Sunday, July 22, 2007

SCAP Statement on SONA '07

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines wait in tremendous anticipation of Mrs. Arroyo`s annual report of the State of the Nation, from experience, it has always been besetting.

What has been done?
The previous years have shown that this government can very well tolerate social injustices in different forms. This government like any other post Martial Law regime has incessantly incurred illegitimate debts, which the Filipino people are obliged to pay despite the state's apparent neglect for basic social services like education and heath.

It is from these premises that we can but expect more hostile policies from the GMA administration. We recall the implementation of the 12% Value Added Tax under this regime, the declaration of Presidential Proclamation 1017 and Executive Order 464, all of which were aimed to curtail civil liberties of our people and avert all plausible exaction of accountability from all responsible government officials. This administration is hiding under the thin fibers of democracy, while destroying the very essence of it. The people's right to suffrage has been brutally maligned as cases of electoral fraud since time immemorial has been deserted and forgotten, where new electoral crimes abound. And we also recount the surging extra judicial killings of media men and political activists.

What is still being done?
An Act of State Initiated Terror

Our nation's political crisis undeniably contributes much to our legal crisis as laws are continuously created, or circumvented according to the unholy whims of politicians.

The GMA administration is without doubt resolute in implementing the Anti-terrorism Law despite the contentious points that were raised against it by different blocs in the progressive sector of the

Come July 23, Ms. Arroyo, in her seventh State of the Nation Address will defend this, in all logical assumptions. SCAP perceives a greater political debacle resulting from the government's contemptuous iron clad against undefined terrorism.

The Anti-terror Law is masked under a deceptive front, hypocritically asserting human security whereas in its most fundamental substance is against all conceivable human rights protection. SCAP is aghast by the dismal state of our democracy, where the state, so overtly presents its outward disregard towards its peoples' civil, economic and political rights.

Even Schools Did Not Escape the Attack
SCAP abhors the ill thrusts of Ms. Arroyo to inefficiently quell disputes over her administration. We further condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the campus militarization being enforced by the military to repress and crush militant left groups inside schools as this creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust among the students. Such, is evidently a violation of the rights of the students to organize and their right to be secured within their schools.

An attack on our National Sovereignty and Patrimony
Withstanding all public dissents, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and the multiple RP-China trade investment deals, were victoriously pushed by GMA as threats to our national sovereignty and patrimony.

The aforesaid trade agreements only do so much than to marginalize further our very own people, estrange us from our very own lands, while foreign powers abuse and rip our natural resources with our government's full consent.

What we have is an economy that is perennially at the mercy of foreign nations, and the Filipino people being incredulously indebted to them because of our State's unfounded submission to first world economies and international creditors. Such is a gross misconduct as a matter of national policy; SCAP firmly reiterates the importance of focusing on feasible and sustainable economic programs for our national development instead of faithfully paying and acquiring onerous and illegitimate debts from foreign creditors.

Education Sector Continues to be Mocked and Neglected
GMA claims that a higher quality of education will be her administration' s legacy to the Filipino people. On the other hand, our sector denounces and condemns such mockery of our miserable state. The education sector has not felt any reform in its field but only a series of unabated tuition hikes in Higher Learning Institutions, reduced state subsidy in State Universities and Colleges, and consistent insufficient budget allotment for the whole education system.

In a span of three years, the out of school youth has increased to 14.6 million in number. And accessibility to education remains to be very difficult. And this is what GMA calls as her legacy.

We quote GMA's speech in the recently concluded three-day League of Corporate Foundations expo, "Our administration has spent more on human capital formation than any other in the past. Why? Because if the government of the people and by the people is not for them as well, it is a mockery of democracy,"

We are insulted. Although Ms. Arroyo proudly speaks as if her administration indeed championed a systematic education reform agenda, we maintain to be adamant. We shall await the government's actions to resolve education issues. We never fail to put pressure on issues that deserve to be addressed.

This is what GMA's SONA supposed to report. This is what we are supposed to resolve as a nation. Ms. Arroyo said it herself and we reiterate: "Because if the government of the people and by the people is not for them as well, it is a mockery of democracy."

Our democracy is indeed mocked, and attacked, in all thinkable aspects.

Repeal Anti-Terrorism Law!
Stop Campus Militarization!
Defend Our National Sovereignty and Patrimony!
Nullify JPEPA and RP-CHINA Trade Deals!
Augment Education and Other Social Services Budget!
Repudiate Illegitimate Debts!
Push for Congressional and People's Debt Audit!

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