MRS ARROYO NOT ABOVE PUBLIC SCRUTINY

PRESS RELEASE
11 SEPTEMBER 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

MRS ARROYO NOT ABOVE PUBLIC SCRUTINY ; PUBLIC LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES WHO ARE HER “DIRECT OPPOSITE”- BINAY

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today said Malacanang is being overly sensitive in appealing to the opposition to spare Mrs. Arroyo from criticism, adding that she is a public official whose conduct and performance is subject to public scrutiny.

“There is nothing personal in the opposition’s statements against Mrs. Arroyo. Malacanang should not be overly sensitive about this because they should remember that public officials should always be accountable for their performance and conduct in office,” he said.

“Mrs. Arroyo is no exception. Malacanang should not consider her as someone who is above public scrutiny,” he added.

Binay said Mrs. Arroyo’s track record would be a central issue in the 2010 election.

“When we talk of Mrs. Arroyo’s track record, we talk about the fact that the number of poor and hungry Filipinos increased during her eight years in power. And during those years, government resources have been used injudiciously, human rights violations increased exponentially, and ranking government officials, including Mrs. Arroyo herself, have been linked to numerous scandals,” he said.

“The public would definitely view the candidates for the 2010 election with Mrs. Arroyo’s track record as their point of reference. They are surely looking for national leaders who are the direct opposite of Mrs. Arroyo,” he said.

A Malacañang official on Thursday asked opposition presidential candidates to spare Mrs. Arroyo –whom they referred to as the “Little Lady” – from criticism, claiming the “negative” statements are only intended to boost their ratings.

But Binay said the statement reflects a partiality to the “controlled environment” of martial law.

“Malacanang seems to yearn for those days when there was very little opposition and the media reported only the good and the beautiful. We’ve gone through that during the martial law period,” Binay said.

“Again, Malacanang is showing its preference for the controlled environment of martial law instead of the accountability and the free exchange of ideas under a democratic system,” he said.

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