Aquino flirting with Arroyo, critics charge

By Bb. Joyce Cabral, Bb. Tayuman Recto-Yap and Gerry Albert Corpuz

MANILA, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) today warned President proclaimed Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to refrain from engaging in either open or discreet political flirtation with outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, saying the national interest and demand for truth and justice of the Filipino people should prevail over narrow factional interests and politics of accommodation.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said he was very worry over the turn of events that led to the proclamation of Aquino as the 15th President of the Republic.

The activist fisherfolk leader recalled that Aquino issued recent a statement that he was accepting Palace offer for smooth transition of power by June 30 and that Aquino received a phone call from Mrs. Arroyo congratulating him for winning the presidential derby in the last May 10 elections and that Mrs. Arroyo offered to tour the 50-year old bachelor president in Malacanang anytime Aquino at any given time before June 30.

“Mr. Aquino is a certified political flirt. And our worry is that his game of political flirtation would result to horse trading and political accommodation at the expense of public interest and collective sentiment of the Filipino people which is the urgent and unconditional prosecution of Arroyo over charges of crimes against humanity, election fraud and top notch corruption offenses,” Pamalakaya’s Hicap said.

The militant group wondered why Aquino became silent on his plan to form a truth commission which will probe scores of scandals that rocked the Arroyo administration over the last 9 nine years which include the series of extrajudicial killings and other grave human rights violations committed against political activists and critics of the previous administration.

“So what’s the truth about this Truth Commission? The US installed Aquino presidency should tell the truth and nothing but the truth about this truth commission hyped by the Aquino camp at the height of the May 10 presidential campaign season,” said Pamalakaya.

During his campaign in Alaminos, Pangasinan, Aquino said many people were volunteering to join the Truth Commission which he promised to establish to prosecute Arroyo on charges of big time corruption and human rights violations.

Pamalakaya recalled that Aquino promised to investigate scandals in Arroyo administration including the Hello Garci scandal in 2005, the P 728 million fertilizer fund scam, the $ 328.49 ZTE scandal and the scores of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by state security forces under Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and Oplan Bantay Laya 2.

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya challenged Aquino on first day in office to come up with a presidential executive order declaring the immediate, unconditional and free distribution of 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita to 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries within his first 100 days in office.

“Noynoy should face this issue fair and square in his first 100 days office. He should not evade the issues pertaining to Luisita and act like long-running political escape artist. An executive order can take place at any given time between 9 am to 5 pm at any given working day in Malacanang,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group noticed that the ongoing dispute of Hacienda Luisita was not among the issues Aquino included in his first order of business on July 1, the newly elected president’s first working day in office.

In an interview with reporters, President elect Aquino said among the issues his administration would attend to were the problems he would inherit from outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from budget deficit to speeding up of prosecution of criminal and other cases filed against President Arroyo and other government officials of the outgoing administration.

“To Mr. Aquino and company we dare ask—how do you solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita? This issue is a matter of life and death and they cannot escape this political calling searching an end to landlessness, exploitation and injustice inside the 6,543-hectare Cojuangco-Aquino sugar estate,” Pamalakaya said. #

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Filed under agrarian reform, corruption, elections, human rights, politics

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