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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Business group says Arroyo may be heading toward autocracy.

    First posted 05:46pm (Mla time) Oct 21, 2005
    Associated Press

    ONE of the Philippines' most influential business groups said Friday that recent government policies restricting protests and congressional inquiries show President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may be heading toward authoritarian rule.

    The Makati Business Club, which has joined calls for Arroyo's resignation over allegations she rigged last year's election, issued the statement as police stopped thousands of left-wing protesters from marching near the presidential palace.

    The group expressed concern that the Arroyo government had embarked on policies to "curtail basic freedoms, reduce transparency and accountability" and contemplate the management of some privately owned utilities and businesses.

    "Collectively, they illustrate a pattern of repression, which has detrimental effects on basic freedoms and eventually on an open economy," it said.

    Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye shrugged off the statement.

    "Some elements of the Makati Business Club are beginning to sound like a broken record," he said. "They easily forget that if there is one person who would be most interested in strengthening our economy, it is the President."

    Since her congressional allies defeated an opposition bid to impeach her in September, Arroyo has hit back at opponents, ordering police to strictly implement a "no permit, no rally" policy that has led to several violent dispersals of protesters near the presidential palace in recent weeks.

    She also has barred officials from testifying in Congress without her consent, claiming opposition lawmakers were using the hearings as another platform to attack her administration.

    The business club, which includes many of the country's top businesspeople, said protests were an "expression of frustration" at the government's inability to reduce poverty and corruption. They warned that Filipinos will fight for their rights to peaceful assembly and free speech "regardless of how repressive the regime may be," as shown during resistance to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    It said Arroyo's ban on officials testifying without her permission "reduces transparency and accountability." It also said that a "state of emergency" was being considered by the government, based on statements by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales on possible state action in case rising oil prices threaten the economy.

    Bunye has said Gonzales conducted a "mere academic" study on his own regarding options that are allowed by the constitution in case of an economic crisis.
    Last edited by explorer; October 21st, 2005 at 08:01 PM.

  2. Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by explorer
    Business group says Arroyo may be heading toward autocracy.


    "Collectively, they illustrate a pattern of repression, which has detrimental effects on basic freedoms and eventually on an open economy," it said.
    Do we really have an open economy? Oligarchy most likely with less than 100 families in virtual control of the economy.

    Repression of basic freedom? Unbridled license to insult and destroy one another is what we have here.

  3. Join Date
    Feb 2005
    It's an exaggeration. In the days of Marcos' martial law, rallyists were shot with assault rifles, people disappeared, the media was shut down, and everyone had to be in their houses by 10 pm. Now, people would call being fired upon by a water cannon as 'violent dispersal'.

    People can still call the Presidant "unano" or "pandak" without the fear of being arrested, right? I wouldn't really call that repression.

  4. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    i think the statement does have some merit; what i find strange is from whom the statement came from.

Business group says Arroyo may be heading toward autocracy