Category: GMA Resign

Joint Statement on House Resolution No. 1109

Joint statement of the Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Action for Economic Reforms and the Foundation for Economic Freedom

We are appalled at the indecency and blatant disregard of the
Filipino people’s will displayed by the House of Representatives in its
adoption of House Resolution No. 1109 that allows itself to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution, without the necessary participation of the Senate.

The question all Filipinos should ask is: For whose interest was
this action taken? Certainly not the Filipino people’s, as there is no
widespread clamor to amend the Constitution, especially now that we are
less than a year away from a presidential election. The resolution
contains no issue of profound impact to the people’s welfare.

By this action of pro-Administration congresspersons, any remaining
doubts about the determination of the Arroyo Administration and its
allies in the House to manipulate our democratic processes and
institutions to prolong their hold on power have been erased.

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Listen to Joma

So what does Joma say about the global economic crisis? What has to be done, to borrow Lenin’s rhetoric?

Don’t expect Joma to address the problems relating to sub-prime loans,
derivatives, bubbles, market failure, regulatory capture, global
imbalances, conflict of interest, perverse incentives, information
asymmetry, adverse selection, moral hazard, and irrational behavior.
Joma is not Alan Greenspan, the economist; he’s just the political
Greenspan in the Philippine pond, so says the blogger. Well, even the
real Greenspan is now being crucified for his culpability in sowing the
seeds of the deep economic recession.

Joma’s version of what is to be done is not saturated with technocratic
or academic jargon. It is easy to understand. The tasks discussed in
his paper are straightforward, namely information and education
campaigns, organizational campaigns, and mass mobilizations.

How these tasks can reform or even transform the global economy is something beyond me.

But I still appreciate these tasks when applied to a totally different
context. Recently, a couple of colleagues attended a meeting of
organizations opposed to Gloria Arroyo’s brazenly illegal plan to
perpetuate power. A lot of time in the meeting was eaten up by the
presentation of a permutation of scenarios to keep Gloria in power.
But what we urgently need is collective action, not an intellectual
playing of the ding-a-ling.

Joma’s call for information, education, organization, and mobilization
hits the mark. And I will gladly march shoulder to shoulder with the
people, including Joma’s forces. I am not bothered by Joma’s forces
who always see red. Our main task, irrespective of the colors we
choose, is to defeat the real threat of a Gloria dictatorship.

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Filipino families and government spending less on education

How does one cope when income drops, when food and fuel prices go up, and when there is no money left to send the children to school? The latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES 2006) suggests that for poor Filipino households, coping meant spending more on alcohol and tobacco. Well, at least the poor were creative enough to find happy moments amidst difficult times. In comparison, the non-poor were more prudent but maybe less happy, although the FIES does not come out with any index on happiness or misery.

But seriously, when families experience a drop in real income, spend less on education and health care, but increase spending on alcohol and tobacco, then one can say that times are indeed harsh.

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To a fellow economist and former colleague, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

We are outraged by the revelations made by Engr. Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. at the Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon hearings last 8 February 2008 about the overpriced Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company-National Broadband Network (ZTE-NBN) project. The project has no clear public rationale in the first place. We are dismayed by the revelations of Mr. Lozada that former Commission on Election Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., with the alleged involvement of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, ordered the inclusion in the proposed project a large amount of kickbacks, amounting to as much as 130 million US dollars (or more than 5.2 billion pesos), enough money to remove the yearly public school classroom backlog, or purchase 5.8 million sacks of NFA rice, or alternatively secure the basic needs of about 29,000 poor families for a year. Simply put, a lot is being sacrificed for the greed of the few.

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Why We Should Call for Arroyo’s Resignation

We have achieved moral certainty that there is enough basis to call for resignation.

NBN-ZTE deal

There is an obvious, deliberate attempt to hide truth from the public about the anomalous circumstances surrounding the ZTE contract. Despite testimonies by Jun Lozada and Joey de Venecia pertaining to direct involvement of the President and by FG, Malacanang’s only response was to invoke EO 464 and refuse to disclose records of the ZTE deal.

Hello Garci

Comelec officials have not been punished for glaring anomalies in the last presidential elections. Despite evidence showing Arroyo intervening by talking to a Comelec Commissioner, and an admission from Arroyo herself of doing so, justice still has not been served.

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Today, we call for an end to this government that came into power through cheating and remained in power by silencing its critics—474 political killings in the last three years alone, and more than 180 people have been made to disappear. No more of a government that sells off the country’s minerals, forests and lands in exchange for largesse and bribes from large businesses and corporations –at the costs of the welfare and survival of local communities, our environment and posterity . We say no more to a government that lords over the people and wields its power ruthlessly like a mafia.

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Fight the Philippine Mafia (SOBRA NA! TAMA NA!)

We have examined the available official documents. We have listened intently and reviewed the statements and testimonies of accusers, defenders, and witnesses in the ZTE-NBN controversy. We have taken note of the facts and circumstances, the credibility of the witnesses, and the probability or improbability of the competing versions. We have weighed the evidence, and reached moral certainty about these ultimate facts: That grand scale corruption attended the ZTE-NBN deal, and that it went all the way up to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA).

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GMA: Resign NOW!

The plunder exemplified by the ZTE-NBN deal goes all the way up to GMA. In the testimony of Joey de Venecia, GMA’s husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, was a central figure in securing the kickback. The candid, credible and detailed testimony of Jun Lozada, in relation to his abduction and the overpricing of the ZTE-NBN contract points to Malacañang as the culprit. It is crystal clear that the buck does not stop at Mike Arroyo. His influence is crucial not because of his own accord, but of whom he represents: the exercise of the power and prerogatives of the highest executive of the land.

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