GMA'S 2008 SONA: A
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's 2008 State
of the Nation Address (SONA), was a cover-up of the real state of
the country and the Filipino people. GMA's SONA 2008 further added
insult to the unbearable injury passed on to the poor as a result
of the regime's subservience to imperialist globalization.
Protests took place in various points of the country
that reverberate the Oust GMA, drowning the applause from GMA's
minions at the Batasan Complex which was propped up at P90 M just
for the 8th SONA. In Baguio City, the heavy rains and winds were
not able to stop the raging protesters.
Overall, SONA 2008 was problematic, that we wonder
how Congress will knit its brow over it. GMA was consistently escaping
the root of widespread poverty - ironically praising oil deregulation
law while recognizing the widening poverty due to unhampered oil
price increases. Likewise, GMA did not even know how to end it!
If it had to contain anything of value to the Filipino
people, the SONA 2008 should have just said: "I resign",
in the same scripted melancholic "I am sorry" statement.
After today, the people are more enraged than ever at this lying
and scheming regime.
"Tough decisions" are anti-people decisions
The fake president harped on self reliance and self sufficiency
as key goals that must be achieved. Consistently, she blamed the
global crisis for the national economic mayhem, as if her leadership
and regime had absolutely nothing to do with it. While it is true
that the world capitalist system has created such a crisis, it is
incorrect to abuse this as judgment to describe the poverty that
beset us. The world capitalist system has created such a crisis,
but globalization policies made our country extremely vulnerable
to market speculations and monopolies. This is what happened to
the rice, oil and price crises. The only way for our country to
be truly self-reliant is to break away from imperialist globalization.
Yet GMA implements and localizes this, as proven by her anti-people
policies that made the Filipino people poorer and hungrier than
Much to our chagrin, GMA has defended the VAT to
high heavens the way she praised her generals in last year's SONA.
In her distorted justification of this anti-people policy which
shows her subservience to imperialist globalization. GMA claims
that the VAT shielded the people from the economic crisis! In truth,
the subsidies she claimed as 'Katas ng VAT' comes from a very small
portion of the total collection, VAT's primary purpose is debt-servicing
aimed at boosting the credit-worthiness of the credit-driven regime.
It is deplorable how the regime distorts the truth
when the very sight of the ordinary Filipino people will say that
the VAT only plunged us into worsened impoverishment. VAT as a regressive
tax does not take into account the capacity of taxpayers to pay,
making the poor more burdened and more violated. Defending the VAT
is an insult to the poor Filipinos already bleeding dry.
GMA worsened national oppression
We condemn her use of human visual aids to prove her so-called achievements,
and we strongly condemn her use of indigenous peoples to earn "pogi
points" in her SONA, such as the Bugkalot chieftain clad in
his traditional attire at the Batasan. We urge our fellow indigenous
peoples not to be dissuaded by her antics and be used in the regime's
propaganda. The individuals GMA used in her SONA 2008 do not embody
the 90 million Filipinos.
Since her term in 2001, GMA had always been staunchly
anti-indigenous peoples as she is anti-people. Her stay in power
worsened national oppression of indigenous peoples by violating
individual and collective rights through programs and policies.
In the regime's mining liberalization program, 18 of the 23 priority
mining projects are located in indigenous territories, five of which
are in the Cordillera. Sixty six percent of the region's total land
area is already applied for by various mining applications, on top
of the large mining operations already taking place.
GMA is proud of the issuance of Ancestral Domain
titles to indigenous territories in Aurora, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya,
yet these are the very areas where large mining is present! The
titles are merely ploys to facilitate the entry of destructive projects.
Violation of indigenous peoples rights was unprecedented under the
regime, with 120 documented cases of extrajudicial killings of IPs
from 2001 to present. GMA was even cautious not to say anything
related to human rights because clearly, nobody will believe another
thing she will say about human rights, much more her regime's promotion
of human rights. It will be an insult to the memory of the 1,000
victims (EJK and enforced disappearances) of her regime if GMA will
dare claim of any achievement in the human rights front. We are
in a state of undeclared martial law, and we do not want another
term of state terrorism.
On graft and corruption
GMA was shameless enough to say that she has been battling graft
and corruption, taking into consideration stronger measures and
being self-righteous about it, even encouraging the Congress to
pass an Anti-Graft Act. It is absurd, when we all know that most
of the large scams such as the ZTE NBN deal and the fertilizer scam
involve the Firs Family and the president herself. GMA should stop
invoking Executive Privilege and subject herself to legislation/process
on the graft and corruption cases filed against her and the First
Family. Public opinion perceives her to be the most corrupt president
in the history of the Philippines. The people know.
GMA does not care for the people! Even with her
repetitious claim in the SONA that she cares, the people would not
believe her. We are too tired of her lies and deceptions amidst
glaring realities of hunger, poverty, fascism and plunder. GMA should
resign if she had any decency left.
The only correct thing to do is for the people to
further unite and march in step for GMA's ouster. This is the clarion
call for every Filipino, for the immediate relief from this national
Enough of Gloria, Oust GMA! #
Windel Bolinget, Secretary General, Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Chie Galvez, Secretary General,Tongtongan Ti Umili