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Election campaign based on the economy starting to backfire

2007/03/26 - 2:19pm

“Consciously avoiding discussion on her human rights record and issues of legitimacy and corruption, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign pitch for the mid-term elections was the economy but instead of getting more votes, the campaign based on economic indicators is starting to backfire on administration candidates. With surveys showing a 19% hunger incidence and more than half of Filipinos rating themselves poor, along with 12% Reformed Value Added Tax (RVAT), these economic issues are definitely monkeys on Arroyo’s back.”

This was the statement of Lito Ustarez, Executive Vice-President of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Labor Center as senatorial candidates and the partylist enter the 42nd day of their campaign.

“The ‘monkeys’ are hounding the candidates under the administration ticket and election surveys have punished most of them, with results showing Team Unity candidates lagging behind to candidates from the Genuine Opposition (GO),” stated Ustarez.

Ustarez also made a dig on the GO candidates since they are still to hear any clear program from them on how to generate more jobs and increase wages and salaries of workers.

“The recent guilty verdict of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, added another building block to the growing anger against Arroyo here and among the international community. But despite the gravity of the human rights and economic situation, the Arroyo regime treats the issues as if it can be addressed through a ‘well-written press release’ instead of facing it head-on,” opined Ustarez.

The labor leader also doubted the statement of Department of Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. that not a single centavo would go to corruption from the Php 1B anti-hunger fund. “With the recent survey of Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) naming the Philippines as the most corrupt country in the whole of Asia, the statement of Sec. Andaya is impossible to believe. What is more plausible is that Arroyo will use the massive hunger problem as an window to amass more wealth for herself and her cohorts, just like the long lists of scams this regime has been entangled with,” ended Ustarez.

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