Philippines: Group Decries Harassment of Arroyo Critics

May. 07, 2007

MANILA — The Black and White Movement denounces in the strongest possible terms the fascist methods of the Arroyo regime in harassing outspoken critics of the administration. Faced with the prospect of losing in spite of massive spending on its supported candidates, the GMA regime abandons all pretensions to decency and resorts to illegal and immoral tactics in a last ditch effort to prevent their inevitable loss.

In the case of Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati City, the DILG treacherously served a suspension order on a Friday evening to deprive the good mayor of any opportunity to exercise his right to appeal. This was purportedly based on the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause on a plunder case filed by a political rival of Binay’s. When coupled with the garnishment by the BIR of the Makati City bank accounts, the malicious intent and naked abuse of power becomes clear.

In the case of Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, the Comelec shamelessly disqualified him on the basis of citizenship, reversing its own 2001 decision, even without presenting new evidence. The decision was penned by Commissioner Brawner, who was asked by Robredo to inhibit himself, due to his personal affinity with Louie Villafuerte, Robredo’s political rival. It borders on the absurd and comical – to disqualify one week before the elections someone who has been mayor of Naga City for as long as people can remember and who has earned honors for his city and country as recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Governance. It becomes unreasonable to expect honest and credible elections when a Comelec commissioner can disqualify a candidate with such arbitrariness and impunity to favor another candidate.

The Black and White Movement enjoins all freedom-loving Filipinos to speak up against the grave abuse of power and desecration of our democratic institutions by a regime bent on staying in power at all cost. Tama na! Sobra na! — END

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