Lawsuits await other Arroyo officials in 2010, says fishers group

ASIDE FROM PRESIDENT
Lawsuits await other Arroyo officials in 2010, says fishers group

Aside from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, other officials of her government allegedly involved in several crimes against the people ranging from corruption and election fraud to extrajudicial killings should expect possible lawsuits after Arroyo steps down in 2010.

“The Filipino people will demand the new presidency the immediate filing of criminal and other appropriate charges not only against President Arroyo but as well as other government and military officials accused of various crimes including but not limited to corruption, election fraud and political killings,” the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said in a press statement.

“It will only take only a month if the next president will have that strong political will and formidable sense of justice,” the group added.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said aside from President Arroyo and her close relatives, those who will likely face a deluge of lawsuits include top government officials and military generals implicated in the high crimes of corruption, election scandal and extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of leftwing activists.

The fisherfolk leader said his group will join other groups in actively filing and re-filing criminal and other appropriate charges against President Arroyo and other government officials before and after the May 2010 elections.

Hicap said Pamalakaya has several cases against President Arroyo and other government officials pending before the Office of the Ombudsman like the plunder complaint on the P 728 million fertilizer scam and cases pertaining to violations of public interest in connection with the toxic spill in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, and the across the Visayan sea offshore mining which was allowed by Malacañang without the consent of the affected parties.

The Pamalakaya leader said among the high government and military officials who could be charged with strings of lawsuits include Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr, Bantay party list Rep. Jovito Palparan and Ombudswoman Atty. Merceditas Gutierrez.

“This is just an initial list. More and more names will be added soon. The regime is full of corrupt and brutal people, so we expect a long list of government and military officials who should be put to trial for committing grave sins against the Filipino people,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya made the bold prediction a day after Ermita announced that President Arroyo is aware of possible suits once she steps down in 2010, and that the Chief Executive is not afraid of the possibility that her opponents could haul her to court.

“That’s Ermita in psy war mode. But frankly speaking, like other corrupt and brutal officials of this regime, this militarist executive secretary is also afraid of his political status once his principal is out of Malacañang by 2010. They are all resigned that their days are numbered and that’s is where their fears are coming from,” the militant group said. #

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