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Tito Guingona’s Open Letter To Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (UPDATED)

July 23, 2009

GMA TG MONTAGE

Former vice president Teofisto ‘Tito’ Guingona, Jr. has written Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo an ‘open letter’ urging her to answer 6 “vital questions” about her nearly 9-year-long hold on power.

Guingona, a staunch nationalist, pointed out how claims Mrs. Arroyo made in her past State Of the Nation Addresses “seem contrary to reality.”

The former vice president, who had also served as Secretary of Justice and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, cited  President Arroyo’s inability to deliver on her promises to fight poverty and joblessness which he said has resulting in millions more Filipinos going hungry.

Guingona also decried how “the irony that some Filipinos, in desperation, have to go to a war-torn country like Afghanistan because they cannot find gainful employment in our own land,” citing the death of 10 OFWs in a helicopter crash in Kandahar.

The former vice president’s 5-page open letter comes 4 days before what is supposed to be Mrs. Arroyo’s final State Of the Nation Address.

Mr. Guingona is releasing his Open Letter during a news conference this morning at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan City:

Here is the Open Letter:

JULY 23, 2009

OPEN LETTER
I ASK – THE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW !

PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO
MALACANANG, MANILA

MRS. PRESIDENT,

ON MONDAY, JULY 27 YOU DELIVER YOUR STATE OF THE NATION MESSAGE TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE.
BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR VALEDICTORY TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE NATION – PERMIT ME TO ASK SOME VITAL QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO THE PERIOD OF GOVERNANCE SINCE YOU ASSUMED THE PRESIDENCY OF THE LAND.
1.)  WE ALREADY HAVE A DEFICIT OF 154 BILLION PESOS FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THIS YEAR….
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO COVER THIS? WILL YOU BORROW OR IMPOSE NEW TAXES?
2.) THERE ARE OFWS WHO URGENTLY NEED TO BE REPATRIATED FROM THE MIDDLE EAST.
THERE EXISTS 2.7 BILLION PESOS WHICH THE PCGG HAS REPORTEDLY TURNED OVER TO THE PRESIDENT’S SOCIAL FUND COMING FROM THE MERALCO DIVIDENDS.
THE REPATRIATION WILL ONLY COST THREE MILLION PESOS.
WHY CAN YOU NOT BRING THEM HOME?
YOU CLAIM TO BE CREATING JOBS HERE, AND YET YOU ARE MARKETING OUR PEOPLE TO WORK OVERSEAS.
ISN’T THIS A POLICY IN CONTRADICTION?
AND EVERYDAY…YOU ARE SENDING THREE THOUSAND OF OUR CITIZENS ABROAD TO TOIL THERE, JUST TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES.
SEVERAL DAYS AGO, TEN FILIPINOS DIED IN A HELICOPTER CRASH IN AFHGANISTAN…
DOES NOT THAT TRAGEDY SHOW THE IRONY THAT SOME FILIPINOS, IN DESPERATION, HAVE TO GO TO A WAR-TORN COUNTRY LIKE AFGHANISTAN BECAUSE THEY CANNOT FIND GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT IN OUR OWN LAND?

3.) IN THE NATIONAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2009 THERE EXISTS AN ALLOCATION OF 1.2 BILLION PESOS FOR TWO PRESIDENTIAL HELICOPTERS…
YET LAST YEAR, YOU REFUSED TO RELEASE 400 MILLION PESOS FOR AN ANTI-TUBERCULOSIS PROGRAM; A KILLER DISEASE THAT IS RETURNING WITH A VENGEANCE AND IS EXTREMELY DRUG-RESISTANT.
IS THIS AN EQUITABLE WAY TO DISBURSE PUBLIC FUNDS?
4.) IN 2006, YOU ALLOWED PNOC TO ENTER INTO A JOINT VENTURE TO CONDUCT SEISMIC STUDIES WITHIN THE 200-MILE EXCLUSIVE MARITIME ECONOMIC ZONE.
MAY WE KNOW THE RESULTS OF THAT VITAL BUT SECRETIVE AGREEMENT?
IN THE MEANTIME, NOTHING SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN DONE WITHIN THAT ZONE TO BENEFIT THE NATION.
YET THE PEOPLE’S NEED FOR FISH AND OTHER AQUATIC RESOURCES REMAINS UNFULFILLED.
SHOULD GOVERNMENT NOT THEREFORE GALVANIZE CAPITAL AND TECHNOLOGY TO HELP DOMESTIC FIRMS AND FILIPINO FISHERMEN TO DEVELOP MARINE RESOURCES WITHIN THAT VITAL ZONE FOR THE GOOD OF GENERATIONS TO COME?

5.) IN 2007, YOU PROMISED ONE MILLION JOBS EVERY YEAR…
AND YET, OUR UNEMPLOYED SOARED TO 2.9 MILLION IN APRIL 2008, AND THE UNDER-EMPLOYED TO 6.6 MILLION.
WHERE ARE THE JOBS PROMISED?
WHY ARE THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE UNDER-EMPLOYED INCREASING IN NUMBERS?

6.) IN YOUR SONA OF 2006, YOU SAID  “HINDI AKO HIHINTO HANGGANG MAGTAGUMPAY ANG ATING LABAN SA KAHIRAPAN…”
YET YOUR RHETORIC SEEMS CONTRARY TO REALITY BECAUSE THE HUNGRY HAVE INCREASED FROM 24 MILLION TO 28 MILLION.

WHY ARE OUR PEOPLE GOING HUNGRY?

WHY IS GOVERNMENT NOT ABLE TO FEED OUR PEOPLE AND BE SELF-SUFFICIENT IN RICE?
NASAAN ANG PAGKAIN SA BAWAT LAMESA?

YOU SAY THAT OUR ECONOMY HAS BEEN GROWING…
AND YET OVER THE PAST 29 QUARTERS….IT IS POVERTY THAT IS GROWING.
WE NOW HAVE AT LEAST 28 MILLION POOR PEOPLE WITH ABOUT TWO MILLION OF THEM WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO BUY THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF FOOD NEEDED FOR SURVIVAL.

NASAAN ANG PAGKAIN SA BAWAT LAMESA?
WHERE IS THE ECONOMIC GROWTH YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
SINO ANG NAKARARAMDAM?

TITO GUINGONA, JR.

Postscript:

Herre’s how the Inquirer is recapping former VP Guingona’s call to Mrs. Arroyo:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/topstories/topstories/view/20090723-216825/Ex-VP-asks-Arroyo-vital-questions

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090724-216945/Ex-VP-wants-Arroyo-to-tell-the-real-score

ABS-CBN’ s recap of the event:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/07/23/09/guingona-twits-arroyo-i-ask

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lui Salgado permalink
    July 23, 2009 7:53 am

    Wow… This is something.

    On a serious thought, a lot of Filipinos have been passive to what’s happening in the country. Tito Guingona’s last question, “Sino ang nakararamdam?”, suffice to say, everybody does. Anyone in his right mind can see what’s going on in our country but just chose to do what they can for their own families. Never minding what the government is doing that’s clearly affecting their lives, they just move on and do what they can to survive.

    OFWs and other Filipinos who preferred to live and be a resident abroad decided to do so because opportunities are more open in other countries. There is truth in what Tito Guingona said. Our government cannot provide for their own people, hence the increase of poverty and jobless Filipinos…. Read More

    It’s really sad knowing how a country as beautiful as ours has come to this point. Our people deserve better.

    • July 23, 2009 8:00 am

      Yes, indeed, Ms. Lui.
      That’s why 2010 should offer us a genuine alternative… for someone with vision and integrity.

      otherwise the opportunity for positive national transformation will pass us by.

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