Press Release, July 20 2011 – Akbayan to PNoy: Dig for the truth, scrutinize whistleblowers and prosecute GMA

July 20, 2011
PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact Persons:

Emman Hizon @ 0917 5597080
Adrian Baccay @ 0927 4308021

 

Akbayan to PNoy: Dig for the truth, scrutinize whistleblowers and prosecute GMA

Akbayan Party today asked the Aquino administration to remain firm in digging for the truth behind the series of anomalies involving the previous government, which they said should lead to the prosecution of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The statement was made even as the political party called for a careful scrutiny of all whistleblowers and possible witnesses in light of the claims made by former election supervisor Lintang Bedol and former Maguindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan.

“The coming forward of personalities wanting to expose the election irregularities of Ms. Arroyo should reopen the unfinished and unresolved issues of cheating in previous elections and expose the widespread syndicate of election fixing and fraud in the government,” Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said.

Bag-ao said now is the time to make all possible and credible whistleblowers to come out without fear and expose the high crimes of Arroyo, her family and cohorts.

However, the partylist lawmaker counselled the Aquino government to carefully scrutinize the statements and claims of possible whistleblowers.

“Since some of those who would like to blow the lid on the alleged election cheatings are themselves accused of committing or contributing in the said crimes, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government must assess the credibility of these possible witnesses while encouraging others to also come forward,” Bag-ao cautioned.

Bag-ao also slammed the Arroyo camp particularly Lakas party lawyer Raul Lambino for saying that the Aquino government “coddled” Bedol and Ampatuan to get back at the former president and to “distract” the people from President Aquino’s plunging popularity ratings.

“Lambino should stop his doublespeak. Nobody’s buying it. No one was coddled. Truth is, they are now ratting on their boss because they are now feeling the heat generated by the government’s serious anti-corruption campaign,” Bag-ao said.

“If there’s any coddling that happened, it took place during the GMA administration,” Bag-ao pointed out. “After all, who coddled Garcillano? Who pampered those who were implicated in the 2004 election irregularities? Abalos, the election chief at that time, was involved in several anomalies, and yet he was treated with velvet gloves by the Arroyo administration. ”

Bag-ao said the one of the Aquino government’s electoral promises is to make accountable all those who “ravaged” the country during the nine-year reign of the Arroyo regime.

“The government is only fulfilling its promise. If the likes of Bedol has something significant to say that will finally link Arroyo, the big boss to her colossal crimes, then by all means let the government extract crucial information and evidence from these individuals,” Bag-ao asserted.

However, Bag-ao said if the said individuals have no new and vital information to provide, then the full weight of the law must be applied to them.

“Kung wala silang sasabihing bago para ituro ang pasimuno ng mga krimen na ito, ay dapat lamang mabulok sila sa bilangguan,” Bag-ao said.

The Akbayan lawmaker also defended Presidential adviser Secretary Ronald Llamas from Lambino’s accusation that he acted as an emissary for Ampatuan.

“As far as we know, Secretary Llamas was not involved in this. Besides, Llamas is not the issue here, GMA is. Those who are maligning him are just afraid of the truth,” Bag-ao concluded. ###

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