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.