We, members and leaders of the religious community, lawyers' organization, academe, youth organizations and multi-sectoral groups, have come together to express our common understanding on the recent political crisis that was triggered by controversies on the anomalous $329 million NBN-ZTE deal and to act in accordance with the principle of truth and justice. The Arroyo administration's brazen attempt to silence truth bearers through intimidation and abduction and by continuously invoking Executive Order No. 464 to evade Senate inquiries are acts in complete disregard of the truth and a betrayal to the basic tenet of governance that "public office is a public trust".
We believe that the Arroyo administration should be held accountable of the crimes that it has committed against the Filipino people, which include political killings, graft and corruption and electoral fraud. If perpetrators of these crimes are left unpunished, public officials from various agencies of the government will be emboldened to steal public funds, to cheat during elections, and to conceal the truth about illegal acts in the bureaucracy. Leaving to the Arroyo administration the task to reveal the truth and to give justice to the Filipino people is completely inappropriate at this time especially that the President herself has been involved into illegal transactions and has been using different agencies of the state to hide the truth.
We are also saddened with the continued apathy on the part of Former National Economic and Development Authority Director General Romulo Neri especially that he religiously submitted himself to the administration's script instead of standing up as an agent of truth. His testimony could help us thresh out the details on how intense is the corruption in the government after series of scandals haunting the Arroyo administration since 2004.
We urge Neri to reflect and be enlightened that it is time that public interest should supersede the welfare of Arroyo and her administration.
We deplore the Arroyo administration's blatant disrespect to the Filipino people's constitutional rights to expression and peaceful assembly in redress of grievances. Surveillance cameras have been installed outside educational institutions to monitor activities of students seeking for the truth about the NBN ZTE controversy. Protest rallies are being dispersed wantonly, by which it has become the administration way to neutralize dissent starting from the implementation of calibrated preemptive response to the declaration of the state of the national emergency. Up until now, political killings are systematically done with impunity in the country sides and it has instituted fear among local residents.
We believe that the Arroyo administration has been given enough time and chances to correct mistakes she has committed in the past, which include the controversy hounding the 2004 elections and scams about the fertilizer fund and jueteng.
Yet, we have had enough of Arroyo administration's lies and deception. Truth will never prevail in an administration that thrives in injustice, corruption, greed, fraud and political persecution. Justice and change can never be achieved by a president who had lost the moral ascendancy and the trust of the Filipino people to lead. Thus, we believe that we can only move on by putting an end to this political deadlock. We call on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to RESIGN. If she still insists to lead this country until 2010, we will work for her removal from Malacañang.
To carry on this task, we have organized a gathering for an Interfaith Worship for Truth and Accountability on Friday, the 29th of February, to be held in Rizal Park, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS: Assumption College of Davao, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-SMR, Center for Overseas Workers' Development Inc., Promotion of Church Peoples' Response, Religious of the Good Shepherd, Sisters Association in Mindanao, Union of Peoples' Lawyers in Mindanao, United Church of Christ in the Philippines