Bayan: P10-M budget to showcase Arroyo ‘achievements’ a waste of funds

News Release
June 9, 2010

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today said the P10-million budget allocation for the government’s celebration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s nine-year legacy as president will only amount to a big waste of public funds.

To serve as the program’s highlight is a parade of 10 floats representing the supposed accomplishments in Arroyo’s 10-point agenda. There will be a float each for budget reform, education for all, automation of elections, transportation and digital infrastructure, termination of hostilities with the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), healing the wounds of the three Edsa uprisings, electricity and water for all, opportunities for livelihood and the creation of 10 million jobs, decongestion of Metro Manila, and the development of Subic and Clark.

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“That P10 million are to be spent on a celebration showcasing achievements that were never achieved is an outrage, especially at a time when more and more Filipino families are struggling to simply make ends meet,” said Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. “This is kind of immoral and unnecessary spending comes amid worsening poverty.”

Reyes took issue with Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar’s statement to media that there was nothing wrong with Arroyo celebrating her accomplishments in her nine years as Malacañang’s occupant.

“Since the President is stepping down after nine years, I don’t know if we would still take away from her the opportunity to communicate, even just a little bit, what she has done the past nine years,” Olivar had said in a press conference yesterday.

“Everything is wrong with the celebration,” Reyes said. “It is a crime to spend a fortune on a celebration that will give Mrs. Arroyo the opportunity to boast of non-existent feats, a celebration that will not change Mrs. Arroyo’s status in history as the most reviled Malacañang occupant after Ferdinand Marcos. The floats, pomp and glamour that government will be mounting on June 12 will not change the people’s perception of the President, nor will it erase her dismal record for the last nine years.”

“Gloria should just go and not spend anymore of the people’s money for wasteful things. The parade of floats will not change the fact that Mrs. Arroyo’s nine-year rule was marked by widespread human rights violations, massive corruption, worsening poverty and hunger and joblessness, and the big-time sell-out of sovereignty and patrimony,” Reyes added.

Bayan will be spearheading a protest action on June 12 to highlight the failures of the outgoing Arroyo regime and to demand “pro-people reforms” from the incoming Aquino administration. The groups will march to the US embassy and to Mendiola and will carry their own makeshift “floats” on the crimes of Arroyo. (

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