Press Release
August 26, 2006


The loud and showy filing of a petition for the so-called peoples initiative last Friday is nothing more than a bullying tactic of Malacañang to show its muscle over the countrys democratic institutions.

Worse, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Saturday that all these efforts to show power and influence are at the expense of the Filipino taxpayer, whose taxes are funding the programs, advertisements and motorcades that led to Fridays event.

Unfortunately for the Filipino taxpayer, he is the one footing the bill for all the efforts since the day it was launched. We may not know immediately how much it has cost us, Lacson said.

Lacson pointed out the filing by the Sigaw ng Bayan and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) was already defying a Supreme Court ruling disallowing such petitions for lack of an enabling law.

He said it was very clear that the high courts ruling was a legal obstacle that definitely stood in the way of Sigaw ng Bayan and its main backer and financier, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Yet, he said Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP even held a brief program in Manila before heading for Commission on Elections (Comelec) headquarters to file their petition. Many students in the program admitted they were there because their attendance would be checked.

We can only hope it will not reach P728 million in the pretext of fertilizer assistance to farmers or P530 million in the form of PhilHealth cards, or billions of pesos in road users tax, or whatever projects the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) could spend on, Lacson said.

However, Lacson said that despite the efforts by Malacañang and its allies to twist the countrys institutions, elections next year will still proceed, and Malacañang s allies who took part in Fridays bullying will likely pay the price.

Elections next year will proceed in spite of the massive resources poured by Malacañang into its so-called legion to perpetrate its final deceitful act of filing such petition with the Comelec, he said.

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