Roxas: Peace must be in line with the national interest

Peace can never happen when the country is torn into pieces.

In a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines today, Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas stressed that lasting peace in Mindanao must be pursued in line with the national interest and by a sincere government.
Peace must be pursued in line with the universal interest of all Filipinos—whether Muslim, Christian or Lumad. Peace cannot happen with disunity, with a people partitioned according to race or belief,” he said.
And this peace must be pursued by a government that rules with the consent of the governed, that gives all citizens equal protection under the law. But what has happened that lead to our quandary right now is due to a government that tends to fragment our nation rather than lead it to one common aspiration,” he added.
Roxas lamented that with its recent acts, the government has shown either gross incompetence or something else: a gross disregard for the common interest.
This government has managed to divide and fragment our nation through the years, and now by bungling on the peace process with the MILF. Ineptness and impatience prevailed, and deception to all—Muslim, Christian or Lumad—was employed to pursue an invalid memorandum of agreement with the MILF,” he said.

And the result: more than a hundred innocent lives lost and more than 200,000 evacuees struck by hunger and disease,” he stressed.
The government, Roxas said, must accept responsibility for its actions and bring the peace process back on track, following Constitutional standards and transparency.
It must, first of all, bring all lawless elements to justice. All those who violate human rights and rule of law—be it MILF splinter groups or other vigilantes—must be brought to justice. The government must smother Mindanao with the rule of law,” he said.

The MOA between the government and the MILF must be torn apart, and we want the Supreme Court to do so through a definitive decision so it will no longer be used as leverage in peace negotiations and diplomatic discourse. On the part of the government, it must revamp the peace panel now,” he added.
Roxas advised the government to implement the rule of law forcefully and equally, with no ethno-linguistic or religious prejudice. Else, the scenario of conflict will escalate when civilians start taking the law into their hands.
If the government fails to strengthen its presence in Mindanao now, it will eventually have to go in between the crossfire of warring vigilantes,” he said.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Roxas to gov't: Ensure right pricing of goods

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said the government must ensure the stability of the prices of goods, after a recent drop in world prices of commodities such as rice, tin and wheat.
Patuloy ang pagtaas ng presyo ng pagkain at iba pang bilihin dito, sa kabila ng pagbaba ng presyo ng bigas, trigo, tin can at iba pa sa pandaigdigang merkado. Bakit? Dapat ipaliwanag sa tao ang lahat ng ito, at maging transparent pagdating sa mga costing,” said Roxas, the Chairman of the Trade and Commerce.

There is no reason why rice, sardines, bread, instant noodles and other items would go up in prices, because the cost of inputs for these have gone down. The DTI must ensure that our people are not taken advantage of and that prices remain reasonable and explainable to the public,” he added.
He noted that although the price of regular rice remains higher than the P22/kilogram price last year, it is now P35/kg, P1/kg less than last month.
World supply of rice has gone up and prices have gone down. We should see a continued decrease in the cost of local rice,” he said.

I continue to urge the government to carry out a fertilizer support program and a rehabilitation of our irrigation systems, to ensure long-term supply for our country,” he stressed.
He said the DTI must see for itself whether the continued cost of hard flour at P980 from P910 in April could be justified and whether flour millers still had to recover past costs as they claim.
Mahalagang-mahalagang siguruhin na ang presyo ng arina ay manatiling mababa, dahilan sa ito ay nakakaapekto sa presyo ng pan de sal, instant noodles at iba pang pagkain,” he said.
For sardines, Roxas said the drop in prices of tin in the world market would allow prices of sardines, which use tin-can packaging, to remain stable.

Roxas once more called for the removal of the value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products. He said the administration must stop influencing the House of Representatives to stonewall the proposed tax legislation.
Oil products are a crucial factor in the pricing of food, as it is used for both the manufacturing and transportation of this. The best thing the government can do is not to add to the burden of our people through continued imposition of the VAT,” he said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 1 comments [ More ]

What to do with Lito Atienza's "unification" call

I am calling the attention of Senator Mar Roxas on what he should do with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Lito Atienza's call for "unification".

It's a compelling truth that Senator Roxas should address if ever he runs for President in 2010. The Liberal Party would never have a good showing in 2010 if it can't even win its enraged stalwarts. Party unity is needed in achieving victory. Just like what we are witnessing in the US Democratic Party with Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama doing a lot of effort in uniting their deeply-wounded party.

I also hope that Sec. Atienza's intent in uniting the Liberal Party is sincere and not just for political showing. And also, to Manila Mayor Fred Lim, you're always welcome in LP.

Roxas:The people have spoken - Remove VAT on oil

Senator Mar Roxas said today the government must heed calls to remove the value-added tax (VAT) on oil products as prices continue to go up despite the lowering of oil prices in the world market.

Roxas noted that the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) will already be holding a large rally this Thursday to press their demand for the total removal of VAT.
The people have spoken -- they would rather hold on to their money than have this collected and spent by the government. The VAT on oil only adds to the pain of consumers, because of the abrupt increase in oil prices worldwide,” he said.
I support moves by the KMU and PISTON to make their voices heard and show that it’s the jeepney driver or regular laborer who is suffering because of the administration’s shunning of our proposal to remove VAT on oil,” he added.
Roxas had just met with members of PISTON a week ago, and spoke to them of the continued need for a removal of the tax.
Hindi tama ang sinasabi ng gobyerno na nakasalalay ang lahat ng programa ng gobyerno sa ‘Katas ng VAT’ na ito. Maliit na porsyento lang ito, at maaaring makuha ang koleksyon na ito sa ibang pamamaraan na hindi maaapekto ang mga mahihirap,” he said.
He said Congress must already discuss the proposal, despite Malacañang’s refusal to listen.
Let’s begin discussions on this already. I have heard alternative proposals from our congressmen to set a cap on oil VAT, or to remove the VAT on both oil and electricity. The important thing is to start discussing the matter, and not just rejecting the proposal outright,” he said.
Roxas had filed Senate Bill No. 1962 last December, before world oil had breached the $100/barrel barrier. Although oil prices have eased in the past month, the present $116/barrel level is still much higher than the $80/barrel level a year ago, and the $30/barrel level when the VAT on oil was first proposed in 2004.
I urge the administration to allow their allies in the House to take up hearings on the matter, so that the House can pass its own version of the bill. We in the Senate have already discussed my bill in committee, and are just waiting for the House’s version, as required by the Constitution,” he said.

Sobra-sobra na ang sakit sa bulsa ng ating mga mamamayan. Sa panahon ngayon, ang gobyerno ang dapat mag-sakripisyo at sikaping makamit ang mga collection targets, na hindi magbibigay ng dagdag na pahirap sa mga tao,” he added.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Sen. Roxas' speech on the 25th death anniversary of national hero Ninoy Aquino

Nagtitipon tayo ngayon para gunitain si Ninoy Aquino. Ang kanyang panindigan, ang kanyang tapang, at sa huli, ang kanyang sakripisyo para sa ating inang bayan. For a whole generation of Filipinos, that sacrifice, that image of Ninoy Aquino sprawled on the tarmac in the airport, and his words, that "The Filipino is worth dying for," has been an inspiration. Ninoy's was the spirit behind whom we rallied against the dictatorship. Si Ninoy ang rallying point natin sa literal at sa metapora. Naging bantayog na liwanag ang kadakilaan ni Ninoy. Dalawampu't limang taon na ngayon nang isakrepisyo ni Ninoy ang kanyang buhay.

Nandito tayo ngayon para muling sindihan ang apoy ng kabayanihan na pinagalab ni Ninoy Aquino. Ninoy stood for integrity. Ninoy stood for courage. Above all, Ninoy stood for hope. Ninoy stood for the idea that despite the darkness that surrounds us during those turbulent times, all is not lost for the Filipino. He gave meaning to our frustrations. He gave direction for our sacrifices.

Ninoy, kapartidong Ninoy, sinisuguro namin sa iyo bilang mga kasapi ng Partido Liberal, tuloy ang laban mo. Buong puso naming tinatanggap ang hamon bilang mga tagapagmana ng inyong kabayanihan at sakripisyo. We rededicate ourselves to the ideals that drove you and generations of Liberal Party stalwarts: conscience over ambition, principles over glory, and integrity above all. In these turbulent and trying times for our people, we rededicate, we recommit ourselves to this noble fight for our country's future.

Manindigan tayo para sa kinabukasan. Mabuhay si Ninoy Aquino. Mabuhay ang Partido Liberal.  

Sunday, August 24, 2008 | posted in , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Roxas to Mindanaoans: We are with you all the way

Senator Mar Roxas, Liberal President, said he will continue to defend the people of the Mindanao against the attempt of the government, through its peace panel, to break the country into two for vested interests.
"This is an issue that is affecting all Mindanaoans regardless of status or religion. I will do my all in my capacity as a Senator to protect our country's sovereignty and the interests of every Filipino," he said.
He met with Sultan Kudarat Gov. Teng Mangudadatu in the morning at the Provincial Capital; later, in the afternoon, he visited Tacurong City Mayor Lino Montilla and South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Fuentes, to discuss the controversial GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement, which has been held from implementation only through a Supreme Court temporary restraining order.
"I have spoken to the provincial and local leaders and I am confident that they will do all they can for their constituents. We will not be victims of this sellout of our people and our natural resources," he said.

"I speak on behalf of the Liberal Party which stands by the Mindanaoans during this time of conflict and uncertainty. We have brought our battle to the Supreme Court and in the Senate to get to the bottom of this MoA," he added.
Last week, Roxas was in North Cotabato and Zamboanga City with North Cotabato Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol and Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, to discuss the issue. The three are among the petitioners in the Supreme Court case to prevent the GRP-MILF agreement from pushing through.
"We demand complete transparency regarding this agreement. I call upon the government to let the people know, completely and without qualification, its intentions and strategies concerning the situation in Mindanao," he said.

Senator Mar Roxas' Privilege Speech on the GRP-MILF MoA

Here's a summary of Senator Mar Roxas' privilege speech on the GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement provided by the Senator's office.
1. This MoA violates at least three major articles of our Constitution. Unang pahina pa lang, hindi na papasa ito sa Saligang Batas.

a. Rather than respect our national territory, this MoA breaks it up into smaller bits.

b. Rather than uphold the ideal that all government authority emanates from the people, this government entered into an agreement that would partition our country without prior consultations with the people of Mindanao.

c. Rather than uphold one sovereign people enjoying the equal protection of law, the MoA effectively splits the citizenry in two.

2. We had wanted peace and security achieved through these negotiations. Instead, we are on the brink of war. Government functionaries are making lame excuses for their bungling of a peace process that has spawned war rather than peace. None have spoken to stand by this MoA on the basis of reason and statesmanship; instead, its proponents have resorted to finger-pointing..

3. I demand complete transparency regarding this agreement. I call upon the government to step out from behind the veil of generalizations; to let the people know, completely and without qualification, its intentions and strategies concerning the situation in Mindanao.

4. I urge the government to enforce the equal protection of laws now. I call upon the President to revamp her entire peace team, including her peace adviser and peace panel. I call upon the Armed Forces to enforce order in accordance with the principles of the constitution. And I call upon all parties to the conflict to stand down and pave the way a renegotiation of the MOA.

5. More than anything else, I urge the government to do its utmost best to keep the nation whole. To keep the great ideals of our country: One territory, one sovereign people under the equal protection of the laws.

6. The answer is not in further shattering this ideal of one Philippine nation. And this has nothing to do with religion or ethnic boundaries. We are all for peace. The answer is in rebuilding our nation so that none feel neglected for the sake of others.
Click here to read the complete transcript of his privilege speech.

Below is the video courtesy of Youtube:


Mar Roxas 2010 Blog is one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008

Thanks a lot for making this blog as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008! I was not able to attend the event though. Here's my prepared speech that I was to deliver if I had been there:
Congratulations to Ms. Janette Toral for the "once again" successful writing project, the search for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008. The project gained a tremendous response and it was a good avenue to meet other bloggers across the blogosphere.

It's an honor to receive the recognition of having one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008. It's a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for me, who wants to change how the next elections work thru blogging. Everyone of us would make a big impact in the society, if we just use our blogs as a tool in shaping the 2010 elections and the future elections to come. I had already started one, how about you?

I won't make it to the event because first, no one can augment my travel and personal expenses there in Manila and second, I am busy for the preparation of our school's Technologian Pop and Dance Idol for I am currently the Chairman on Public Relations in our Supreme Student Government. It's quite disappointing, but beyond that, I'm thankful to the people, my fellow bloggers, who have chosen my blog as one of their bets in this search. Thank you so much!

I would also like to congratulate everyone who made it in the list. Cheers for the success of this event!

P.S. Peace Benj!
Congrats also to:
Thanks to Ate Aileen for receiving the plaque in behalf of me! 

Roxas: JPEPA experience highlights need for gov't reforms

Senator Mar Roxas, Liberal Party President, said the harrowing experience in having the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) passed underscores the people’s distrust of government, and consequently, the need for reforms in state institutions.
I think a lot of the mistrust associated with JPEPA began not as a result of the actual provisions of the treaty, but the secretive manner in which the government went about with it,” said Roxas, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce and co-chair of the JPEPA joint panel. 
He noted the Supreme Court case filed three years where executive privilege was cited to prevent the disclosure of information on JPEPA. Although the government was cleared by the high court, Roxas said this lack of open communication between stakeholders fostered ill will.
The government must shift from this policy of ‘minimum disclosure’ that the government seems to have adopted in all its dealings, from the NBN-ZTE project to the GRP-MILF agreement on the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, and others,” he said.
 The Senator maintained that although the JPEPA would not benefit Filipinos much, it would be far more harmful to not pass it and be left behind by other ASEAN countries trading with Japan.
Some say we could have gotten more. Others claim, we gave up too much. Let me be candid. I too feel that we could have negotiated better. We could have gotten more,” he said.

The choice before us is not the present JPEPA versus another better JPEPA that we can pick and choose from. The choice before us is the present JPEPA versus no JPEPA and an uncertain future as to when it could be renegotiated again and what terms we could actually obtain at that future time,” he added.
In order to address environmental concerns raised by some groups, Roxas has called on the executive to transmit to the Senate the Basel Ban Amendment, which would widen the coverage of hazardous substances banned for export, to include items for recycling. “It’s about time that the Senate reviews and consults with stakeholders on the need to ratify the amendment to the Basel Ban Convention. The important thing is to get started with the discussions,” he said.

He has also filed a bill to increase the penalties for violation of Republic Act No. 6969, the Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

Roxas said a way to encourage transparency and accountability in government is his proposed Free Information Act, Senate Bill No. 109. A counterpart bill has already been passed in the House of Representatives, sponsored by fellow Liberal Erin Tañada of Quezon. The measure would require government offices to respond to all requests for public information within two days, unless this would place at risk national security, diplomatic relations or the peace and order situation.

Roxas wants stiffer penalties for illegal disposal of toxic wastes

Senator Mar Roxas, Liberal Party President, today pushed for stiffer penalties against the entry of toxic and hazardous wastes from other countries.

Roxas filed Senate Bill No. 2519 amending Republic Act No. 6969, the Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 to assure full compliance with the ban on export of toxic and hazardous waste into the Philippines from Japan under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Roxas, co-chair of the Senate JPEPA panel, said while the JPEPA treaty in no way allowed Japan to ship to or dispose of its industrial and other wastes in the Philippines, there was still a need for adding teeth to the present law, as a deterrent to any unscrupulous locals or foreigners.
"Our law, RA 6969, as well as the Basel Ban Convention, clearly prohibit the bringing in of toxic wastes into the country. The JPEPA doesn't change this in any way. What we can do is raise the penalties against violators, to show that we mean business, and that our people's safety comes first," he said.

"The penalties and fines provided for under the present RA 6969 are not commensurate to the gravity and seriousness of the dangers that toxic substances and hazardous and nuclear wastes bring to health and environment. It is, therefore, imperative that RA 6969 be amended to impose stricter and stiffer penalties and fines in order to give more teeth to the said law," he said.
At present, the penalties for violation of Sec. 13 (a) to (c) of RA 6969 are imprisonment of six months to six years, and a fine of only P600 to P4,000. The bill will increase the penalties to imprisonment of six to twelve years, and a fine of P250,000 to P500,000. Offenses covered here include: knowingly using a chemical substance banned by RA 6969; the failure or refusal to submit necessary documents upon inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and failure or refusal to comply with the pre-manufacture and pre-importation requirements as stated in the law.

The violation of Sec. 13 (d), on the bringing in of the prohibited substances, will now be punishable by imprisonment of 20 to 40 years, and a fine of P5 million to P10 million. At present, the penalty is imprisonment of 12 to 20 years. For corporations, an additional penalty of P20 million is imposed, up from the present P500,000 penalty.

In addition, violators of the law would be required to pay three times the value of the damage caused to the environment or to persons, and this amount will be collected in a special fund for reparation of such damage. The administrative fine is also raised to P100,000 from the present P50,000 fine, and will be raised by 10% every three years from the effectivity of the proposed amendment.

Monday, August 11, 2008 | posted in , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Thanks for signing the online petition!

I would like to thank everyone who signed the online petition to urge Mr. Hermogenes Esperon to resign from his position as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. As of this blogging, 61 people had already voiced out and said enough is enough. If you haven't signed yet the online petition, please do affix your name at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/esperonresign and help me spread the word about this by telling your family, friends and relatives to sign it.

This afternoon, I would be attending the 3rd Cebu Bloggers' Society Meet-Up to discuss things that would make the organization more compact and strong. We are now rolling up our sleeves in making other Cebu-based bloggers join the group.

On the other hand, I'm quite sad because I can't make it to the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008 Event of Ms. Janette Toral tomorrow 6pm at The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City. But anyways, thanks a lot to the bloggers who voted my blog as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008. It's an honor to be one of it! Cheers Janette for the successful writing project!

Would you make me happy today?

If you haven't signed the online petition yet to urge Senator Mar Roxas to run for President, then it's not yet too late. Go to http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/marroxas2010 and add your name. Also, join the Friends of Roxas 2010 (FOR 2010), the social network of Mar Roxas 2010 supporters. Click here to register!

If you had already finished doing these, can you help me tell other people to do the same? Thanks a lot for making this advocacy of ours successful! I share the citation of having one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008 with YOU!

Cheers everyone!

ORAS NA!

Statement of Senator Mar Roxas on the killing of RMN-DYVR Anchor Martin Roxas

"I strongly condemn the killing of radio commentator Martin Roxas of RMN-DYVR-Roxas City. A few hours ago, he wsas shot in the back while riding his motorcycle on his way home after his noontime program.

"I call on the police force of Roxas City to immediately get to the bottom of this case, and bring the perpetrators to justice. This is the first time such an atrocity against the media has happened in Roxas City.

"Such violence against the media in the line of duty and such an assault on decency, democracy and the rule of law has no room in Roxas City.

"To the widower and family of Martin Roxas, I am with you in your grief and in your quest for justice."

Friday, August 8, 2008 | posted in , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Hermogenes Esperon must resign - Roxas

In his statement yesterday, Senator Mar Roxas called on Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to remove (Ret.) General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. as her adviser on the peace process. Here's the Senator's complete statement:
"Hinihingi ko kay Pangulong Arroyo na sibakin na si General Hermogenes Esperon bilang Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Ayon kay Vice Governor Manny Piñol, na kinausap ko kagabi, nagbanta si General Esperon kay Vice Governor Piñol na hindi na maaasahan ng mga kababayan natin sa Mindanao ang suporta ng ating mga sundalo, kung hindi nila tutulungan at susuportahan itong MOA na negotiate ng gobyerno sa MILF.

"Labag ito sa batas. Labag ito sa sinumpaang tungkulin ni General Esperon at tama lamang na sibakin ni Pangulong Arroyo si General Esperon sa kanyang tungkulin.

"Itong kasunduan na ito ay hindi nauunawaan ng ating mga kababayan. Nakita natin sa proseso na kulang sa konsultasyon at wala halos ang nakakaalam sa nilalaman nitong kasunduang ito. Ito ay pruweba sa maling stratehiya na ginamit ng pamahalaan sa pag-negotiate dito, isang stratehiya ng pagtatago sa katotohanan, at pamumuwersa o pambabraso ng mga maaapektuhan nito.

"Hindi ito ang pamamaraan para mag-negotiate ng isang peace agreement. Kailangan lahat ay nakakaalam ng nilalaman nito, at sumusuporta rito. Kung hindi, nasa papel lamang itong peace agreement, at yung kaguluhan ang siyang iiral pa rin."
After the his statement on Gen. Esperon's resignation, I had started an online petition echoing the Senator's call. I hope you can sign the online petition at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/esperonresign.

Roxas to Gov't: Stop rise in pan de sal cost

Senator Mar Roxas asked the government today to immediately do something to stop an impending hike of pan de sal and bread prices, as he reiterated his call for the immediate suspension of the VAT on oil to lower the cost of bread making.
The DTI must find all means to ease the cost of producing pan de sal, bread and pastries. I’m worried this will impact heavily on thousands of small and medium businesses and their employees,” he said.
Bakers have cited high cost of fuel and transportation costs as one of the main reasons why they are pressed to hike bread prices.
Removing the VAT on oil will have a two-fold effect -- lessen costs of production and put more money in the pockets of their customers,” Roxas stressed.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Industry pointed out that fuel is a socially sensitive product and any price hike affects many aspects of the economy, from production down to consumption.
Ngayon, pati ang presyo ng pan de sal ay tataas na dahil sa hindi mapigil na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis. Kung makikinig ang pamahalaan na suspindihin muna ang VAT ng anim na buwan, sana ay hindi natin mararanasan ito.”
Patuloy na sinisipsip ng mataas na presyo ng krudo at mga bilihin ang sigla ng ekonomiya at kita ng taumbayan. Kaya imbes na ibsan ng gobyerno ang paghihirap ng taumbayan ay lalo lang nadadagdagan ang paghihirap ng mamamayan sa pagpipilit nito na huwag tanggalin ang VAT sa langis,” he said.
Roxas, Liberal Party President, wants the government to focus on ensuring enough food at affordable prices for the people, particularly by securing rice self-sufficiency much earlier than the government’s 2013 target.

On the other hand, since wheat, the primary component for making bread, is imported and therefore more susceptible to external price shocks, the government must make sure that local bread prices are not excessive and that other cost components are also minimized, he said.
Our local bread makers need the government to ensure that flour millers are not raising prices unduly, and to utilize other means to reduce the costs of making bread,” he said.
Hard flour now costs P980 per bag, up by P70 from P910 just last April. The price has gone up by over 50% from P640 a year ago. A piece of pan de sal now costs as much as P3.50, and another increase by as much as P1 is expected. For a 600-gram loaf of bread, which now costs P50-P55, an increase of P1.50 is expected.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Roxas to Exec: Ensure safety in ARMM polls

As there is “no material time” left for Congress to postpone the ARMM elections on August 11, Senator Mar Roxas said the administration, in coordination with the COMELEC, should instead focus on ensuring poll safety.
There is no material time left. Eight days is not enough to pass a law. The administration should not even attempt to railroad this because it has given no clear and acceptable reasons for postponing the elections,” he said.
Malacanang should focus instead on the most important concern -- ensure the safety of voters, candidates, teachers and other poll workers and volunteers, and, most importantly, protect public confidence in the new automated elections. Violence must not lead to a failure in the ARMM elections,” he added.
The Liberal Party President pointed out that the COMELEC has made substantial preparations for the ARMM polls, where the automated elections—a fundamental reform to democratic governance that Roxas consistently supported —will be pilot-tested.
By railroading the postponement of the elections without even giving any viable reason, the administration is asking us to dispense with the ARMM voters’ Constitutional right to suffrage,” he said.
What they’ve said so far is that the postponement is crucial in finally concluding the peace talks with the MILF. The Senate has yet to see anything that will justify this reason,” he added.
Roxas said the elections should push through regardless of the peace talks to strengthen ARMM voters’ belief in the electoral process. The credibility of elections in ARMM have always been doubted because of repeated incidents of goon politics, cheating, and violence against voters and poll workers, particularly public school teachers who man the election precincts.

He said the death of teacher Musa Dimasidsing in last years’ elections highlights the need to reclaim the credibility of elections in ARMM and in the country. Mr. Dimasidsing was shot to death by unidentified gunmen after exposing alleged poll fraud in Maguindanao.

Of the 121 persons killed nationwide in the 2007 polls, 63 (or 52% were classified as civilians and supporters, which include teachers. Of the 176 wounded, 116 were also of the same class. The 2004 polls was the most violent in recent years, when 148 of 189 (78% persons killed and 261 of 279 (94% persons wounded were supporters and civilians.

Join Senator Mar Roxas' "Virtual Rally"



Yes, Senator Mar Roxas is starting a rally, but not on the streets!



He has just launched a site called "Virtual Rally" in his way of inviting the public - students, parents, private and public sector employees, and fellow Netizens - to look at issues, pick a side, and make a stand. I already joined the virtual rally on protesting high fuel prices and government's refusal to suspend the 12% VAT on oil despite the added pain it inflicts on people's pockets. It's now time to make ZERO VAT on oil!



Sign up. Pick a character. Share your views. Go to www.virtualrally.net and be counted.

Coy Caballes and George Putong nominate Mar Roxas 2010 Blog as one of the emerging influential blogs of 2008

I would like to thank Coy Caballes of Cokskiblue and George Putong of Brodcst Msktir for nominating this blog as one of their Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, a writing project initiated by Ma'am Janette Toral to identify new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. These are blogs that started anytime from July 1, 2007 to the present. This blog started last July 29, 2007, thus it's very qualified for the search!

If you are a blogger and you think that this blog is worthy of being named as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, then check out the Influential Blogger blog for more details.

Help us stay in the Top 10!

I would also like to thank again Filipinayzd, Flowell, Mark, Jehz, Myk, Francis, Lugud, Kay JD, Dexter, Rhodilee, Cecile, Richard the Adventurer, Richard D., Joan, Ederic, Jaypee, Jan Alvin, Scarlett, Ryan, Samjuan, Scotty's Princess, RL, Dimaks, Kenji, Siraniko, Ferdinand, Avel, Jonel, Ceblogger and Eugene Alvin for nominating this blog.

ORAS NA!

Get Involved!