“Such intolerance for dissenting views is totally unacceptable coming from the Spokesperson of the President of a putatively democratic republic.” – ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has hit the Makabayan bloc, saying: “Wala kaming pakialam sa sinasabi ng Makabayan bloc. Wala silang ginawa kundi i-criticize ang government…”
In so doing, he revealed much about his attitude and that of the president he is speaking for, according to a statement of ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio. “As a member of the Makabayan coalition of progressive partylist groups, I strongly condemn the arrogant and disparaging remarks uttered by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda against the Makabayan bloc,” Tinio said.
For the teachers’ representative, Lacierda’s statement reveals the utter disrespect of the Office of the President not just for the seven legislators who make up Makabayan, but for the millions of poor, marginalized, and underrepresented Filipinos who voted for them in the recent elections and who have been voting for them since progressives first participated in partylist elections in 2001.
Lacierda’s “sweeping dismissal of the views expressed by the Makabayan representatives reveals the contempt the Palace holds for the genuine interest of millions of workers, peasants, women, professionals, youth, and other marginalized sectors to whom we strive to give a voice in Congress,” Tinio said.
Such intolerance for dissenting views, said Tinio, is totally unacceptable coming from the Spokesperson of the President of a “putatively democratic republic.” In behalf of the Makabayan bloc’s constituents, Tinio demanded an apology from Mr. Lacierda. He said he would expect to hear it personally from him during the upcoming budget hearings.