Wednesday, March 29, 2006

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 426-9442 Email:
URL: http://

March 27, 2006
"If helping the poor is a crime,
and fighting for freedom is rebellion,
then I plead guilty as charged."

--Crispin Beltran, August 1982 Supreme Court hearing

Cong. Beltran on Charter Change signature drive:
No debate or consensus in Palace-backed 'peoples' initiative'

While in police detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital, illegally-detained Anakpawis Cong. Crispin Beltran raised alarms over the Palace-backed signature campaign last weekend, saying that it was "a farce intending to mask Pres. Arroyo's plans of holding power until 2007 and beyond".

"There is obviously a dangerous and chronic absence of public debate, and much less consensus, on the issue of Charter Change. Our constituents from Anakpawis all over the nation report that there was generally no thorough public information dissemination campaign on what exactly this Cha-Cha signature campaign intends to accomplish, aside from vague promises of a better life for the poor. Even radio reports since Saturday point out to the general lack of public awareness on the exact Constitutional amendments this Cha-Cha is trying to ram through, much less the implications and concrete effects of these on the Filipino people," Beltran said.

"It is true that the Filipino masses are clamoring for social reforms and radical social change even. But these are not to be confused in any way with the measures that Arroyo's Charter Change is trying to push through," Beltran said.

"What changes do the majority of Filipinos want? First, the Filipino toiling masses want land reform, secure and sufficient jobs, respect for human rights, access to basic education, health and other social services from a government that will uphold the rights of Filipinos over foreign interests. These are totally different from the changes of Arroyo's Cha-Cha, whose revised or transitory provisions have only removed all traces of economic protectionism and safeguards to human rights and national patrimony. Second, six out of every ten Filipinos want GMA out of the Palace. This is totally opposed to the implied term extension of Pres. Arroyo if Cha-Cha pushes through. Apparently, this corrupt and deceptive administration is capitalizing on the social discontent of the masses in order to further entrench itself in power," Beltran said.

"This administration is again committing massive fraud and deception on a nationwide scale," he added.

"It's obvious that Arroyo's lapdogs are hastily trying to gather millions of signatures at any cost, and irregardless of whether the people are sufficiently informed or not. The congressional debates on the various issues surrounding Charter Change and its effects on the local economy, human rights, and foreign policy haven't even been threshed out yet," Beltran observed.

"No matter how much the Palace tries to deny the President's backing of Cha-Cha, the conspicuous presence of Arroyo lapdogs at the forefront of this whole Cha-Cha 'peoples' initiative' only indicates otherwise," Beltran ended. ###


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