By Sarsi Pimentel and Billy Javier Reyes
Manila, Philippines- Rabid critics of Malacanang on Saturday pressed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to junk the proposal of her allies in the House of Representatives to give her emergency powers to resolve the worsening power situation in Mindanao.
In a press statement, the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) believed the idea of granting the Chief Executive emergency powers to address the looming power crisis did not come from her allies but from Arroyo herself, and if she’s unchecked, Arroyo might use these powers to convince the Filipino public to postpone the May 2010 elections.
“The power crisis is being hyped to justify the cruel intentions of Malacanang and it is now part of Palace’s scenario building to justify the declaration of failure of elections in 2010. That is the clear and present danger of extending emergency powers to President Arroyo. A lame duck and an outgoing President with interest to perpetuate herself to power might exploit this congressional action for her own political interest. Ladies and gentlemen, remember we are talking here of Mrs. Arroyo and we are not dealing with a patriotic leader and decent statesman,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.
The Pamalakaya leader said Arroyo allies headed by Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Simeon Datumanong, Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles. Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco and Bulacan Rep. Reylina Nicolas were courting an extreme political danger in pressing emergency powers for the President.
“The best way to resolve the power crisis is stop the privatization of the power sector, repeal Electric Power Industry Reform Act and disempower the Arroyo presidency,” added Hicap.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya scored Palace Deputy spokesperson Charito Planas for trivializing the problem of water shortage in the country courtesy of El Nino phenomenon.
“Please allow us to remind Madam Charito Planas that this world and the problem we face is for real. We totally dislike this trivial approach to a serious issue that needs comprehensive planning and strong political will. We cannot subscribe to this product like endorsement approach to a major problem that needs major solutions beyond trivia and cheap tricks,” the group added.
Planas on Friday brought out a pail and a basin during a televised briefing and gave simple conservation tips to address the looming water crisis.
With her household props, the Palace spokesperson demonstrated how the water one uses for washing hands, brushing teeth or bathing could be recycled to flush the toilet.
Planas said in her home, she use eight pails and basins to recycle water and had started such practice a year ago. “I use a tabo (dipper) when I bathe. That’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve lost weight—from using a dipper. After shampooing, I rinse my hair directly into the pail. We can do this, and should do this,” she added. #