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What’s next after Mrs. Arroyo?

We condemn the illegal proclamation of a state of national emergency, which has led to the violent dispersal of peaceful assemblies, the arbitrary arrests, and the curtailment of press freedom. We expect Gloria Arroyo’s unconstitutional responses to even intensify, but by doing so, she is accelerating the destruction of her unwelcome rule.

The people’s defiance expressed in the huge demonstration of February 24 crystallizes the imperative of facing head-on Arroyo’s repressive response. As each day passes, many people are becoming more receptive to the idea that it is alright to use any means necessary to oust Mrs. Arroyo. More and more people now believe that extra-constitutional means is an acceptable way to remove an incorrigible, unrepentant Arroyo, who has increasingly relied on crypto-dictatorial rule to preserve her power.

A Statement by Concerned Citizens from the Economics and Allied Professions

Incredibly, as though we have not learned or suffered enough from our recent history, we once again find ourselves in the howling midst of a political tempest. The precipitating factors: allegedly wiretapped phone conversations of Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, some of them apparently with the President, that indicate systematic rigging of the 2004 elections, and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s apology for a lapse in judgment in calling an unnamed COMELEC official during the election period. The consequences have been that the President has tarnished her trustworthiness and credibility, and compromised her moral authority to govern….

For the sake of the nation and the greater good, we therefore implore President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to render the ultimate sacrifice and tender her voluntary resignation, so that a period of healing and renewal can begin. Let it be your legacy, Madam President, that in the end you chose to save the nation rather than your presidency.

Comment/opposition to the revised rehabilitation plan of Maynilad

Comment/opposition to the revised rehabilitation plan with
omnibus motion to: (1) pay the concession fees accrued after the 17 November 2003 stay order; and (2) suspend the implementation of the tariff increases

The revised rehabilitation plan of Maynilad is a scheme to BAILOUT Benpres Holdings Corporation (“Benpres”), a 59% stockholder of Maynilad, using PUBLIC FUNDS. Without the rehabilitation plan, Benpres would have to pay the SBLC Banks, Bridge Loan Banks and Local Banks more than US$130 million as guarantor of Maynilad’s loans. But, under the rehabilitation plan, Benpres would only have to assign to the SBLC banks its entire shares in Maynilad at a price of US$33 million, in exchange for a release on the remainder of its guarantees. Hence, it will be saving more than US$97 million.

Turning Crisis into Opportunity

Several months have passed since the media first bannered the warning
of the 11 faculty members of University of the Philippines School of
Economics (UPSECON) about a looming economic catastrophe in the event that a worsening fiscal crisis is not arrested. The good news is that everyone, from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) to the man on the street, is aware of the gravity of the problem. But the bad news is that the administration has not yet acted decisively on the problem. Its actions to date are far from reassuring.

What’s the deal on Maynilad?

The Action for Economic Reforms (AER) yesterday expressed grave concern over the continuing failure of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to draw for the full amount the US$120,000,000.00 Performance Bond posted by the Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) in favor of MWSS. The Performance Bond is intended to secure, among others, the payment of Concession Fees by Maynilad, pursuant to its Concession Agreement for the management and operation of water and sewerage service in the West Service Area.

Statement from Action for Economic Reforms Regarding the Demand Letter to the MWSS Board

Public interest organizations, namely Action for Economic Reforms and
the Bantay Tubig network, as well as individual consumers submitted a
demand letter to the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks
and Sewerage System (MWSS) on 19 July 2004. Their urgent demand is for the MWSS Board to immediately and effectively draw on the Maynilad performance bond and to desist from further negotiating a compromise agreement with Maynilad.