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July 30, 2008

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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 ever!

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 crisis.

Enough of Gloria, Oust GMA! #

Windel Bolinget, Secretary General, Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Chie Galvez, Secretary General,Tongtongan Ti Umili

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