An anti-Arroyo protester in Manila, where activists and politicians opposed to the President’s rule are holding daily protests.
COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 15, 2008) – North Cotabato province in southern Philippines passed a strongly-worded resolution urging Filipino leader Gloria Arroyo to focus attention on the National Broad Band project controversy, which local legislators said is now eroding public trust on her government.
“It’s not enough for Malacañang to say that it’s alright because the project has been aborted and the Filipinos did not lose anything at all. The President should fire all of her people implicated in the mess,” said Vice Gov. Emanuel Piñol, also the presiding chairman of the North Cotabato Provincial Board Council.
Piñol, a member of the administration’s Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party, said they passed the resolution to set the pace for reactions by local officials in Mindanao on the controversy and prod Malacañang to do something more serious other than just canceling the controversial NBN deal with Chinese firm, ZTE.]
Piñol said several board members even wanted the resolution to also call on Arroyo to file her leave of absence and allow a deeper investigation on the NBN controversy.
“We want her to fire all of the people around her that were implicated in the controversy to prevent the public from losing whatever remaining trust they have in the government. If the people will lose trust and respect for government, we shall have a failed state,” Piñol said.
Piñol said in North Cotabato alone, residents believe in the veracity of the testimonies of NBN scam witness Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., on the allegedly overpriced $329-million national broadband network project. “And for people in North Cotabato, all of the people around the President are lying about the issue,” Piñol said.
In Manila, militant groups and political activists were calling for Arroyo’s resignation because of the scandal. (Jerick Wee)