(Photo by AMGL)
“Aquino is wasting public funds for Corona when the main issue is prosecuting Arroyo. His lip-service of pursuing justice and accountability against Corona is tiny compared to prosecuting the former president,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.
It was reported that Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares has announced that investigations against Corona is on-going, particularly regarding the possible tax liability triggered by his disclosure of used to be undeclared assets at the impeachment trial. Justice secretary also said that those who committed offenses should be held liable. President Aquino speeched about applying the law equally referring to the former chief justice at a summit in Iloilo.
“If the Aquino government continues this thoughtless move, he would face the people’s wrath as we want Arroyo prosecuted, the bigger fish and not just the minions,” Canlas said.
Amgl also warned against the formation of an “Aquino court” or appointing of a chief justice who would serve as Aquino lapdog and promote any revision on the SC decision on the Hacienda Luisita issue.
“The Filipino people is being conned by Aquino as after Corona was convicted at the impeachment trial, witnesses against Arroyo favored the defense with 2 others went missing. At present, the Aquino government is trying to redirect attention towards filing more cases against Corona, away from seriously prosecuting Arroyo,” he said.
Amgl is demanding that Arroyo should be charged by plunder and rights abuses cases and not just electoral sabotage case filed at the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112. Amgl is a co-complainant on the P728-million fertilizer scam which was dismissed by a publicly-known Arroyo ally former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. Amgl leader Marcelino Beltran stood as witness at the senate investigation and became a victim of extra-judicial killing on December 8, 2004 at his home in Sta. Ignacia town, Tarlac. Also Amgl leader Ofelia Rodriguez became a victim of EJK on January 16, 2006 at her home in Mexico, Pampanga after confirming at a media interview that she did not receive any fertilizer subsidy.
The group added that rights abuses cases should be filed immediately against Arroyo as her counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya resulted the extra-judicial killing of more than a thousand activists, disappearance of hundreds and countless abuses due to massive militarization in the countryside. Amgl said that it is clearly the former president and being the commander in chief has promoted the systematic human rights violations perpetrated by elements of government forces. By command responsibility and accountability, Arroyo should be held liable for justice to be served.
Amgl said, based on the data of Tanggol Magsasaka farmers’ rights group, at least 108 farmers and supporters in Central Luzon became victims of extra-judicial killings during the Arroyo administration. Among them were 57 farmers, indiginous people and fisherfolk who were killed during former major general Jovito Palparan’s one-year assignment in the region from September 2005 until his retirement in September 2006.
“Aquino should do the fundamentals and not the secondary issues. It is apparent that he is afraid of pursuing the fertilizer scam case as his name was listed as beneficiary of P5 million fertilizer subsidy and regarding the rights abuses cases, we all know that it is his family who gained from the ‘Hacienda Luisita Massacre’ on November 16, 2004. He also profited P88 million from the anomalous deal on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx),” Canlas said.
“Now who is the promoter of transparency and accountability in government? When Aquino could not even waive his rights on his bank accounts, breaking his own promise during the electoral campaign and ignoring the cases he is directly involved with. There is no excuse for not waiving as lawmakers have did so to promote transparency. He is no different to Arroyo, thus, he is not serious in prosecuting the former president,” he said.
Amgl called on different sectors to join the public demand to immediately prosecute Arroyo and refuse the Aquino government’s delaying tactics and diversion towards the ousted chief justice. #