01.Nov.03    Análisis y Noticias

On the Arroyo-Cojuangco 2004 political tandem
Workers regard GMA as worst political opportunist and Danding as chief manipulator

Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said that the exposed connivance between the Macapagal-Arroyo government and business tycoon and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) leader Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco on the impeachment raps against Supreme Court Justice Hilario Davide makes Mrs. Arroyo the worst political opportunist in the Philippine government today.

“It’s a sheer act of desperation on Arroyo’s part. She’s willing to sell herself to the Devil just to win in the elections next year. In fact, she already made a pact with Danding, the biggest benefactor to her unwanted candidacy. KMU criticized Danding for being the ‘unseen hand’ behind Arroyo’s 2004 presidential bid.

KMU Deputy Secretary General William Merene warned the public to beware of Danding.
“The country’s richest and most powerful man is extending his political clout and financial influence to the fullest to gain whatever he wants, be it economic assets or political concessions. He’s so commanding he can even manipulate the executive and legislative department to impeach the Supreme Court Justice. He’s cunningly clever he even made the public think that he’s running for President when in fact he’s making compromises with all the Presidentiables including Senator Ping Lacson and movie star Fernando Poe Jr. Obviously, the most favored among his horses is still Gloria Arroyo. His capacity to manipulate the executive, legislative and judicial government branches to his own advantage is very alarming.”

Merene, also the president of San Miguel Corporation workers union, Ilaw at Buklod ng mga Manggagawa sa San Miguel, asserted that Danding is supporting Arroyo’s candidacy to strengthen his control over SMC and all other ill-gotten wealth he’s keeping. “He’s doing everything he can to keep SMC and its P100 billion shares that he illicitly acquired from the coconut levy fund of small coconut farmers. Now, SMC is expanding its conglomerate with the purchase of a leading food company in Vietnam.”

The labor leader said that the Gloria-Danding political clique is bound to become the target of widespread protests from the people. “Arroyo and Cojuangco are both corrupt, repressive and anti-people. They deserve to be branded as the people’s worst enemies. They both deserve to be banished away from all positions of power and must be denied access to the spoils of being directly or indirectly part of the government.”

On the other hand, Merene said that legal process should take place fairly on Davide’s impeachment.
Danding and Gloria are by far the biggest crooks in the country
Workers support lawyers protests vs. GMA-Danding conspiracy

The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) expressed sympathy to the protest actions launched by lawyers groups led by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Philippine Bar Association and the Philippine Judicial Academy.

KMU Secretary General Joel Maglunsod however said that the lawyers’ actions must extend beyond their support for Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide. “We call on all concerned lawyers to also denounce the shameful political conspiracy between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco and their attempts to maneuver the legislative process of impeachment. Arroyo and Danding already started their demolition job against obstacles to their political and economic agenda, and Davide is their first victim. It is obvious that both the Cojuangco and Arroyo clique are doing everything they can to gain upper hand in the 2004 presidential elections.”

Maglunsod said that the Arroyo and Danding tandem are actually among the worst corrupt elements in the Philippine society. “It is ironic for Danding and Gloria to launch a crusade to impeach Davide for alleged corruption practices when they themselves are heavily tainted with dishonesty and corruption cases. They are by far the biggest crooks in the country today. Gloria is gaining so much by complying to all of Danding’s sleazy schemes. Indeed, a desperate effort to troubleshoot her dwindling machinery and political clout. Of course, everybody knows what Cojuangco wants in return, to rid him of all his torments such as the Supreme Court decision on the coco levy fund and his ill-gotten properties including food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corporation.”

The KMU leader said that Arroyo’s presence at the Mass held at the Supreme Court this morning only meant to cleanse her hands on her apparent involvement in the plot to impeach Davide.

On the other hand, the labor leader said that workers cannot condone any act of corruption in the judiciary department especially if it involves the Chief Justice himself. If Davide is indeed culpable of squandering the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) then he must account to all aggrieved court employees. Investigations on Davide’s case are already going on. Legal processes must take its course fairly and should not be influenced by any political faction.”

KMU sent a delegation of labor lawyers to join the protests led by the IBP at the Supreme Court and at the Congress this afternoon.