Monday, March 05, 2007

GO, Team Unity should also agree to a debate sponsored by marginalized sectors ---Beltran

Monday March 5, 2007

GO, Team Unity should also agree to a debate sponsored by marginalized sectors ---Beltran

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that if the big business groups will be sponsoring the first major debate between the candidates of the Genuine Opposition and Team Unity on March 14 at the Manila Hotel, "the candidates should also acquiesce to a debate to be sponsored by the marginalized sectors, particularly labor and farmers, as well as urban poor," he said.

"It's the marginalized sectors which ironically consist the majority of the Philippine population hence the voting public who needs to hear the stands and viewpoints of the candidates on economic issues. The needs of workers, farmers, urban and rural poor and their families continue to be neglected or blatantly ignored by the Macapagal-Arroyo government despite the executive's assertions to the contrary. Pro-poor and pro-people legislation is almost unheard of in congress as the bill legislating a substantial P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers has been blocked, and the same goes for bills on genuine agrarian reform, affordable and accessible health, housing and education for the poor," he said.

Beltran said that voters want to know the specific stand of candidates on these life and death issues, "Because historically the Macapagal-Arroyo government has done nothing but brag about its success in turning the economy around but nothing has changed for the poor."

"We want a senate and a House of Representatives that will legislate laws that will concretely improve the lives and welfare of the poor. The Filipino people deserve lawmakers who will voice their concerns and actively fight for the interest of the marginalized sectors, protect their jobs and livelihood as well as their civil and human rights. Candidates of both GO and Team Unity should present their respective legislative agendas for the poor," he said.

AFP admission that its holding counter-insurgency operations in the NCR basis to sack AFP, PNP leadership who sanctioned operations

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino's admission that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is conducting counter-insurgency operations in the National Capital Region is already grounds to sack the leadership of the AFP and the PNP. He said that the military has admitted that their campaign against the progressive party-lists and their electoral activities as counter-insurgency work.

"The admission comes from the horse's mouth. The AFP is campaigning against our progressive party-lists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party, and terrorizing residents in the NCR against voting for us. This is blatant partisanship – the AFP is deliberately targeting our groups and supporters," he said. "It's not criminals that they're watching out for, it's our organizers and members. This is political harassment. This is a direct violation of our members' and supporters' civil rights."

"This isn't maintaining peace and order, this is political repression. The AFP has no right to terrorize residents against supporting our party-lists. The officials of the AFP and the PNP as well as the local government units who willingly cooperate in this campaign should suspended and sanctioned. The freedom to choose which political organizations, parties and even ideology to support is guaranteed in the constitution, and the AFP's rounds in the urban poor communities sympathetic to the progressive party-lists are violating the law," he said. "Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon has been lying all this time that the AFP is non-partisan." #


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