• Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

GMA’s Last SONA: Fallacy and Fiction

July 30, 2009

It was not April Fool’s Day, but July 27th 2009, the day that GMA delivered her last State of the Nation Address, was one ridden with the biggest of lies, deceit and desperate effort to make right the wrongs she has committed to the Filipino people. GMA’s 2009 SONA was a parody of twisted statements, with incessant “thanks” to her cohorts and minions in Congress who do her bidding, as she does without question to her imperialist masters. SONA 2009 was a warmonger’s tirade, and an indefinite answer to many questions about our national situation

She said; “But I never declared martial law, though they are running scared as if I did.”

In the face of her regime’s bloodied record of human rights violations, her generals’ admission of Oplan Bantay Laya, over 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings and over 200 cases enforced disappearances since 2001, GMA made no mention of human rights.

In the face of worsened national oppression of the country’s indigenous peoples, the sellout of their indigenous territories and ancestral lands to extractive industries and massive militarization, but GMA spoke nothing of it, as if there were no indigenous peoples in the country, and militarization in the Cordillera interiors was never heard of.

She executed every man, woman who struggled against her dictatorship and stood for democracy and human rights. She did it hard with the extrajudicial killings, like CPA leaders and members Markus Bangit, Alyce Claver, and countless others who were victims of her terrorism. She did it hard when James Balao was abducted last September 17, 2008 in broad daylight—even the Court says she is guilty and accountable of James’ abduction. She calls her dictatorship determination—only in the sense that she was determined to kill and terrorize to feed her hunger for power.

In truth, we are already under the state of an undeclared martial law.

She said; “The economy is more fair to the poor than ever before.”

How can it be fair with the imposition of the R-VAT? The regressive 12% VAT can now be seen to almost all official receipts as if we have utilized the VAT equivalent. Aside from being an additional burden R-VAT does not distinguish a rich consumer from a poor one. With this regime, the value of taxation rooted from an individual’s capacity to pay was totally undermined. Is this fair?

From 2000-2006 the number of poor Filipinos rose to 27.6M. Around 70 million Filipinos (i.e. those in poorest 80% of families) struggle to survive on P110 or less a day. The period 2001-2008 is the longest period of sustained high unemployment in the country’s history – the true unemployment rate averaged some 11.2 percent. The growth in Gross Domestic Product is higher under this administration but the gains from this growth benefited the few and not been felt by the lowly masses and the largest number of Filipinos. Is this fair?

She said; “I am falsely accused, without proof, of using my office for personal profit.”

Has GMA totally forgotten the name of the brave whistleblower Jun Lozada? Has she forgotten the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, the PIATCO contract, the fertilizer scam, the Jose Pidal scam and many more? Under this administration, the Philippine government has been consistently rated as one of the most corrupt in the world.

GMA is in a clear state of denial. In truth, she and the members of the first family and their cohorts were already implicated in serious cases of corruption but no thorough, impartial and sincere investigation was done.

She said; “I never expressed the desire to extend myself beyond my term.”

GMA made no mention of Charter Change while she harped about it in her 2006 SONA, as if it were the be all and end all of the economic and political turmoil in the country, and feed the growing number of the hungry Filipino people. Saying nothing about Charter Change is a cautious move to avoid raising further protest and condemnation. We will continue being vigilant of this pressing issue. The movement against Charter Change will surely gain headway across the nation.

The Filipino people did not allow her to serve, as she so claims in her closing statement. She stole the presidency and did it boldly, brazenly. Having done this, GMA did not think twice of committing corruption and of unleashing terrorist and draconian policies to protect her infamous regime. The very nature of GMA’s 2009 SONA showed her and her regime’s extreme isolation.

The nationwide clamor for GMA’s ouster has not stopped. GMA must not remain in power, in any seat in government, and this we must guard especially with the concrete moves for Charter Change and the upcoming elections.

The people deserve genuine change and liberation from a corrupt, puppet and fascist regime.

We say, GMA must go!