Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Resignations to Mount as SONA of Excuses, Apologies and Empty Promises Near; Truth Commission, Impeachment To Strengthen Basis for GMA’s Removal

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release July 19, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
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Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the resignation of two more officials from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s cabinet was proof-positive that the presidency was crumbling. He said that for all the brave talk and strong front being put up by Pres. Arroyo and her various spokespersons such as presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio, the fact remains that the Pres. Arroyo’s credibility is severely damaged and is already beyond salvaging.

“Pres. Arroyo had no inkling that half her cabinet officials were going to abandon her, and now the remaining stragglers are also leaving,” he said, referring to the recent resignation of Vicky Garchitorena, Corazon Guidote and Silvestre Afable. “Before long, she will be left with a skeleton of a government, regardless of how swiftly she tries to replace the officials who resigned as a result of disgust and disillusionment. After all, who want to be associated with a corrupt presidency?”

He said that Arroyo administration hangers-on such as DOLE secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas and Justice secretary Raul Gonzales were already among the most notorious officials, and while their respective resignations were not expected, he said that that the two still have a chance to redeem themselves and can begin so by turning in their papers.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that Pres. Arroyo was hanging on to the presidency by the skin of her teeth. “The countdown to her State of the Nation Address (SONA) is nearing, and so is the showdown between political forces demanding her resignation, impeachment or ouster, and those who are blindly loyal to her corrupt presidency. Never again will Pres. Arroyo be able to say that she has the Filipino people’s trust and confidence, and all her succeeding speeches and declarations will always be treated with distrust and disdain. She has no moral or legal right to continue as president.”

Beltran said that GMA’s SONA will most likely be yet another series of excuses, apologies, and empty promises. “This will be her last SONA. No one is expecting her to last until the end of the year, especially when the impeachment process begins and more of her crimes and lies against the Filipino people are exposed. The true SONA will be delivered in the streets where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos will be demanding her removal from office.”

Truth Commission, Impeachment process

Beltran said that he was not wholly against the recommendation of some quarters for the establishment of a truth commission as a parallel move to the massive street protests and the impeachment process now being begun in Congress. He said that so long as the truth commission was handled by impartial individuals and groups whose main objectives are to ferret out the truth as to the deeds of the Arroyo presidency and the genuine political and economic situation faced by majority of Filipinos, the truth commission should prove to be valuable venue for the further exposure of the corruption of the administration.

“All these steps being taken – the impeachment process, the truth commission, and most importantly the rallies and mobilizations all over the country – they serve to be important venues for debate and awakening of public awareness, involvement and concern. No matter how hard the Arroyo administration and the executive tries to explain away the accusations and charges of corruption and failure of governance, the truth will still come out. More and more Filipinos are getting involved in the process of exposing the ugliness of Philippine politics and the corruption of the economic and political system in place. Inevitably, there will be major political upheaval and Pres. Arroyo will be forced out of office,” he said.#

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