May 4, 2009

Press Release
February 1, 2009




At a caucus held at Clark Field, Pampanga on Thursday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said that the merger of political parties Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas) and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) for the 2010 elections “must proceed in earnest and with deliberate speed.



In reaction to this, independent Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan issued a strong statement against politicking during a time of crisis.


“This is the wrong time to talk about politics,” he said. 


“While rest of the world is preparing and acting to face the global economic meltdown, the Arroyo administration is more concerned about ensuring victory in 2010,” Kiko criticized. “While our people are losing their jobs left and right today, Lakas and Kampi are focused on keeping their jobs in 2010 and beyond. It shows an insensitivity to those losing their jobs and to those businesses experiencing serious reverses.”


Kiko reiterated that the government’s first priority should be to provide security to a public that is growing increasingly panicked and desperate. He said, “Public officials should put our people–not themselves–first. Unahin ang paghahanap ng trabaho para kay Juan dela Cruz at hindi ‘yung kani-kanilang mga trabaho bilang mga halal na opisyal (Prioritize looking for jobs for the ordinary Filipino and not worry about their own careers as elected officials).”


To presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio, who was quoted as saying that, through the merger, “(Lakas-Kampi) will be able to put up a single machinery that will hopefully support one set of candidates for the elections in 2010,” Kiko said: “Government should be preparing for the full impact of the worldwide financial crisis, not for election victory in 2010.”



“Government must find ways to cushion the impact of the various emerging crises on our people,” Kiko reiterated. “On this point, the focus and the priorities of government are misplaced.”


Kiko recently called on the president to convene a job summit to help Filipino families cope with the recent spate of job cuts, retrenchments, and multinational shutdowns. However, this proposal has not yet been acted on by Malacañang.