Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If Pres. Arroyo wants happy and positive reportage, she should stick to reading the lifestyle pages- Beltran

Wednesday March 28, 2007

If Pres. Arroyo wants happy and positive reportage, she should stick to reading the lifestyle pages- Beltran

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today that Pres Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's continuing assertions that she upholds human rights and respects freedom of the press stank of hypocrisy and it was better off that she refrain from issuing such statements "because she's only revealing her hypocrisy more."

"How else can she make these comments when the international community is practically banging on her door step exhorting her to order the military to stop the extrajudicial killings and the harassment against the bloc of progressive party-lists? How can she continue to say that she respects freedom of the press and not self-combust from same when her own husband is a slapping libel suits against journalists, columnists and newspaper editors left and rights? Mrs Arroyo should put her money where her mouth is. It's become apparent that she will not abandon the AFP and that she will continue to condone the extra-judicial killings; but her husband? The least she can do is to tell her husband the First Gentleman to drop all the libel suits," he said.

"Pres. Arroyo attributes herself as a champion for press freedom while at the same time she exhorts the media to stop reporting the realities of extrajudicial killings, widespread corruption, and low public confidence in her and her administration. Pres. Arroyo, with the help of the First Gentleman and his various henchmen, are an inch away from ordering an all-out crackdown on the vigilant media. There is no doubt that Pres. Arroyo would much rather the newspapers completely dropped all reports about current social realities. If Mrs. Arroyo wants happy and positive news, she should stick to the lifestyle section. Her government is the main source of bad news in this country," he said.

Comelec should investigate reports of proliferation of bogus party-lists; reconsider decision on 11 pro-Macapagal-Arroyo party-lists

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader urged the Commission on Elections and Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos to reconsider their decision to disqualify party-lists exposed as fronts for the Arroyo government. This is light of recent reports that the Office of the External Affairs had offered financial support to non-government organizations (NGOs) to run as party-list groups in the May 14 polls.

An informant exposing the scam said that he himself was offered twice to become the nominee of party-list groups formed by certain individuals at the Palace. The offer ranged from P5 million to P20 million. The man said that he was asked to be the nominee of LYPAD (Youth League for Peace Advancement), which the Comelec accredited last February 3.

"The party-lists system is being maliciously infiltrated by fake party-lists whose loyalties are not with the marginalized sectors they claim to represent, but with the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. These are the party-lists that will benefit most from the electoral fraud campaign we are certain the administration is preparing to enact as the countdown to the May elections begins. The sole legislative and political agenda of these bogus party-lists is to strengthen Macapagal-Arroyo's control and influence in the House of Representatives," he said.

Beltran said that the Comelec should not contribute to the further disenfranchisement of the marginalized sectors and ban and disqualify these suspicious, upstart party-lists.#


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