April 30. 2005
AKBAYAN and the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) today warned the GMA Administration that its collapse is imminent if it continues with its relentless assault against the working class and the Filipino masses through economic and political policies that worsen poverty and exacerbate social and political divisions. In a pre-Labor Day rally, the group said that Malacanang has already concocted a recipe for its own political demise.
“With neoliberal economics, ruthless and inequitable taxation, unabated graft and corruption, the curtailment of civil liberties, a spiraling level of political violence, and a secret ingredient called ‘M1, M2, and JS7,’ the GMA administration should be ready for the worse,” said Akbayan President Ronald Llamas.
“Since her installation as President after People Power II, President GMA embarked in a campaign made up of sheer rhetoric and gross contradictions to remove graft and corruption and spur economic growth. What is unraveling now is the moment of truth for the nation: GMA is the worst foe of the Filipino masses and she is leading one of the most incompetent and fraudulent administration in our history,” Llamas added.
“In an act of desperation, the government is eyeing mining and the use of Marcos money to sustain itself,” Llamas stressed. According to him, the government falsely hopes to generate resources from one of the most ecologically destructive economic activity, which with the flawed mining law is advantageous only to foreign mining companies at the expense of social justice for indigenous peoples and ecological devastation.
As for the Marcos wealth, Llamas denounced the pressure from Malacañang that led PCGG Chair Haydee Yorac to resign. “It is easy to surmise that the government is cooking up a deal with Danding Cojuangco to get its hands on the coco levy fund. President GMA is usurping the money that isn’t hers, a money changing hands from one thief to another,” he said. With PCGG Chair Haydee Yorac revealing that Malacañang indeed had pressured her to resign, Llamas warned the GMA administration that the progressive community will not allow the illegitimate use of the Marcos wealth to sustain a government that has no respect for civil liberties and social justice.
Meanwhile, APL Secretary-General Josua Mata said that the government’s neoliberal economic policies betray the interest of those President GMA should be representing. “President GMA’s rhetorical ‘strong economy’ is in reality an economics of servility. The government’s neoliberal economic policies, including its proposed tax measures, protect the interests of international monetary institutions like the IMF-WB, the US government, and the local elites, resulting in intractable budgetary deficit, inflation, unemployment and the deterioration of our local industries,” Mata said.
Mata added that the government’s political and economic formula is pushing the country to the brink. “If the VAT is increased and the price of petroleum products continue to rise, food insecurity will worsen, particularly in poor communities in rural and urban areas. With President GMA’s refusal to increase the wages of workers coupled with skyrocketing prices of basic goods, Filipino citizens these days could now get killed by inflation.”