Monday, March 27, 2006

GRASPING AT STRAWS

Someone who is drowning will clutch anything, even at the flimsiest of straws.

I can only imagine how desperate this Arroyo woman must be.
Imagine the utter absurdity of STEALING demonetized currency notes to bribe people
into signing up for the "people's initiative."

I know you are vile -- but to have sunk this low? Sobra ka namang kaawa-awa.

You must find it SO frustrating to spend hours and hours crafting diabolical ways of
extending your term ONLY to have Nene blow the lid off ever single one of 'em. Kawawa.

Sorry ka, you can grasp at straws all you want but you will still go down.



'Old' money for Cha-cha


By RONNIE E. CALUMPITA,

The Manila Times Reporter
Ten billion pesos' worth of old P1,000 bills that have been withdrawn from circulation may have been recirculated to fund the Arroyo administration's efforts to revise the Constitution, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel said on Saturday.

Pimentel said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas must explain to the public what happened to the old notes.

"My fear is that the supposedly demonetized bills may be used for the administration's Cha-cha [Charter-change] initiative," the Senate minority leader said.

Pimentel noted that P1,000 bills were disposed of days before the nation's barangays held assemblies Saturday allegedly to promote the campaign for constitutional reforms.

The demonetized bills are kept at the central bank's security plant in Quezon City as confirmed by the Commission on Audit, he said.

Pimentel recalled that the book of entries of the Marcos Central Bank was padded to conceal the recycling of bills pulled out of circulation.

Sen. Mar Roxas has said he will file on Monday a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged bribe to be given to those who will attend the barangay assemblies and who could submit signatures in support of the people's initiative, which he called illegal.

People's initiative

MalacaƱan on Saturday again allayed fears that the assemblies will be manipulated to gather five million signatures for a people's initiative in amending the Constitution.

The President's spokesman and press secretary, Ignacio Bunye, said it is time to hear the true sentiments of the people. "This is the time to do it. Let us take the debate down to the grassroots and discover its genuine sentiments," Bunye said.

He dared opposition groups to witness for themselves the barangay assemblies.

Bunye did not directly admit that the assemblies will be used to push for Charter change. "We should welcome, and not demean or resist, the people's initiative for change and reform," he said.

No endorsement

Earlier, James Marty Lim, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, disclosed plans to discuss Charter change at the assemblies. Lim said the league only wants to inform its members about the pros and cons of constitutional change, not endorse it.

Secretary Ronaldo Puno of the Interior and Local Government said the law requires barangay assemblies to be held at least twice a year.

He cited Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991, which says local governments are required to hold assemblies "to discuss the semestral report of the Sangguniang Barangay about its activities and finances as well as problems concerning the barangays."

'Administration is lying'

Opposition forces said it is obvious that the administration is lying. Already, reports have been received of alleged bribery in every barangay. Officials are reportedly dangling cash in exchange for people's signatures.

Activist groups like Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and Anakbayan vowed to expose what they call "the Arroyo administration's ploy to railroad a people's initiative for Charter change."

"We don't have the resources of this administration, but we have committed people willing to go door to door to campaign against Charter change. MalacaƱan should be warned that it can't buy off everyone. Not every Filipino has a price," Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan secretary-general, said.

With William B. Depasupil