Action for Economic Reforms:  Michael Alba, Luz Anigan, Manuel Buencamino, Jessica Reyes Cantos, Jenina Joy Chavez, Sylvia Estrada-Claudio, Ramon Fernan III, Margarita F. Gomez, Jose Ernesto Ledesma,  Fides Lim, Joseph Y. Lim,  Nepomuceno Malaluan, Cristina Morales, Rene Ofreneo, Rafael Paredes, Rene R. Raya, Rina Rosales, Filomeno S. Sta. Ana III

We remember Secretary Romy Neri as part of a generation of principled, young and idealistic men and women who sought reforms in Philippine society.  A martyr to the cause, Edgar Jopson, was his friend and classmate.

We have  dialogued and debated with Secretary Neri  on critical economic issues.  In some areas, our policy positions have converged.  We were on the same side in the advocacy for a competitive exchange rate.  And we support him for his statements against regulatory capture.

We have also disagreed with him on other issues.  For example, we have criticized his rosy growth projections, which lull some sectors into thinking that all is well  about the Philippine economy.

Apart from professional camaraderie, what bounds us all together is our conviction for truth and justice to prevail.

It is in this light that we extend Mr. Neri our solidarity, now that he is facing what is probably the toughest and most perilous challenge he has ever faced.

Everyone is anticipating his statement on the National Broadband Network (NBN) controversy.  It is not without basis that we express our concern for Mr. Neri’s safety. We remind the authorities of their solemn duty to protect him and call on all citizens to extend what help they can to keep him safe.

Despite the pressure and intimidation he faces, we urge Mr. Neri not to turn his back on the search for truth. We urge him to be forthcoming about all that he knows regarding how the contract was sponsored, negotiated and signed.

And so, when he meets his most difficult test, we pray that his moral courage and conviction shine through.