29 February 2008
Senator Mar Roxas warned President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that her government's continued stonewalling of the truth and obstruction of justice will soon break the nation apart.
The Liberal Party President said the Chief Executive should view today's Makati rally as a fair consequence of her administration's failure to come clean on the ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) controversy.
"Ang hamon ngayon, Ginang Pangulo: ‘truth or consequence.' Huwag maging balakid sa katotohanan, kung hindi, patuloy na aapaw ang galit ng tao sa lansangan," he said.
"In case you haven't noticed, Mrs. President, the people are angry. They are very, very angry. And if you continue to turn a blind eye to this and sing your chorus that everything's above board, then your so-called ‘Strong Republic' will just break apart into 86 million pieces," he added.
The co-chairman of the Joint Senate Committees investigating the NBN deal said the President must act to "save the Republic" by facing the situation squarely and by taking concrete steps to reveal the truth. The first step is ordering her officials to appear before the Senate, to submit all documents in relation to the ZTE-NBN deal, to testify and reveal all that needs to be revealed.
Roxas warned the administration that by continuing to be detached from the pent-up feelings of the people, this detachment will return a hundredfold: A nation of people whose anger has transformed into apathy.
"Our country is already broken. Ang tiwala ng ating mga kababayan sa pamahalaan, sa ating mga institusyon, sa ating mag opisyales, ay mababang-mababa na o kaya wala na talaga," he said.
"Ang rally ngayon ay patikim lang ng inis at galit ng taumbayan sa paggapos ng administrasyon sa katotohanan, sa asta nilang sila lamang ang may monopolyo sa bayan. The administration's disastrous stance will lead the people to their wit's end, to do what they can do to escape a country which they couldn't call their own anymore," he said.
(Copy of Executive Order No. 464, a controversial executive order issued in the Philippines on September 26, 2005 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that prevents cabinet members, police and military generals, senior national security officials, and "such other officers as may be determined by the President" to attend senate and/or congressional hearings unless the President gives permission to those who will attend the said proceedings.)
He urged the administration to stop its defensive chorus and take the following steps to help put closure to the ZTE mess: Revoke Executive Order 464; order officials to attend the inquiries into the deal not only by the Senate, but also the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice; order them to submit to the Senate all documents of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) relative to the decision-making process on the NBN; and suspend those who do not follow.