‘Triumvirate of fraud’ fueling pirma drive

March 29, 2006 at 11:15 am Leave a comment


AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros today told Malacanang that there’s no use denying its hand in the people’s initiative campaign, since the conspiracy between the DILG, Malacanang, and COMELEC Chair Benjamin Abalos is glaringly obvious. “The more they package it as a genuine initiative of the people, the more it looks ridiculous,” Rep. Hontiveros chided. “There is a ‘triumvirate of fraud’ comprised of COMELEC, DILG and Malacanang that is fueling the cha-cha drive.”

According to the solon, the signature drive that was launched last March 25, 2006, was obviously fake. “There is no clamor. The movement is clearly Malacanang-generated and does not emanate from the people, as manifested by the Memorandum from DILG and the other pro-Cha cha paraphernalia that they distributed,” Rep. Hontiveros said. “The clamor that we are hearing so far comes from public officials who would like to have their term extended and from the President herself, who wishes to secure her political survival even after the expiration of her questionable presidency.”

The solon said that charter change should be a collective endeavor in the first place and slammed the underhanded tactics of the government. “Hindi dapat pinapangakuan ng kung anu-ano ang mga tao para makuha ang kanilang pirma,” Rep. Hontiveros added. She dared the government to charge public officials found guilty of bribing people into signing the cha-cha petition if indeed it has nothing to do with the people’s initiative in the first place.

She likewise reiterated her challenge to the government to face anti-cha cha groups through a series of debate on the merits of cha-cha and the constitutionality of the process itself. “We dare the President to debate openly with anti-cha cha groups. Such debate would be a more fruitful exercise than a sinister people’s initiative, since it would give the people a chance to make an informed choice,” Rep. Hontiveros said. The solon added that the proposed debate, aired live on TV, would help unravel the bankruptcy of the Malacanang-instigated charter change efforts.

In a picket with AKBAYAN members at the University of the Philippines, the solon said that the signature drive would have gathered more support had it pushed for the resignation of the President and her men. “A signature campaign calling for the resignation of DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzales would have gathered more than enough signatures to launch the failed cha-cha bid. How much more if the signature campaign is for GMA’s resignation?” the solon asked.

During the picket, AKBAYAN members danced the cha-cha wearing ‘pig’ (pirma ni Gloria) masks. The dancing protestors also said that ‘tango’ (tanggalin si Gloria) is the preferred dance of the people, and not cha-cha.

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Entry filed under: Charter Change, Press Kit, Press Releases.

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