Monday, February 18, 2008

Letter from Geneva

My longtime friend and Bisig colleague Tos Anonuevo who is now based in Geneva sent me a letter expressing the collective stand of the Filipino community in Switzerland against the impunity in corruption under the present government. Tos who is a convenor of the Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns informed me that their group organized a "communal action and prayer" in Geneva. The group exhorts migrant groups and OFWs to make their voices heard in the Philippines and around the world by writing letters to embassies and consultates and holding dialogue.
Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns, Swtizerland, Feb. 16, 2008
When Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo addressed the business community last week and committed to end "the legacy of corruption", she put herself into the proverbial problem of finger pointing: three of her other fingers are pointing at herself.This height of hypocrisy is one of the many instances that GMA has totally ignored the morality of good governance. She does not have to look back in history or look at other institutions to tell the Filipino people about corruption. She just has to look in her presidency, her bedroom, and in her family dining table to see what corruption personified is.She has built a legacy of corruption and scandals that some dictators in other countries would pale in comparison. The list of tainted projects just goes on and on - the NBN-ZTE Project, South Rail and North Rail Project, Transco bidding etc. simply show the impunity in corruption of this government. The distribution of dole-outs in the palace ground is another blatant example of cooptation and bribery. Her family keeps coming up in controversies like in the Jose Pidal account and recently in the revelation of former Speaker De Venecia that the 2 presidential sons actually control the pork barrel in Congress. The Arroyo family has even gone mafia-style as the kidnapping of the new NBN-ZTE witness by police and military personnel provides a chilling reminder of the hundreds of unsolved political killings in the country under her very own presidency.Her presidency has therefore even become a confederacy of dunces – a cabal of bungling public officials who want to be addressed as ‘honorable’. The former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor offered 50,000 pesos to Lozada, after telling him to deny that he was kidnapped and that he knows nothing on the NBN deal. His planned “denial press conference” was even the last straw that emboldened Lozada to become a Senate witness. When Lozada finally revealed the truth about the ZTE-NBN under oath, her chief legal counsel can only deliver a racial slur as a reaction. The rebuke of the Supreme Court on the government’s order to prevent the airing of the Hello Garci tapes again shows the idiocy of the administration.As GMA builds her legacy of corruption, she was also busy destroying our democratic institutions and freedoms. Her family’s control of the Congress, the bootlicking loyalty of local officials and military-police establishment, and the impunity in political killings and torture add to the many reasons why we should act now. Enough is enough! The Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns (GFPC) joins in solidarity with the collective actions of civil society groups, the church and religious groups, the business community and other political forces to oust this bankrupt Arroyo regime. And as we were participants in the events of 1986 and 2001 that kicked-out the 2 most corrupt heads of state, we continue to be committed to take action in dismantling the unfortunate result of EDSA 2 – contributing a 3rd president to the top 10 corrupt list of Transparency International. We urge the migrant groups around the world to collectively discuss the immorality and gangsterism of the Arroyo administration. Let us make our voices heard in the Philippines and around the world that we are clamoring and acting for change. Let us inform the various embassies and consulates of our outrage through letters, dialogue or picketing.Finally, we call on the Filipino community in Switzerland to stand up and be counted in the people's movement to push for the resignation of GMA.

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