Wednesday, July 30, 2008


PEOPLES' State Of the Nation (SONA) SPEECH

By: Rep. Satur C. Ocampo, Bayan Muna Party

In her seventh SONA last year, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo boasted that the Philippine economy had never performed better than under her watch. She claimed that over seven years the gross domestic product (GDP) had consistently improved, and that the Philippines was on the verge of take off to becoming an industrialized country. She then tried to regale Congress and the people with visions of foster growth through her ambitious, unrealistic "growth area" development plans that offer huge chunks of the national territory for exploitation by foreign investors.

Recall that 12 years earlier, then President Fidel V. Ramos had boasted of the same claimed GDP growth, and prospect for the Philippines becoming a "newly industrialized" country or NIC. Recall also that the 1997 Asian financial crisis sent those claims and prospect coming down.

In her eighth SONA today, Gloria M. Arroyo can no longer make the same boast. As it happened in 1997, the severe economic crisis, spiked by the US financial meltdown and soaring prices of oil products and food, has shot down the GDP, with the immediate impact of impoverishing a greater number of Filipino families.

Gloria Arroyo cannot evade blame for this dire state of the nation by pointing to external causes as the culprits. What cannot be denied or hidden by contrived statistics is that the Philippine economy's growth has been gravely stunted. It has remained basically backward, with neither a modern agricultural base nor an industrial backbone to speak of, all because the Arroyo regime, like her predecessors, has adamantly stuck to the anti people neo-liberal globalization prescriptions of the IMF-WB-WTO triad – liberalization, deregulation and privatization.

By her canine devotion to both these multilateral instruments of global capitalist plunder and to the discredited George W. Bush administration, Mrs. Arroyo has deprived the economy and her government of any defensive shield and flexibility to withstand the destructive impacts of the frequently recurring crisis of global capital.

For these failed policies and programs, for her puppetry to the US, and for her betrayal of the national interest, aside from her other crimes against the people --- Gloria M. Arroyo must step down NOW, or else, we the people will bring her regime down, the sooner the better. ##

Ms. Grace Saguinsin
International Officer
Bayan Muna Party List
International Desk
Room 416 Ramon V. Mitra Building
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Philippines 1106


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