MANILA, AUGUST 18, 2008 (STAR) Malacañang criticized yesterday the call of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to join forces with his organization in the campaign against the Arroyo administration.

Deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez, in an interview over dzRB, said the call of Sison was against the aspirations of all Filipinos for a peaceful and progressive nation.

He said that peace and prosperity for the country is a shared responsibility for all Filipinos.

Golez emphasized that all sectors must unite for this cause and not engage in actions that would accomplish the opposite.

According to Golez, such calls by Sison would only serve to sacrifice the nation and the dreams of every Filipino for a progressive Philippines.

Last Friday, the exiled Sison issued a statement on the Kilusan website calling for an alliance with the MILF following the snag in the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government and the MILF.

Sison said the government was tricking the MILF in the MOA-AD, which he said was not meant to fulfill their aspirations but rather the selfish interests of the administration.

“There is a heightened need for the unity, cooperation of the MILF and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in their distinct and common concerns and causes against the same adversaries,” Sison said.

He said the Arroyo administration made a pretense at generosity when it offered the MILF an agreement on ancestral domain, only to claim later on it will need amendments to the Constitution.

“(It) is full of malice. It is calculated to outwit and outflank the MILF and the Bangsamoro and to facilitate frontal military attacks against them. They are being left no choice but to wage revolutionary struggle in order to advance their cause of national self-determination,” Sison said.

He added that the MOA-AD was too “contrary” to the greedy and brutal character of the government.

He said it was almost predictable that the signing of the MOA would be aborted, adding the public release of the draft only a few days before the signing was meant to stir up controversy.

“The patriotic and progressive forces and the people are reasonably concerned that the MOA had been devised by the untrustworthy and sneaky Arroyo as a way for pushing Charter change to allow her to stay in power beyond 2010, without really having to give substantial concessions to the MILF,” he said.

Sison said that with the MOA signing aborted, it is now questionable if the agreement is still useful to the major parties directly involved in drafting or facilitating it.

“The MILF can continue to use the MOA as a standard or minimum basis for negotiating with the GRP. The GRP or the Arroyo regime can also use the same thing for putting off serious formal negotiations with the MILF and for hyping the need for Charter change,” Sison said. – Marvin Sy

GMA doing well after upset stomach By Marvin Sy Sunday, August 17, 2008

After being sidelined for several days due to a reported upset stomach, President Arroyo has apparently resumed her normal schedule with a trip back to her home province.

Interviewed over state-run dzRB, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the President is “well and healthy today” after suffering from what Malacañang officials said was an upset stomach.

Golez said he was able to talk to the President yesterday morning and was told that she was attending a fiesta somewhere in Pampanga.

“She is attending a fiesta in Pampanga to celebrate with some of the communities there. She is well and healthy today,” Golez said in Filipino.

The usually hectic schedule of the President was conspicuously light this week and she was mostly seen only at appointments inside the Palace grounds, including the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday.

During the arrival honors for visiting Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah last Friday, it was Vice President Noli de Castro who took the place of the President during the ceremony.

Reporters noticed that the President’s personal physician, Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, was at the Palace grounds, prompting speculation that Mrs. Arroyo was ill.

The President was seen later in the evening at the signing ceremony for three agreements aimed at enhancing trade and bilateral relations between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Golez, a doctor, said that what the President experienced was something that every person normally experiences, just like flu and fever.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved