Senator Nene Pimentel astonished me and the rest of the participants of the rally-symposium conducted by UP AWARE (UP Alliance Working for Arroyo’s Removal) held last Thursday at the UP Faculty Center when he confessed to the Filipinos his stand to “join the clamor of various sectors to demand the resignation, impeachment or ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.”
The ad hoc organization supports the following propositions:
The appearance of the taped conversation between GMA and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano is merely the latest indictment of the Arroyo administration and confirms the widespread view that Arroyo’s victory in the May 2004 elections was fraudulent and manipulated. Even without the admission of GMA’s spokesman that the woman on the tape is the President herself, the voice is unmistakable. It is GMA’s voice and it is GMA caught red handed in cheating in the last elections.
But this is not the only indictment of Arroyo.
We have had enough of corruption in the Arroyo administration and within her family.
The list of scandals and corruption involving Arroyo’s official family and her relatives is long. Rolando Golez, President/CEO of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund, Winston Garcia of GSIS, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, former comptroller and treasurer of AFP, and Angelo Reyes, Secretary of DILG, have all been accused of corruption.
The jueteng scandal involved Arroyo’s immediate family with charges that First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo and Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo received amounts of P3 million to P7 million a month from jueteng collections.
We have had enough of the freeze in salaries of government employees and the continuous reduction in the budget allocation for social services while the Arroyo government dutifully prioritizes debt payment.
During Arroyo’s term, government employees have not received any salary increase. The budget for education, health and housing has been reduced as percentage of the total budget. But total debt payments have increased from P274.4 billion in 2001 to P645.8 billion in 2005.
We have had enough of political repression!
Since 2001 more than 73 leaders and members of progressive organizations have been killed and since 2000, more than 20 journalists have been killed in connection with their work, making the Philippines the deadliest country in the world for the profession, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Arroyo’s silence and inaction with regard to these killings are unacceptable.
Let me clear to all though, it does not follow that I have the same viewpoint as theirs nor the other way. What I just presented are the three points of five they stressed during the rally-symposium. The next two will further be discussed next issue.