Protesters in Hongkong call Arroyo "a model of lies"




December 2, 2008




Photos courtesy of Unifil-Migrante Hongkong

Press Release
02 December 2008

For reference: Dolores Balladares
Tel. No.: (852) 97472986

“Not of development or of human rights, GMA is a model of lies”
Protesters in HK lambast “botched” picture of RP state in int’l meet

GMA is a model of lies and the international community gains nothing from her presence but a botched picture of the real impacts of her policies to the Filipino people.

This was declared today by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), as about 50 protesters “greeted” Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with calls for her ouster as she participated in the CGI Asia Meeting as one of the speakers.

“Back home, nobody believes her anymore. Thus she tries to peddle her system of governance that is in truth a model for lies, corruption, fascism, puppetry to foreign powers, fraud, plunder and wanton sale of Filipino migrant workers just so she can continue to hang on to her position. As if by repeatedly saying a lie it will be taken as truth,” she said.

Just recently, according to Balladares, the GMA government promoted the Philippines’ labor export program during the second Global Forum on Migration and Development or GFMD. Now, she said, GMA is trying to project that the Philippines can weather the current financial crisis.

“The only things developing in our country are the problems that GMA brings and they are getting worse. Seven years of political killings, dying economy, criminal neglect of Filipino migrants and billion-peso corruption involving GMA and her families and allies – these and more are the earth-shattering truths where GMA is the epicenter,” she added.

Among the major issues the rallyists, including members of the HK Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP), brought up was the continuing spate of human rights abuses in the country such as the arrest of labor lawyer Remigio Saladero, Jr. and the arrest warrants issued to 72 activists in the Southern Tagalog region for trumped up charges. The tactic of using made up cases to arrest activists, HKCAHRPP said, is a new modus operandi after extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances have been widely condemned.

“The human rights situation has not essentially changed with the biggest criminal, who is GMA herself, still running loose to continue her murderous rule and cover up to the world the crimes she has committed,” Balladares remarked.

Meanwhile on Filipino migrant workers, Balladares decried the policies of GMA that make OFWs more profitable to the government without regard to the condition they are already in. In particular, Balladares’ group hit the recent policies of mandatory psychiatric testing to Filipino domestic workers departing overseas as well as the new standard contract the Philippine government promotes that included union membership as a ground for termination of employment.

The new contract also stipulates that should the OFW cause the termination of contract, then he or she has to shoulder repatriation.

“These decisions came at the heels of GMA’s hosting the GFMD that supposedly talked about the rights of migrants. The real face of GMA’s labor export program is the aggressive sale of cheap, skilled and docile Filipino labor while its already negligible services and protection to overseas Filipinos are scrapped,” she stressed.

Balladares said that they are expecting to have a worse year ahead as she believed that because of the economic crunch, “more policies that will squeeze-dry OFWs are still in the offing.”

The group demanded for GMA to “stop the lies” and face the restive people demanding her ouster.

“GMA’s fantastical projection of a thriving country under her administration are not believable for we, migrant workers and the millions of Filipinos barely surviving from the high prices of basic goods and services, are the living proofs that seven years of GMA are enough to destroy our future,” she relayed.

The protesters called for attending government officials and business leaders in the CGI meeting to question the legitimacy of GMA’s claims and more importantly, “put GMA to task of accounting for the violations of the economic, political, social and cultural rights of the Filipino people.”

“GMA’s campaign to convince the international community of her effective leadership shall fail. Liars go to hell. For GMA, it means ouster and getting tried for her crimes,” Balladares concluded.