11 solons to skip SONA, join protests- INQ7.net

11 solons to skip Sona, join protests
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:40:00 07/27/2009

Filed Under: State of the Nation Address (SONA), Politics

MANILA, Philippines — Ten partylist lawmakers and one member of the Liberal Party will not be seen in the session hall of the House of Representatives when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivers her State of the Nation Address (Sona) Monday afternoon.

Quezon province Representative Lorenzo Tañada III of the LP said he would join other party members led by Senator Manuel Roxas II in boycotting the Sona to join protesters in the streets who have said that the President would just be lying in her ninth report to the nation.

Akbayan party list Representatives Risa Hontiveros and Walden Bello walked out of the chamber earlier to also join the rally.

Eight militant party list lawmakers also left the chamber simultaneously to listen to the “true Sona” of the people in the streets. They are Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna; Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan of Gabriela; Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod of Anakppawis; and Raymond Palatino of Kabataan.

The lawmakers are also protesting moves by Arroyo’s allies in the House to push for the convening of the constituent assembly even without the Senate participation to amend the Constitution.

Maza said she would not participate “in weaving Con-Ass (constituent assembly) or listening to her windbags of deception.”

“The real state of the nation, with most Filipinos suffering from poverty, will never be discussed within the red carpet hallways of Batasan nor it will be exemplified by Arroyo’s own list of so-called achievements and legacy,” Maza said in a statement.

Mariano said that instead of pushing for charter change, “what the people wants to hear from Mrs. Arroyo is her exit plan.”

“Mrs. Arroyo’s litany of lies will not erase the truth – that poverty, hunger, and social injustice prevails in the country,” Maglunsod said.

Hontiveros said there was no point in listening to “lies, fabricated accomplishments, and charter change.”

Tañada said that amid Arroyo’s boasting of economic progress, real growth “has not trickled down in the worsening hunger that our people have been experiencing.”

Citing a Social Weather Stations survey, Tañada said the 20.3-percent rate of involuntary hunger was disturbing.

Tañada said Arroyo did not also pass the “human rights test” with the hundred of extrajudicial killing cases, involuntary disappearances, and torture, and abduction under her watch. He also said that the President did not certify as urgent the bill on human rights despite recommendations from various groups.

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