BAGUIO CITY (July 28) — Progressive organizations in the Ilocos and Cordillera region branded Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 7th State of the Nation Address (SONA) as deceitful and untrue.
Albert Lagrimas, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Ilocos said PGMA’s latest SONA is full of lies and fabricated data to hide the sorry state of the country today.
Lagrimas added no matter how PGMA manipulates all statistical data she will not be able to hide the worsening political and economic crisis. “The Filipino people are suffering worsening poverty under her (PGMA’s) administration,” he stressed.
Lagrimas further said the worsening political and economic crisis fuels the growing discontent and anger of the Filipino people in the present administration. He added the protest actions all over the country criticizing PGMA’s SONA is the picture of a people dissatisfied of her anti-people policies.
The Ilocos Human Rights Advocates (IHRA) asserts that aside from poverty, the lives of peasant leaders and organizers in the Ilocos region are threatened by alleged military death squads.
IHRA data showed leaders of Stop Exploitation and Gabriela are under surveillance by suspected military agents. The same reports said three Stop Exploitation leaders are currently in jail after asserting their innocence in a fabricated case filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Tongtongan ti Umili (TTU), in a statement said PGMA’s SONA is “a journey to escape realities”.
“The 7th SONA of GMA failed to address the basic problems haunting us today because she refused to present the true state of the nation – a nation in the midst of economic distress and political repression,” the statement read.
The TTU statement criticized PGMA for her failure to address the basic problems of hunger, unemployment and inaccessibility of social services. The group added PGMA’s infrastructure projects do not really benefit majority of the Filipino peoples but the few rich tourists and foreign investors
“For the majority of the Filipino people who are trying to survive on a daily basis, what we need is food, enough livelihood opportunities, services, lower taxes and lower prices of commodities,” the TTU statement read.
On July 23, just as PGMA was about to deliver her 7th SONA, progressive organizations launched protests actions in the major cities of Ilocos and Cordillera simultaneous with other regions all over the country. # via NORDIS