Monthly Archives: July 2009

Obama told: Meeting with GMA is a kiss of death

Obama told: Meeting with GMA is a kiss of death

Ardent critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday warned US President Barack Obama that her scheduled meeting with Ms Arroyo is a kiss of death, adding that the meeting will spawn political protests here and in the United States.

In a press statement, the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said Obama’s meeting with Ms Arroyo will put the Obama administration in the hot water because he would be rubbing elbows with GMA, who is former US President George Bush no.1 partner in global terrorism in Asian region.

“Obama’s meeting with President Arroyo is one of the most shocking political scandals in the 21st century. Here is an American president who won the presidency courtesy of people’s resistance against Bush war on terror now hosting and paying Bush’s chief partner in crime in Southeast Asia,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

“The meeting would be a kiss of death for Obama, unless Obama comes to his senses and rebuke GMA in front of the American public and the international community. The US President has no option but to reject and embarrass Ms Arroyo for her crimes against the Filipino people,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap said the meeting with GMA will put Obama on the spotlight, adding the Filipino people and anti-Bush global community will certainly dislike a Bush protégée in Southeast Asia exchanging pleasantries with Obama.

“That tin cup diplomacy will not yield positive results for the Obama administration, in fact, that will put more questions and doubts as to the real agenda and motive of Mr. Obama,” he added.

Pamalakaya sensed that President Arroyo will offer a number of exchange deals with the White House in exchange for Obama’s support on her bid to extend her term and perpetuate herself to power beyond 2010.

Among the “offers” Ms Arroyo will lodge to Obama in exchange for term extension and White House support to Arroyo administration are the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the railroading of Charter Change that will allow US business groups to acquire 100 foreign ownership of land in the Philippines and eventual return of US military bases in the country and ratification of the proposed RP-US Free Trade Agreement.

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya is set to reproduce and distribute copies and discuss the controversial Washington Times editorial last July 26 castigating Obama for entertaining President Arroyo at the White House.

Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz said the editorial entitled Obama: The Sanitizer will be reproduced by their group and will be discussed to leaders and members of the fisherfolk alliance. “This is to show that even conservatives in the US are not in favor of Ms Arroyo and highly critical of Obama’s scheduled meeting with GMA,” he said.

The editorial which came a day ahead of President Arroyo’s 9th and supposedly last State of the Nation Address said Obama committed a mistake when it invited the Philippine President to the White House on the premise that the Philippine top elected official is using Obama to give political cover for her troubles back home.

The Washington Times said Ms Arroyo’s domestic political position was precarious citing the Philippine President’s low approval rating and the growing anti-administration street protests in response to a dubious mandate following the fraud-rigged presidential elections in 2004 and scores of allegations of corruption against her husband First Gentleman Atty Jose Miguel Arroyo and members of her family and close political associates in and out of Malacañang Palace.

The editorial also scored Manila’s poor performance in upholding human rights in the Philippines. Quoting several reports and studies, Washington Times took note of the Arroyo administration’s failures to address and stop the killings of journalists and political activists in the country over the last 9 years.

The Washington Times also took a swipe on President Arroyo’s gameplan to perpetuate herself to power either through revision of the 1987 Constitution to allow her to extend her term or through the declaration of Martial Law.

“President Arroyo and her close political associates were extremely rattled by the editorial of the Washington Times, asserting that the Manila government’s irresponsible reaction to the editorial further confirmed that the Manila government is always in the state of denial and state of political panic,” Corpuz said.

“The shockwaves sent by the Washington Times editorial caused irreparable damage to the Arroyo administration as shown by President Arroyo response which is dismissed by critics as plain rumor mongering and patently name calling to down play the political impact of the editorial criticizing Obama for entertaining President Arroyo at the White House,” he added.

Corpuz said Washington Times merely reiterated the objective political condition in Manila and the crimes of President Arroyo ranging from grand scale corruption to election fraud to killings of political opponents and critics are all known to the international community and the Filipino public.

“The Washington Times editorial is a friendly reminder and a good political advice to President Obama. It just cautioned Obama and the American people on the serious implications of hosting a Southeast Asian leader notorious for denying the Filipino people of their electoral mandate and hated by the 90 million Filipinos for high crimes of corruption and extreme brutality,” the group said.

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Palparan could be an accomplice to abduction and torture of

Palparan could be an accomplice to abduction and torture of
Fil-Am activist, says militant group

The left-leaning fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday said it believed that Bantay party list Rep. Jovito Palparan and Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad) party list Rep. Pastor Alcover are accomplices to the abduction and torture of Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas.

“Their extreme behavior and tour de force performance in carrying out the brazen lies and incorrigible lines of attack of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in and out of the Commission on Human Rights and the House Committee on Human Rights to pin down Roxas reveal that they were in cahoots with the abductors and torturers of Roxas,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

“Since that is the case, we ask the CHR and the chair of the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate the possible involvement of Palparan and Alcover on the Melissa Roxas abduction and torture case,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap said he has this strong gut feel that Palparan and Alcover have knowledge of the abduction and torture of Roxas by agents of the military belonging to the Northern Luzon Command of the AFP, particularly the 7th ID in Fort Magsaysay, where Palparan, while still in military service used to hold office and other functions as chief of the infantry division.

“Palparan and Alcover came out from nowhere and suddenly presented pictures and video showing and alleging Roxas as a member of New People’s Army operating in Nueva Ecija and Aurora at the time the military could no longer sustain its state of denial and demonization campaign against Roxas. Where did they get the pictures presented by RC, one of Roxas abductors and torturers? Who gave them the pictures and the video which are in the possession of the military” he asked.

Pamalakaya’s Hicap said the acquisition of pictures and video allegedly showing Roxas as an NPA regular in Central Luzon suggested that Reps. Palparan and Alcover knew the abductors and torturers of Roxas, and this angle should be judiciously explored and investigated by the CHR and House Committee on Human Rights chaired by Rep. Erin Tañada III.

“We ask the CHR and the chair of the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate Palparan and Alcover. These party list lawmakers are performing in accordance with the sinister agenda of the National Security Council and the AFP against Roxas and leaders and members the mainstream Left,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said aside from Palparan and Alcover, the CHR and the House Committee on Human Rights probing the abduction and torture of Roxas should also investigate the 7th ID Chief Maj. Gen. Ralph Villanueva and the rest of the officials based inside Fort Magsaysay, where Roxas was allegedly taken by his abductors to squeeze information from the Fil-Am activist. #

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Washington Times editorial jolted Manila top officials

Washington Times editorial jolted Manila top officials

Manila’s top Cabinet officials were jolted by the hard-hitting editorial of Washington Times on July 26 criticizing US President Barack Obama for arranging a meeting with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on July 30 in the United States.

Philippine Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said President Arroyo was not surprised on the scathing editorial of Washington Times entitled Obama: The Sanitizer which accused the embattled Arroyo of using the President Obama as a political tool to clear her troubles at home.

The editorial which came a day ahead of President Arroyo’s 9th and supposedly last State of the Nation Address said Obama committed a mistake when it invited the Philippine President to the White House on the premise that the Philippine top elected official is using Obama to give political cover for her troubles back home.

The Washington Times said Ms Arroyo’s domestic political position was precarious citing the Philippine President’s low approval rating and the growing anti-administration street protests in response to a dubious mandate following the fraud-rigged presidential elections in 2004 and scores of allegations of corruption against her husband First Gentleman Atty Jose Miguel Arroyo and members of her family and close political associates in and out of Malacañang Palace.

The editorial also scored Manila’s poor performance in upholding human rights in the Philippines. Quoting several reports and studies, Washington Times took note of the Arroyo administration’s failures to address and stop the killings of journalists and political activists in the country over the last 9 years.

The Washington Times also took a swipe on President Arroyo’s gameplan to perpetuate herself to power either through revision of the 1987 Constitution to allow her to extend her term or through the declaration of Martial Law.

According to Manila’s offensive against the publisher and editors of Washington Times, the conservative and right-leaning newspaper has existing ties with former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, a former Arroyo ally turned ardent critic of the Arroyo administration.

The Arroyo official also said Washington Times editorial director Brent Decker is the biographer of de Venecia and was biased in favor of Philippine opposition. Ms Arroyo’s press secretary said Washington Times is known for being critical with any US President, and the newspaper has it origin with The Moonies, an informal and derogative term for members of the Unification Church, a conservative Christian group led by Korean Sun Myeng Moon.

But critics of the Philippine President in Manila said President Arroyo and her close political associates were extremely rattled by the editorial of the Washington Times, asserting that the Manila government’s irresponsible reaction to the editorial further confirmed that the Manila government is always in the state of denial and state of political panic.

Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance national chairperson Fernando Hicap said shockwaves sent by the Washington Times editorial caused irreparable damage to the Arroyo administration as shown by President Arroyo response which is dismissed by critics as plain rumor mongering and patently name calling to down play the political impact of the editorial criticizing Obama for entertaining President Arroyo at the White House.

The Pamalakaya leader said Washington Times merely reiterated the objective political condition in Manila and the crimes of President Arroyo ranging from grand scale corruption to election fraud to killings of political opponents and critics are all known to the international community and the Filipino public.

“The Washington Times editorial is a friendly reminder and a good political advice to President Obama. It just cautioned Obama and the American people on the serious implications of hosting a Southeast Asian leader notorious for denying the Filipino people of their electoral mandate and hated by the 90 million Filipinos for high crimes of corruption and extreme brutality,” said Hicap during a sideline interview on the occasion of Arroyo’s 9th State of the Nation Address.

This columnist in his own political capacity endorsed the Washington Times editorial and strongly urges US President Obama to call off the visit of Philippine President on July 30. The visit of President Arroyo will be politically damaging to and only a waste of time for the Obama administration. President Obama should attend to more important concerns rather than spending 30 minutes of his time to an undesirable Asian leader like President Arroyo.

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Leftists fear: Danding might use P 130-billion coco levy fund to finance Laiban dam project

Leftists fear: Danding might use P 130-billion coco levy fund to finance Laiban dam project

The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday said it is not discounting the possibility that business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco chair of San Miguel Corporation will use portions of the estimated P 130-billion coconut levy fund to finance the ambitious Laiban Dam project in Southern Tagalog region.

“The sum of all our fears is that Danding by hook or by crook will use portions of the P 130-billion coconut levy fund as capital for the grand revival and commencement of the anti-people and anti-environment Laiban dam project,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader said the controversial P 130-billion coconut levy fund which is currently locked in various legal cases before the Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court remains in the disposal of SMC where Cojuangco maintains the biggest controlling stake.

Hicap asserted that the coconut levy funds which exacted from small coconut farmers during the Martial Law regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos were used to buy 446.45 million of SMC class A shares and 307.4 million class B shares of the largest food and beverage company in the country.

“The Supreme Court ruling declaring the P 130-billion as public funds and imbued with public interest prevents Cojuangco and his gangland in SMC and their partners in crime in and out of Malacañang cannot sell, dispose or present as collateral the small coconut farmers fund to foreign partners for the Laiban dam project,” Hicap insisted.

Pamalakaya said the campaign of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to convince the small coconut farmers to sell the 24 percent stake in SMC is part of “clearing” to pave way for the expansion of SMC and further empower it to enter into other deals such as the Laiban Dam project with the state-owned Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

“This is all part of the concessions granted by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Cojuangco in exchange for the political support of Ms Arroyo’s most prized and cherished crony in the person of Cojuangco,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said it has these last seven words for Malacañang and Cojuangco in connection with the coconut levy funds and the Laiban Dam project: “Do not touch the coconut levy funds.”

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya challenged all the presidential candidates in the May 2010 presidential elections to speak out against the looming joint venture between Cojuangco and MWSS to develop Laiban dam as alternative source of bulk water for Metro Manila.

The group lamented that leading presidential hopefuls have yet to issue an official statement regarding the P 52-billion ambitious Laiban dam project, which the fisherfolk leader said is awarded by Malacañang to Cojuangco in silver platter, being Ms Arroyo’s most cherished crony.

“We are extremely puzzled by the deafening silence of all presidential wannabes on this particular, yet mind-boggling and nerve wracking project of the original Pacman and the present occupant in Malacañang. The Filipino public is waiting for their official response on this gigantic and destructive water escapade of Danding and President Arroyo,” said Pamalakaya.

The group urged presidential candidates Senators Manny Villar, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Mar Roxas, Vice President Noli de Castro and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro to reveal their views and personal assessment on the revived Laiban dam project that will entail the destruction of about 28,000 hectares of watershed area on the slope of Sierra Madre mountain range.

“The Cojuangco-MWSS Laiban dam deal is a lucid testimony that Danding is the certified no.1 crony and the most esteemed client of the Macapagal-Arroyo government. How the presidentiables would address or go about it is the top 64-dollar question at the moment,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said Bayan Muna party list Rep. Teodoro Casiño and Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano, supported by six other militant lawmakers—Satur Ocampo and Neri Javier Colmenares of Bayan Muna, Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela party list and Rep. Joel Maglunsod of Anakpawis were the only members of Congress who have spoken all out against the project, adding that the two militant lawmakers this week filed a house resolution seeking an investigation on the P 52-billion Laiban dam deal between Cojuangco’s SMC and MWSS.

“If the presidentiables are really after the national and collective interest of the people, they will support the militant lawmakers’ resolution and will file the same resolution calling on the Senate to conduct its own inquiry against this highly secretive, anti-people and anti-environment deal,” the group said.

The dam will be built at the Kaliwa River Basin in Tanay. More than a week ago, SMC President Ramon Ang announced that the food and beverage conglomerate will tap Japanese investors for the 1 billion dollar Laiban dam project. Ang said one foreign partner will provide technical expertise, while the other foreign partner will provide the financial muscle for the project.

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Fishers grilled 10 kilos of tuna to “celebrate” GMA’s last Sona

Fishers grilled 10 kilos of tuna to “celebrate” GMA’s last Sona

Fisherfolk activists identified with the left-leaning fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday grilled five pieces of low class tuna to “celebrate” what it called the last State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“This will be GMA’s last Sona and that news calls for an across-the-nation celebration because it is the end of the road for Ms Arroyo, the female version of Adolf Hitler and the country’s former dictator Ferdinand Marcos,” the group said.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap led the activists in grilling the tuna weighing 10 kilos or an average of 2 kilos per piece. The “ihaw-ihaw” session was staged at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City to drumbeat that Arroyo’s 9th Sona will be her swan song to political demise.

“Next year we will expect a newly elected president to deliver his or her first State of the Nation Address. After the 2010 polls, we will see GMA facing over a thousand counts of criminal and administrative charges against her and members of her criminal gangland for stealing people’s money and for the serial murder of political activists and critics,” added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the “grilling demonstration” was also in protest of Charter Change and the mode which Malacañang wants it to carry out, referring to the Constituent Assembly being pushed by pro-Arroyo congressmen with or without the Senate.

“The Chacha train of Ms Arroyo is still very much in the race because it is still powered by public funds bastardly and brazenly squandered by Malacañang and their paid hooligans in the House of Representatives,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya did not discount the possibility that anytime beginning Sona next week, House Speaker Prospero Nograles will call the convening of Senate and the House of Representatives into a unicameral legislative body with or without Senate.

“It is not a remote possibility because it is in the gameplan of Ms Arroyo whose main political ambition in life is to perpetuate herself to power and escape accountability for a lifetime,” the group said.

Meanwhile, using the study of independent think tank Ibon Foundation, Pamalakaya said President Arroyo failed to fulfill her promises to the people, especially in fighting and eliminating poverty and in creating new jobs for millions of jobless Filipinos.

Pamalakaya said contrary to the reported millions of jobs created in the agriculture sector every year, the Arroyo government only created an average of 258,200 agricultural jobs per year or from 10.25 million agricultural jobs in 2000 to 12.32 million agricultural jobs in 2008. The group said these jobs are only good for six months and failed to raise the level of productivity and purchasing capacity of the agricultural people.

The group also noted that the price of rice per kilo swelled to 68 percent. Before Ms Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001, the price of regular milled rice was P 17.59 and the well milled rice was P 19.45 per kilo, but the prices went up to P 29.38 and P 32.71 per kilo respectively last year.

Pamalakaya said the number of poor Filipinos increased by 2.1 million from 2000 to 2006 or from 25.5 million Filipinos in 2000 to 27.6 million Filipinos in 2006. The group said while the number of poor Filipinos is increasing day by day, the net income of Philippines’ top 1,000 corporations swelled by 490 percent between 2001 and 2007, from P 116 billion in net income in 2001 to P 686 billion in 2007.

The militant group said the price of diesel rose 220 percent between 2001 and 2008 from P 13.96 per liter to P 44.31 in 2008, and gasoline by 180 percent from P 16.58 per liter in 2001 to P 45.92 per liter in 2008.

Pamalakaya also said Filipino taxpayers have been overtaxed by the Macapagal-Arroyo government by P 5,059 in taxes over the last three years from 2006 to 2008. This is equivalent to P 287 billion in overpaid taxes since the imposition of EVAT in Nov. 2005.

The militant group also said the Macapagal-Arroyo government has accumulated P 20.9 billion in total kickbacks from various shady deals entered into by Malacañang including but not limited to the P 728-million fertilizer fund scam in 2004, and 15 other cases of high crimes of corruption. #

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Militants’ complaint: PNP harassing 9 Belgian exposurists

Militants’ complaint: PNP harassing 9 Belgian exposurists

The left-leaning fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday slammed the Philippine National Police in Cavite province for harassing 9 Belgian exposurists currently being hosted by Pamalakaya-Timog Katagalugan, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog.

The nine Belgian nationals belonged to the Brussels-based International Action for Liberation (Intal) were here on a two week exposure trip to conduct a research on the impact of the poverty alleviation projects funded by the European governments, including the $ 62 million European aid granted by the 27 member states of the European Union..

The Belgians were led by Stefanie Devloo, coordinator of Intal, a solidarity network group investigating the impact of European funded projects in developing countries like the Philippines.

According to reports sent by Pamalakaya-ST, Kasama-ST and Bayan-ST to Pamalakaya national headquarters in Quezon City, the nine Belgian nationals yesterday joined the 6-day long march against Charter Change to demand the Macapagal-Arroyo to account for the projects which the European Union funded but failed to promote the welfare of the farmer and fisherfolk beneficiaries due to rampant corruption in the government.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap recalled that yesterday afternoon, the 9 Belgians together with the 500 marchers mainly farmers, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous people and workers from Mindoro Island, Batangas and Cavite were stopped in Imus town because the PNP Cavite wanted to take pictures and the names of the Belgian activists and bring all of them to the Imus police station.

After a long stand off, the PNP Imus police finally allowed the marchers to proceed only to be blocked again this time in Bacoor town by the PNP provincial police force. As of 9 am today, the marchers are still in Bacoor negotiating with the police to proceed on their way to the National Capital Region to join the big anti-GMA rally on Monday, on the occasion of the President’s 9th and supposedly the last State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Hicap said the police still insisted in taking the pictures and names of 9 Belgian nationals and they want to arrest the Belgian exposurists for joining the rally.

“Our Belgian friends joined the long march because they want to document and conduct interviews among the rural people participants on the impact of European projects in the country and why it failed to serve its purpose mainly due to rampant corruption in the Arroyo government. Nothing is unlawful or immoral about that. But the PNP upon orders from higher ups is persecuting and harassing our Belgian solidarity friends,” said Hicap.

Long march organizers insisted that the Belgians have the right to join the protest because as European taxpayers whose money were granted to the Philippine government for poverty alleviation projects were misspent or squandered by officials of Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

“The 9 Belgians have the right to demand accountability from Ms Arroyo’s end,” said Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo.

“Imagine, millions of Euro dollars coming from hardworking European nationals are being spent not to improve the lives of intended beneficiaries, but to finance Arroyo’s fetish for grand-scale corruption and greed for political power. Arroyo’s accountability is not only limited to the Filipino people but to the international community as well,” Lacandazo added.

The Kasama-TK spokesperson said they are planning to bring the case of the 9 Belgian nationals to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Atty. Lilia de Lima. Lacandazo said the documents pertaining to the PNP harassment will be readied soon for possible filing of violations of human rights cases against members of the PNP provincial police.

Last week, the Belgians joined the swim protest staged by Pamalakaya in Bacoor against the ongoing reclamation and the R-1 Expressway Extension Project of the Office of the President, the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). #

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CBCP still asked to comment if GMA is principled person and deserving to run in 2010 polls

CBCP still asked to comment if GMA is principled person and deserving to run in 2010 polls

The left-wing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to comment if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is one of the principled persons which the bishops would want to run in the 2010 presidential and general elections.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the CBCP is morally and spiritually obliged to comment whether Ms Arroyo is one of the principles persons whom the bishops want to run in the elections next year.

“Ms Arroyo’s alleged plan to represent the second district of Pampanga is a moral question. She is seeking the congressional post because she is seeking a lifetime political immunity from suits emanating from high crimes of corruption to shocking 9-year record of brutal murder of leftwing activists and ardent critics. It is easy, morally and politically correct to say that Arroyo is evil, but the CBCP is not saying it in aboveboard and straight manner,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader issued the statement, a day after the CBCP issued a pastoral statement encouraging principled persons to run for public office in next year’s presidential and national elections.

“We call upon those who are competent, persons of integrity and committed to change to get involved directly in principled partisan politics and become candidates for political election, aware of the common good is above the good of vested interests,” the CBCP pastoral statement said.

But when asked by media if Mrs. Arroyo qualifies as one of the principled persons the church wants to get involved in the 2010 polls, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo made a quick sidestepped and instead asked the media to figure it out.

“This is not a guessing game. It would be better if Bishop Pabillo speaks on his own and tell the media that Mrs. Arroyo, as far as he is concerned, is not the right person to be elected in the 2010 elections. That will settle the score,” said Hicap.

But Pamalakaya still commended the CBCP for its pastoral statement which it said registered strong criticisms on a number of issues like Charter Change and Constituent Assembly, extrajudicial killings, it’s endorsement of the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the MILF and between the GRP and the communist led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and against 100 foreign ownership of land.

However, Pamalakaya rebuked CBCP’s statement on the recently passed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP0 extension with reforms or CARPer which the group said is nothing but a shotgun piece of legislation worse than the previous CARP. The group is backing the legislative passage of House Bill No. 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) authored by the late Anakpawis party list Rep. Crispin Beltran and other militant party list lawmakers in Congress.

Earlier, Pamalakaya challenged newly elected CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) President Tandag (Surigao del Sur) Bishop Nereo Odchimar to prove to the Roman Catholic community and the Filipino public in general that he is he is totally independent and free from the political gameplan and influence of the so-called “Archdiocese of Malacañang”.

“We welcome the election of Tandag Bishop Odchimar as the new president of the influential CBCP and we take note of his outstanding record of advocacy against mining and logging. What we want now is for him to heed to the call of the Filipino people and disassociate himself from the brutal, corrupt and criminal Archdiocese of Malacañang,” the group said.

“The big challenge to incoming CBCP President is for him to prove his independence from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the ruling gangland in the Palace. We hope the good bishop of Tandag will live up to the challenge and score a giant kill against the Arroyo presidency in the name of truth, justice and accountability,” Pamalakaya stressed.

“We are not putting Bishop Odchimar on the spot. We just want a clear score card here because some sections and sectors are casting doubts on him having been identified as highly supportive of President Arroyo along with Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos. He belongs to the pro-GMA bloc in the CBCP and that checkered past and present will always put him on the spot whether he likes or not,” the group said. #

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