoples'
Initiative' for social change, during the launching assembly of the PEOPLE'S
MARCH (People's Movement against Arroyo's Charter Change) today at Mandel
Hall, Trinity College, Quezon City.

Convenors of the Peoples' March include former Vice President Teofisto
Guingona, Bishop Deogracias IƱiguez and Bishop Alberto Ramento (Ecumenical
Bishops Forum), Bsp. Godofredo David, Dr. Ruben Caragay (UP Institute of
Public Health*), Prof. Edberto Villegas, Former Human Rights Commissioner
Nasser Marohomsalic (United Muslims for Truth and Morality), Evelyn
Alcaraz-Muallil (Women March), among others.

Rep. Beltran scored the Palace's "renewed public information drive to
popularize Arroyo's Cha-Cha", saying that "Pres. Arroyo is using Charter
Change to deodorize the odious stench of her corrupt, anti-poor, and
undemocratic politics. Pres. Arroyo's allies in the Lower House and in the
local government units are doing the nation a great disservice by their
connivance in the Palace drive to have Charter Change railroaded this year".

"The Palace will benefits the most from Charter Change because it deflects
attention away from the ongoing clamor for the President's ouster from
office. They're using it to give an illusion of reform by shuffling the
existing political configurations *para panatilihin siya sa puwesto at
makalimutan ng tao na dapat patalsikin na si Gng. Arroyo,"* he said.

"GMA's allies tinkering with an already-mangled Constitution will only
result in a sell-out Charter and a *de facto* dictatorship, as the initial
drafts proposed by the House Committee and Constitutional Commission show,"
Beltran said.

"GMA and her cohorts in government are obviously trying to pass off Cha-Cha
as an acceptable option to her removal from the Palace. They are even
thinking of capitalizing on the broad appeal of celebrities and sports
champions just to make Cha-Cha acceptable to the public," he said.

"The genuine Peoples' Initiative these days is the broad call to let the
truth about the nation's state of governance be known, and remove Pres.
Arroyo from the Palace immediately as an initial step to setting up genuine
social reforms. This is the true Peoples' Initiative that Arroyo and her
allies are doing their best to stifle and suppress, whether through
repressive Executive Orders, political maneuverings in the Lower House, or
outright suppression," Beltran said. ###


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