IGNACIO  (Toting)  BUNYE:  VIEW  FROM  THE  PALACE  THIS  PAST  WEEK

MANILA, September 25, 2005 (Office of the Press Secretary) by Ignacio Bunye (For the week ending September 25, 2005) All these talks about possible re-imposition of martial rule are plain hogwash. We are a fully functioning democratic state and not a national security state. Security plans only came to the forefront at the height of the destabilization plots intended to oust the President by force, but these threats have abated and we are back on economic stabilization and growth mode.

The President’s detractors should not whip up imagined fears of martial law. While the government exercises perpetual vigilance against threats to national security, the present threat level can be handled by the strong enforcement of the rule of law without need of extraordinary measures.

We have lived through the worst of the political turmoil without resort to such measures because we had faith in the majority of the people who have embraced the rule of law rather than the rule of the mob.

The tough order against unruly mass actions is not meant to quell civil liberties but to put things in proper perspective – that people have the right to protest for as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others to a peaceful and orderly community.

The general public is simply fed up with over demonstrations that disrupt public order, traffic and cause disturbances to jobs and livelihood. The noisy minority can take their fight elsewhere. After all, they have open access to the media and are free to air their sentiments.

As my former law professor was fond of saying, when explaining that even constitutionally-guaranteed rights have their limits: Your fist ends where my nose begins.

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We are disturbed by reports of the National Statistics Office that 23 per cent of poor families are more likely to have children aged 5 to 17 who are working Local governments, the police, the labor department and civil society have been on the trail of child traffickers for sometime now. The government’s policy is to stop trafficking and to create the social and economic conditions that will not force families to lend their children to work for pay.

Socio-economic programs are on track to put an end to poverty in the long run, and to put the children in school and not in the workplace. This is part of the second phase of President Gloria’s reforms to spur investments and jobs.

We have a clear blueprint for economic takeoff that will serve as the gateway for the betterment of our people’s lives, especially by beating poverty and hunger. Our domestic output has never been stronger, remittances of our OFWs are at an all time high, tax collections are making historic headway while business confidence and investments are spurring jobs and entrepreneurship.

The whole government is mobilized to fight poverty and hunger despite the political bickering and squabbling in the environment. The government will not allow itself to be distracted by controversial headlines that do not put food on the table and build a roof over the head of every family. This administration will rule for the people’s welfare and will not be sidetracked from its course.

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