Citizens’ Congress Finds Arroyo Liable, Urges Her to Vacate Presidency

May. 10, 2006

The Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA), which investigated the alleged crimes committed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has come out with its findings.

In a statement released today, the CCTA said that after five months of careful review and consideration of the evidence presented, it found Arroyo responsible and liable for human rights violation, graft and corruption and the electoral fraud that took place in the 2004 presidential elections.

The CCTA asked Arroyo to immediately vacate the Office of the President so that she can be held accountable for her acts constituting betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, bribery and culpable violation of the Constitution.

The CCTA was formed by various groups and individuals after the efforts to impeach Arroyo failed.

The CCTA found that:

Arroyo deliberately cheated her way to the Presidency in 2004, and that there is strong basis to conclude that the Presidents and Vice Presidents convincing victories in the provinces of Cebu, Pampanga, Iloilo and Bohol were the result of manufactured or tampered election returns.

She is liable for the widespread and systematic campaign of summary executions, abductions, acts of political persecution and other human rights abuses since she assumed power in 2001. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, her actions , and omissions, have encouraged such atrocities and promoted impunity for human rights violators.

That the Office of the President grossly violated the countrys anti-graft laws, particularly in the diversion of public funds for her election campaign and in at least two transactions involving the Venable LLp. contract and the North Rail Project.

That the allegation of crimes committed by the President and challenges to her mandate and legitimacy were met with the twin acts of cover-up and state repression.

Below is the rest of the CCTAs statement:

On the issue of electoral fraud, the CCTA noted in its report that the plan to commit electoral fraud, meticulous and systematic, was locked in place with the appointment of Virgilio Garcillano to the highest level of the very constitutional body paid by the Filipino people to safeguard their sacred choice of national leaders.

The fact-finding body also estimated that around P7.3 bilyon worth of public funds were allocated for election-related government programs in the months prior to the 2004 elections, the largest of which included funds for the Ginintuang Masagana Ani (GMA) program worth P728 M and Department of Agricultures (DA) fund for agricultural inputs (P1.1 B), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Kalsada Natin, Linisin Natin program worth P1.6 B, PhilHealths and PCSOs Greater Medicare Access (GMA) program worth P3 billion, and various campaign-related expenses shouldered by PAGCOR estimated at P687 M.

The CCTA also revived the issue of the Hello Garci tapes, saying that based on documentary and testimonial evidencethe Hello-Garci tapes are authentic and reveal the means and methods by which electoral fraud was committed in the 2004 elections.

The CCTA also took note of the Presidents attempts to cover up the controversy surrounding the said charges against her, citing the Arroyo administrations recent attempts to fast-track Constitutional Change as turning out to be the grandest cover-up of them all, intended to consolidate her political power, marginalize the opposition and sweep aside all the issues and concerns raised against her.

The body recommended as follows:

1. That Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo immediately vacate the Office of the President so that she can be held accountable for her acts constituting betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, bribery and culpable violation of the Constitution.

2. To work for the creation of an official process that will pave the way for genuine truth-seeking and determination of culpability of other officials involved in electoral fraud, graft and corruption, and human rights violations. The successor government will be urged to investigate and prosecute those who are involved in these acts.

3. To work for the pursuit and filing by entities and agencies concerned of all necessary actions constitutional, criminal, civil and administrative in the proper bodies, courts and agencies that the evidence may be capable of supporting and accordingly, in the event of liability and/or conviction, the imposition of all consequent penalties, damages, and sanctions that are commanded by any and all laws that may have been violated.

4. To issue a statement urging the international community to withdraw aid and recognition from the Arroyo government;

5. To file a case against the Arroyo government in the United Nations human rights mechanisms for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

6. To call for the amendment of all laws necessary to reflect the fundamental democratic precept of peoples rights and sovereignty including reforms in electoral laws and institutions, reforms in the criminal justice system towards the elimination of impunity, and enhancing peoples participation in governance.

7. To campaign against the current move to revise the Constitution as this will cover-up and set aside the very issues raised in the CCTA against Pres. Arroyo and hinder the reforms recommended by the CCTA.

8. To conduct other actions and activities in pursuit of the objectives of the CCTA and to work for the realization of its recommendations.

The Citizens Congress was organized in October of 2005 in order to conduct fair and objective fact-finding proceedings and public hearings on the issues and concerns affecting Electoral Fraud, Graft and Corruption and other actions involving Human Rights Violations.

In pursuit of its mandate, the CCTA opened its session on November 8, 2005 and held five public hearings, heard the testimonies of 22 witnesses and pored over voluminous documents gathered from various credible and verifiable sources, including official documents from congressional investigations, hundreds of election returns and studies conducted by experts, to unearth the truth regarding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos accountability. The CCTA will disseminate its report nationwide.

Download the full CCTA report here and an executive summary here.

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