GMA RENEWS WARNING SHE COULD RE-IMPOSE STATE OF EMERGENCY

MANILA
, March 6, 2006 (STAR) (AP) President Gloria Arroyo warned Tuesday that she would not hesitate to use emergency powers again to fight groups seeking her ouster, after imposing a weeklong emergency to quash an alleged coup attempt.

Arroyo said that the conspiracy by left-wing and right-wing groups that the government quelled last week would have destroyed democracy in the country if it had triumphed.

"The laws are there and, as I said when I lifted the state of emergency, I am monitoring events and I will not hesitate to do what needs to be done to uphold the law," Arroyo said in an interview with GMA radio, which was broadcast nationwide.

GMA hits Senate for grandstanding, inaction on urgent legislations 03/07 5:51:30 PM

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lamented Tuesday the inaction of the Senate on the salary increases of government workers, noting how precious time is being wasted by the chamber on investigations.

In a radio interview this morning, the President expressed disappointment that bills vital to the country’s well-being were being relegated to the sidelines as the Senate focuses its attention on politically-motivated investigations.

"Pinupulitika nila lahat ng mga imbestigasyon sa Senado (They are playing politics in these investigations)," she said. "Hindi na tuloy sila nakakapasa ng batas (As a result, they cannot pass laws anymore)."

The President was reacting to the Senate investigations purportedly "in aid of legislation," including the chamber’s report asking her to explain her alleged link to the reported P728 million fertilizer fund scam which she had already ordered investigated by the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC).

She noted that while the PAGC was working without any media fanfare on its investigations, the Senate has been grandstanding and playing politics in its investigation of the alleged fertilizer scam.

"This case is already in the hands of the Ombudsman, I just hope that they will let those accused be given due process," she said.

The President decried that although the salary adjustments of salary workers is an important bill, the Senate has been spending a lot of its time in privilege speeches and politics-driven investigations disguised as "in aid of legislation."

"Ano na ba ang lumabas na batas doon sa mga imbestigasyon na iyon? (What laws have come out of those so-called investigations?)," she asked.

A Manila daily has reported that the Senate passed only four laws from July 2004 to July 2005 and yet spent P1.3 billion during the eight-month period, or at a cost of P300 million per bill.

In her impatience over the Senate’s foot-dragging on the wage increase of government workers, she ordered the Budget department to effect the necessary adjustments administratively.

The allocation, she explained, will come from the employes’ benefits fund.

"This is why I’m happy that despite all these Senate grandstanding, government workers stand to receive their salary adjustments this month retroactive to January this year," she said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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