Opposition on real state of the nation: ‘RP a sinking ship’

Opposition on real state of the nation: ‘RP a sinking ship’
Posted July 23, 2008, 1:54 pm

Opposition on real state of the nation: ‘RP a sinking ship’
07/23/2008 | 01:54 PM
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MANILA, Philippines – A sinking ship and a captain who is robbing passengers on board – this was how various groups described the “real” state of the nation Wednesday, as it urged Filipinos to join protests during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28.

In a joint statement posted on the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) website, prominent opposition leaders criticized the administration’s economic policies, including its insistence on imposing the value added tax on oil which displays the government’s “insensitivity towards the plight of the people.”

The group also scored the government’s recent subsidy spree, saying these are “nothing more than dole-outs aimed at quelling unrest.”

“For the people … we hold a completely different version of the SONA. The real state of the nation is that of grinding poverty and hunger, repression and widespread human rights violation, massive unemployment and sky-rocketing cost of living. The real state of the nation is that of a sinking ship, whose captain robs then abandons all those on board,” opposition figures said.

“Mrs. Arroyo is responsible for some of the worst economic policies that have wrought ruin on the people. Her insistence on imposing the Value Added Tax on oil smacks of gross insensitivity towards the plight of the people. Her so-called targeted subsidies are nothing more than dole-outs aimed at quelling unrest. So far Mrs. Arroyo has refused to take any responsibility for the mess her administration has created,” the group added.

The group noted that President Arroyo will deliver her SONA on July 28 amid high prices of food, fuel and other basic commodities, and persistent allegations of corruption.

Also, they claimed the administration battle cry “Ramdam ang Kaunlaran (Progress is Felt)” has fallen flat on its face. Even the rallying call “Labanan and Kahirapan (Fight Poverty)” has also been discredited as nothing more than political gimmickry, they added.

“This year’s SONA by Mrs. Arroyo will not bring any hope for the people. As in previous SONAs, this year’s speech will be marked by motherhood statements and a firm denial of the gravity of the crisis under her watch,” the group said.

Among those who signed the statement were former vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr., United Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano, and national artist Bienvenido Lumbrera, Maita Gomez, Fr. Rex Reyes of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines, Fr. Jose Dizon of Solidarity Philippines, Fr. Rudy Abao, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, and professors Fidel Nemenzo and Connie Paz.

Other signatories include Renato Constantino, former transportation undersecretary and Concerned Citizens Movement head Josefina Lichauco, lawyer Nasser Marohomsalic of the Union of Muslims for Morality and Truth, Gat Inciong of the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties.

Also: Virgilio Eustaquio of the Kilusang EDSA Tres; actor Rez Cortez, party list representatives Satur Ocampo, Rafael Mariano and Liza Maza; Ferdinand Gaite of the Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Workers (Courage); professors Roland Tolentino (UP Aware), Danton Remoto (Ateneo de Manila University), and Maria Lourdes Agustin (White Ribbon Movement). – GMANews.TV


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