Statement of Health Alliance for Democracy on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) 2009
The signs and symptoms exhibited by the government of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo over the last eight years are consistent with the moribund condition of multiple organ failure. Thus, the regime is no longer fit to rule.
This is the diagnosis made by leaders of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), together with Health Action for Human Rights, Community Medicine Development Foundation, Council for Health and Development, Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), Health Students Action, and the Solidarity of the Health Sector against Arroyo’s Charter Change (SHACC) as they joined forces in preparation for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Mrs. Arroyo.
For HEAD, the Arroyo regime is afflicted by a condition that is both chronic and systemic. It is not fit to rule and should not be perpetuated by Charter change, martial rule, or any other means.
The SONA that will be delivered by Mrs. Arroyo on Monday will not reflect the festering condition that has worsened the lives of Filipinos ever since she came to power. The diagnosis made by HEAD is based on the following:
Cardiac Disease. Mrs. Arroyo has been apathetic to the plight of the Filipino patient. She has abandoned her responsibilities to them and instead pushed hard for the privatization of healthcare, turning health into a business venture and a privilege enjoyed only by the moneyed. Her neglect is truly “heartless”.
Poor Vision and Hearing. Mrs. Arroyo has remained blind to the deteriorating conditions of the Filipino people, who bear the burden of unemployment, displacement, rising costs of basic commodities and utilities, and lack of basic social services. She has also been deaf to the pleas of health workers and health professionals, whose wages and benefits have either been denied or reduced by policies like the Salary Standardization 3 and Executive Order 366.
Mental Disorder. The paranoia of the Arroyo administration has caused it to believe in “enemies” and “destabilizers” everywhere. It has used its delusions and hallucinations to persecute the innocent and commit the most atrocious human rights violations. Over 1013 victims of extra-judicial killings and 202 desaparecidos are still crying out for justice. Yet Mrs. Arroyo remains relentless in her attempts to curtail basic freedoms and civil liberties.
Orthopedic/Spinal Disorder. The subservience of the Arroyo regime to the United States of America and other imperialist countries is nothing but “spineless”. The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US has exemplified how Filipino rights have been subordinated. Mrs. Arroyo has willingly surrendered the nation’s sovereignty to foreign interests.
Gastro-Intestinal and Endocrine Disorders. The kickbacks, commissions, bribes, and plunder that have characterized the Arroyo regime stems from its insatiable greed. Yet it hungers for more. Despite vehement denials, Mrs. Arroyo’s lust for power is the motive force behind the push for Charter change, even as the threat of martial rule looms over the nation.
Thus, the final diagnosis of HEAD: the US-Arroyo regime has multiple organ failure and is not fit to rule.
HEAD prescribes an end to Charter change and an end to the Arroyo administration as immediate remedies, even as it vowed to continue with the struggle for social change. The group will be joining the People’s SONA led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Monday.
Eight years of Mrs. Arroyo is enough! The health sector is one with the Filipino people in its desire to put an end to this regime.