Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rep. Beltran to Palace: Step down now that bishops have spoken out

Rep. Beltran to Palace: Step down now that bishops have spoken out
Solon also appeals to Church to recognize economic sufferings of the
toiling masses under GMA

Now that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
have added their voices to the general clamor of discontent, Pres.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should seriously plan her exit scenario from
the Palace while it is still dignified and proper to do so, Anakpawis
Rep. Crispin Beltran said today in reaction to the CBCP pastoral
statements .

"We are challenging PMGA to heed the peoples' clamor for her to step
down now that even our bishops have spoken out. Lest this state of
societal discontent reach the point where the President will have to
be disgracefully booted and booed out of the Palace by the people,"
Rep. Beltran said.

The veteran labor leader also appealed for the bishops to "take on and
weigh the cross of economic sufferings carried by the people ever
since the start of the Arroyo administration".

"I hope that our Church brothers will also consider in their calls the
fact that poverty, hunger, and unemployment have risen to record-high
levels under Mrs. Arroyo's policies. Last year, 11.4% or 1 out of 10
Filipinos are unemployed, while 21% are underemployed. The 2005
inflation rate was pegged at an alarming 7.7%, compared to the 3%
inflation rate in 2002. The Social Weather Stations yearend survey
showed the highest hunger record rate in the Philippines for the past
eight years. And on February 1, Filipinos nationwide will be feeling
the full whammy of the Expanded Value Added Tax implementation in
addition to the blows of price increases in commodities such as sugar,
and services such as power and water rates," Beltran said.

"The immorality and illegitimacy of the Arroyo administration
ultimately rests on its inability to fulfill its basic mandate: to
provide basic social services, protect national patrimony and
sovereignty, and ferret out the truth for the benefit of the people. I
hope that our bishops recognize that the clamor of the masses is now
fast building up into a social volcanic eruption or tsunami that will
not subside until the phony, fascist, and insufferable President
leaves the Palace for good," Beltran said.

"Mrs. Arroyo should not only acknowledge the validity of the CBCP's
statement through words, but also in actual deed and practice: by
allowing the Garci probes to go on unhampered by Presidential
intervention, by scrapping her 'no-elections" proposal, by a total
revamp of the Comelec and all people associated with her and the
'Garci' scandal with it, by withdrawing her calls to Charter Change,
and by providing mechanisms for the immediate repeal of the Mining Act
of 1995," Beltran said.

Reopen Garci probe but castrate EO 464 this time

Agreeing with the CBCP's call for the "relentless pursuit of truth in
the "Hello Garci" probe", Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran pushed for
the reopening of the "Hello Garci" probes in the House of
Representatives today, but this time, sans the influence of the
controversial Executive Order (EO) 464 barring government officials
from appearing at hearings and probes without the go signal of the

Beltran urged fellow solons to "support the reopening of the "Hello
Garci' probes in light of the CBCP's call, but this time, also call
for the suspension or better yet, the lifting of the EO 464, in order
to facilitate conditions where the truth about the 'Hello Garci' tapes
and the 2004 national elections may finally emerge." At the
inconclusive close of the "Garci" probes at the House of
Representatives last week, solons decried that the EO 464 effectively
prevented any truth from surfacing in the investigations.

Beltran pushed the "vigorous and thorough continuation of the ongoing
Senate probe into the 'Hello Garci' controversy", saying that "the
Senate probe should not be prematurely killed as in the Lower


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