July 10, 2009

Statement of Hyatt 10
8 July 2009


When we submitted our collective irrevocable resignation from the
 Cabinet on 8 July 2005, we were absolutely convinced that the expose 
on the “Garci tapes” had severely damaged beyond repair the 
credibility of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. And the “least
disruptive and painful option that can swiftly restore normalcy and
eventually bring us to prosperity” was for Mrs. Arroyo to voluntarily 
relinquish her office. Otherwise, the longer she insisted on staying
in office—at all cost—under a cloud of doubt and mistrust, the greater
the damage to the economy and to our political institutions. In the 
end, the poor would suffer the most.
It has been exactly four years since our resignation, and the serious
 concerns we expressed in our resignation statement have come to pass.
The truth remains suppressed and the lying continues: the Garci case
was never resolved, “executive privilege” became a convenient tool to 
frustrate truth-seekers, even the President’s health condition has 
become the subject of subterfuge. Corruption thrived and has continued
 unabated.  Its many faces—the First Couple and ZTE, Romy Neri,
CyberEd, Joc-Joc Bolante, swine scam, General Garcia, Euro-Generals,
DPWH bidding anomalies, and, lately, the noodles scam—have earned for
the Arroyo regime the dubious distinction of being among the most
 corrupt in the world. Even the killings of journalists, activists, and 
peasant and union leaders, despite stern warnings from international
 human rights watchdogs, and journalist and law associations, have not 
stopped and, worse, have persisted with impunity.
Amidst all of these, Mrs. Arroyo seems undeterred. Perhaps to escape
 all the criticisms for the sad and despicable state of the country,
 the President—the most peripatetic in history—has taken flight, with 
her usual coterie of politicians, family members, and hangers-on,
 wasting precious foreign exchange, while the fiscal deficit threatens 
to go haywire. As we speak, she may be scaling the pyramids of Egypt !
As the end of Mrs. Arroyo’s term fast approaches, a profound fear of
  having to account before our people for all the cheating, the lying,
the stealing, and the killings, not to mention, the neglect of the
 basic welfare of our people, especially the most vulnerable, has taken
hold of the President, her family, and their cabal. From mere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            survival, the President is now consumed by schemes, however illegal or
unconstitutional, to perpetuate herself in power—indefinitely.
One track is in play: the subversion of the Constitution, or what
constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas calls “constitutional gang-
rape,” to enable her to retain her powers under a parliamentary set-up
  as Prime Minister.  Mrs. Arroyo’s lapdogs in the House have taken the 
first cha-cha step with the passage of House Resolution 1109, which 
seeks to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to pass upon 
amendments to the Constitution, even without the participation of the
 Senate.  Any time now, we expect the House to convene by its lonesome
self and trigger the filing of a “justiciable” case in the Arroyo-
appointee dominated Supreme Court. The hope is that a favorable
  judgment—that legally the House can convene by itself as a constituent 
assembly for as long as it secures the ¾ votes of all members of
 Congress—will give  pork-starved members of the House the legal 
justification to go along with the scheme, no matter how patently 
But should the cha-cha train derail—and by the day, if many of the  
House members are to be believed, it is becoming an increasing
 possibility—the Arroyo regime has also put into play a more sinister 
plan: the declaration of a state-of-emergency.  The signs are 
dangerously evident: the mysterious bombings in Mindanao and Metro
Manila, which seem to follow the same pattern as previous but failed
 attempts; the militarization of the Cabinet and strategic offices in
 the bureaucracy; the accelerated promotion of Class ’78 generals—the
PMA batch purported to be loyal to the President—in strategic services 
and positions in the military, at the expense of officers belonging to
Class ’76 and ’77; the unprecedented increase in the armed personnel
of the PNP’s Metro Manila-based Special Action Force (SAF), which 
reportedly is now even better equipped than the military, which,
 because of rumblings and divisions within the ranks, has been rendered 
an unreliable ally of the regime.
And what about the only desirable option acceptable to our people—the
 scheduled May 2010 Presidential elections?  While Mrs. Arroyo herself
 and her minions have repeatedly assured us that there will be 
elections in 2010, their actions belie their claim. Even the election
automation project, which is supposed to ensure an orderly and fast
count, is now mired in controversy. Suspicions linger, with talks of
intervention by “big people in high places” to manipulate even the
 automated process, that automation is not yet a certainty.
What now? Lest we find ourselves once again fighting a repressive and 
kleptocratic authoritarian regime, we must be vigilant. We must expose
 and fight every move of the Arroyo regime to stay in power against our 
will and in violation of our Constitution. We call upon all those who
truly cherish our democratic way of life, no matter how imperfect it 
may be, including those in the military and the police, to stand up
 against those who seek to exploit the instability and confusion in our  
midst and impose their dictatorial will upon us. Let us all join hands—
with urgency and resolve—in ensuring that a clean, peaceful, orderly
and automated election does take place in May, 2010.
Finally, to the President and her cohorts, this challenge we throw:
Don’t push your luck. You have crossed the line too often enough. With 
impunity, you have exploited our people’s cynicism and apathy for your
 own narrow and selfish ends. As with all things,  this too will come 
to an end.  Of this, we are certain.
With God’s help, the Filipino people will put an end to this
 despicable Arroyo regime.

Former  Secretary
Department of

Department of Budget and

Office of the Presidential Adviser on
Peace Process

Former Secretary
the  Department of Finance

Former  Secretary
National Anti-Poverty Commission

Former  Secretary
Department of Social Welfare
and  Development

Former Secretary
Bureau of

of Internal Revenue

Department of Trade and Industry

Former Secretary
Department of Agrarian Reform


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