Akbayan solons call on Arroyo to save Congress the shame, go on leave

Hours before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), Akbayan Party announced its plans to file plunder charges against the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In a press conference at Congress, Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao, joined by former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, declared that “success of the tuwid na landas will partially be characterized with the former administration being made accountable to all its crimes.”

“The straight path is already here. Now is the time to provide details of its horizon.”

This was the statement conveyed today by Akbayan party to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, hours before he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday.

In a statement, Akbayan Party Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros said now is the time for the Aquino government to unveil its comprehensive political and economic vision of a better Philippines.

Akbayan Party is one with the World in strongly condemning the recent attacks on innocent civilians in Norway. We express our grief as well and extend our condolences to the families and friends of those killed. It must be made clear that such atrocities are actions of cowards who can only express violence against those who cannot fight back. Such barbaric acts have no place in a democratic and peaceful society. This is plain and simple terror.

As a progressive party, we cannot help but feel a sense of shared pain with our comrades in the Labour Party of Norway. It seems that those who oppose the principles we stand for have now chosen to use violence to express themselves. Let it be made clear, justice will reach those who committed such atrocities. They will have their day in court. We understand that the Norwegian government is doing its best to bring the perpetrator to justice and be made accountable.

Akbayan Youth is one with the World in strongly condemning the cowardly and barbaric act committed against the innocent civilians in Oslo and in Utoeya Island. Today is a black day for Filipinos as well. The recent bombing in Oslo and massacre in Utoeya exposes the reality that terrorism exists in all colors and stripes. Reports by media have placed the casualties at around 87 dead and many more injured.

Collective Statement of the Peace and Sovereignty Mission to Kalayaan Islands

Yesterday we made history by being the first civilian mission to the Kalayaan Island Group; we were flown in by civilian planes, and the mission was led by civilian authority. This is a step forward in our claim for sovereignty – for the longest time, our expression of sovereignty was mainly military occupation; even the small civilian community in Pag-asa Island is largely dependent on our military presence.

It is precisely for this reason that the Chinese vehemently opposed the mission – a civilian authority leading a delegation of civilians to the island means the eventual development of a critical mass of civilians on the island. Today, the nine Philippine-occupied islands in the Spratlys are indisputably Philippine territory, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of thew Seas.  But as the Filipino civilian community in Pag-asa Island becomes more developed; the fact that it is Philippine territory becomes increasingly incontestable.