Aquino Should Show Real Resolve in Going After Arroyo

PRESS RELEASE
Dec 8, 2010

It’s still Aquino’s call.

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called on the Aquino administration to show real resolve in going after former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the face of a Supreme Court decision voiding the Truth Commission tasked to investigate the former president.

“At the end of the day, the investigation and prosecution of Arroyo is still up to President Benigno Aquino III, not the Supreme Court. The recent SC decision should not be made an excuse or justification for failing to go after Arroyo and her cohorts for corruption, election fraud and human rights violations,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“That GMA is still scot-free and no serious charges have been filed against her is the Aquino government’s responsibility.It has no one else to blame,” Reyes said.

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Bayan said that the Aquino government should have been aware of the resistance that will be mounted by GMA against moves to make her accountable. This includes the possibility of securing favorable decisions before the high court.

“The Aquino government until now has not made much headway in going after GMA for any of the high crimes attributed to her. The administration appears to have no comprehensive plan and its methods appear haphazard and not well-thought of. It needs to seriously step up and achieve results otherwise it will be an ‘epic fail’ in this regard,” Reyes said.

The group said that Aquino should use a “full-court press” on Arroyo and mobilize government resources to probe the former president and file charges against her.

“A complaint has been filed before the Department of Justice on the NBN-ZTE deal. That can still proceed even without the Truth Commission. The DOJ can also investigate cases of human rights violations involving the previous regime. A special team of prosecutors can be formed to investigate Arroyo and her generals,” Reyes said.

“Aquino allies in the House of Representatives can proceed in hearing the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. The impeachment complaint against the Ombudsman is another arena to make Arroyo accountable by removing from office an obstacle to the investigation of the former president,” Reyes said.

The progressive group also proposed the holding of congressional inquiries that will probe other misdeeds of the previous administration.

“Mr. Aquino’s hands aren’t tied. The question now is if he’ll use them,” Reyes said.

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