Akbayan party spokesperson Risa Hontiveros on Friday  branded Ang Galing Partylist Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo as the “Pinoy Al Capone” whom she said should be brought to his own “Alcatraz." This was after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed a P 73.85 million tax evasion case against Arroyo and his wife Angela in the Department of Justice.

“We welcome this initiative on the part of the government. Kaya maraming naghihirap at nagugutom dahil sa mga taong katulad nina Mikey na nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan sa hindi pagbabayad ng buwis. I hope Mikey “Al Capone” Arroyo’s tax evasion exploits will lead him to his own “Alcatraz,” Hontiveros said.

Per approval of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Mercury Drug Corporation will begin the implementation of the 20% Discount on Medicines for PWDs on May 1, 2011.

According to the Memorandum of Agreement between Mercury Drug Corporation the House of Representatives Committee on Social Services (HRep-CSS) and Akbayan Party signed on March 1, 2011, Mercury Drug Corp. was given one month to prepare for the implementation of the said discount.

Akbayan expressed its sympathies to the families of the three Filipinos charged with drug  smuggling and executed by the Chinese government on Thursday morning.

“Taus-puso kaming nakikiramay sa mga pamilyang naiwan nina Sally Villanueva, Ramon Credo, at Elizabeth Batain,” Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said following the announcement that the execution of the 3 Filipinos had been carried out.

Akbayan supports the democratic opposition in Libya that seeks to end the 43-year-old dictatorship of Muammar Ghadafie.    It cannot, however, support the massive armed intervention launched by the United States, France, and Britain on Sunday, March 20. 

A “No Fly Zone” to protect civilians is one thing.  An armed assault aimed at regime change is another thing altogether.  The latter  is the intent of the US-led intervention, which, although displaying the figleal of a United Nations Security Council resolution, goes far beyond the defensive aims of a no-fly zone to cross over into aggression against Libya.

Firing on ground troops and preemptively and indiscriminately destroying anti-aircraft installations will bring about precisely that loss of life that the intervention ostensibly seeks to prevent.  Civilians are being killed by the western assault when civilians were supposedly the people the action was supposed to protect.

By Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello

The Arab democratic uprisings have brought a rush of nostalgia to many people who staged their own democratic revolutions years earlier.   As they watched events unfold in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Al Jazeera and CNN, that  feeling of “all that is solid melting into thin air,” as Marx would have put it, returned to many of those who went to the barricades during  the original People Power Revolution in the Philippines in 1986.