Sunday, April 29, 2007


Both Art. VI, Sec. 5 of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7941 expressly reserve the party-list system for marginalized and underrepresented groups. The Supreme Court, in one of its landmark decisions, brought the matter further by explicitly barring groups linked to or supported by the government from participating in the party-list system.



Should it be proven that Malacañang disbursed funds in support of pro-administration party-list groups, it could constitute an impeachable offense on the part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Both Art. VI, Sec. 5 of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7941 expressly reserve the party-list system for marginalized and underrepresented groups. The Supreme Court, in one of its landmark decisions, brought the matter further by explicitly barring groups linked to or supported by the government from participating in the party-list system.

In its decision on the 2001 case Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections, et al, the Supreme Court issued eight guidelines for screening party-list participants. The fifth guideline states thus:

x x x (The) party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government. By the very nature of the party-list system, the party or organization must be a group of citizens, organized by citizens and operated by citizens. It must be independent of the government. The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal and unfair to other parties, but also deleterious to the objective of the law: to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives.

The issue of government-backed party-list groups participating in the elections was recently brought to the fore when militant organizations and party-list groups including Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) and Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) exposed a memorandum to the Office of the President from the Special Concerns Group of the Office of External Affairs (OEA-SCG), which is headed by Assistant Secretary Marcelo Fariñas II.

The memorandum is reported to have been leaked by a disgruntled OEA employee. Fariñas has denied issuing the memorandum.

The memorandum, dated Oct. 16, 2006 and bearing Fariñas' signature, refers to an administration party-list campaign with the following objectives:

“1. Provide full support to several COMELEC accredited (party-list) groups that are ascertained to be pro-administration and ensure the winning of nine (9) to twelve (12) seats in the House of Representatives;

“2. Form a party-list bloc that will support the plans and moves of the administration and help in countering destabilization moves by the opposition as well as left-leaning party-list groups; and

“3. Contribute in the overall campaign to substantially lower the number of votes of leftist and left-leaning party-list organizations, and in the process reduce the number of seats of these anti-administration parties in the House of Representatives.”

The memorandum –- of which Bulatlat received a copy courtesy of Migrante International –- specifically requests for “funding assistance” from the Office of the President's intelligence funds for the pro-administration party-list groups as well as the SCG.

Attached to the two-page memorandum is a “confidential” party-list campaign proposal including a proposed budget of P5.5 million from October to December 2006 ($107,192 based on the year's average exchange rate of $1:P51.31). The campaign proposal identifies the following as the four main party-list organizations to be supported: Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano (Agbiag!), Babae para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka or Women for Development), League of Youth for Peace and Development (LYPAD), and Kalahi Advocates for Overseas Filipinos (Kalahi).

Three of these groups –- Agbiag!, Babae Ka, and Kalahi –- are among 22 party-list organizations recently exposed as “Malacañang and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) fronts” by the broad anti-fraud coalition Kontra Daya, which is led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr. and Fr. Joe Dizon. Agbiag!, Babae Ka, and Kalahi had all also figured in an earlier exposé by the party-list group Akbayan.

Fariñas himself is reported to be secretary-general and one of the nominees of Agbiag! Babae Ka is reportedly a member of Sigaw ng Bayan (People’s Clamor), a pro-administration group that last year spearheaded a campaign to amend the Constitution through "people's initiative" and has Sally Dagami and Ruth Vasquez as its first and second nominees, respectively. Kalahi has as its first nominee Poe Gratela, who claimed to be an activist before he went over to the administration camp in 2004, led in forming the pro-administration migrants' group Kaisang Bayan, and went on to work for the OEA until recently.

“If it is proven that Malacañang disbursed funds in support of those party-list groups, that violates the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” said Judge Cleto Villacorta, a member of the Board of Directors of the policy study institution Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), in an interview with Bulatlat. “That is also an impeachable offense.”

Sec. 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) classifies as a corrupt practice of public officers the act of:

Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage, or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled.

Graft and corrupt practices is one of four impeachable offenses under the Constitution; the others are bribery, betrayal of public trust, and culpable violation of the Constitution.

The formation of these and other party-list groups with dubious connections and funding has been assailed as a move by Mrs. Arroyo to ensure additional votes that will be mobilized to thwart a possible third impeachment against her at the House of Representatives. It has also been denounced as part of government attempts to mangle the constitutional provision that calls for the representation of poor classes and sectors in the legislature and to evict the Left and other progressive groups from Congress. Bulatlat

Thursday, April 26, 2007


A series of massacres of civilians in Sulu, including those of two grandchildren of an MNLF leader, provoked the latest wave of fighting between government troops and the Moro revolutionary group.


Last Feb. 17, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) state chairman Khaid Ajibon sent two grandsons of his on an errand to the market in Indanan, Sulu. Upon their return, soldiers fired at them. One of the children was killed.

Eight days later, Scout Rangers bombarded the MNLF headquarters in Indanan, where Ajibon is based.

On April 25, Scout Rangers massacred a family of 10 in Timpuok, Patikul, Sulu. Only one of the family's members managed to survive.

These incidents are what provoked the latest wave of fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the MNLF, Bangsamoro People’s National Congress (BPNC) chairman Ustadz Zain Jali told Bulatlat in an interview this week.

“Because of these, (MNLF commander) Ustadz Habier Malik has had enough,” Jali said. “He cannot take these anymore.”

At around 6 a.m. on April 14, MNLF forces led by Malik attacked the detachment of the 11th Marine Battalion Landing Team in Tayungan, Panamao, Sulu. The assault left two soldiers dead and eight others wounded.

Before the series of massacres that provoked the latest wave of clashes, Malik and his men had “detained” a group led by Muslim convert Marine Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino in Jolo, Sulu. That was on Feb. 2-4.

Dolorfino, who also uses the name Ben Muhammad, went with Undersecretary for Peace Ramon Santos and 13 others to the MNLF’s Camp Jabal Ubod in Panamao, Sulu in the morning of Feb. 2 to talk with MNLF representatives headed by Malik. The group included two colonels, a junior officer, nine enlisted men, and several members of Santos’ staff.

The talks were to tackle the holding of a tripartite meeting, proposed late last year by the MNLF, with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Organization of Islamic Conference.

In the afternoon of that same day, Dolorfino and his group were prevented from leaving the camp.

“General Dolorfino and his group were asked why the tripartite meeting had been postponed again, and Undersecretary Santos could not give any answer,” Jolo Councilor Cocoy Tulawie told Bulatlat in an earlier interview. “So they were prevented from leaving until the GRP and the OIC agreed to schedule a meeting for March 17.”

The proposed tripartite meeting was to tackle issues related to the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the GRP and the MNLF.

The meeting scheduled for March 17 was to be a preliminary meeting in preparation for the tripartite meeting. “It didn’t push through,” Jali revealed.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is accusing the MNLF of coddling members of the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) –- an accusation that the Moro revolutionary group has vehemently denied.

“There is one group of people in Sulu tipping off others as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist coddlers’ to the military, just for the bounty,” Jali disclosed. “That is why the military has these accusations against the MNLF.


The fighting has displaced more than 40,000 civilians in Sulu. Some of the evacuees have been relocated at the Panglima Mamah Elementary School in Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu. The rest are in Jolo, the provincial capital –- where there are no evacuation centers.

“There are no sanitary conditions (in the evacuation center),” Jali told Bulatlat. “The dangers of epidemics breaking out there are very high.”

In a separate interview, Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) secretary-general Amirah Ali Lidasan confirmed this.

“Within the confines of the evacuation centers, the refugees catch different diseases,” Lidasan, who is also one of the nominees of the Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Moro People) Party, said. “And the food is never enough for all of them.”


The MNLF traces its origins to a massacre of between 28 and 64 Moro fighters recruited by the government in 1968 for a scheme to occupy Sabah, an island near Mindanao to which the Philippines has a historic claim.

Sabah ended up in the hands of the Malaysian government during the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal (1961-1965). His successor Ferdinand Marcos conceived a scheme involving the recruitment of Moro fighters to occupy the island.

The recruits were summarily executed by their military superiors in 1968, in what is now known as the infamous Jabidah Massacre.

The Jabidah Massacre triggered widespread outrage among the Moros and led to the formation of the MNLF that same year. The MNLF waged an armed revolutionary struggle against the GRP for an independent Muslim state in Mindanao.

The Marcos government, weighed down by the costs of the Mindanao war, negotiated for peace and signed an agreement with the MNLF in Tripoli, Libya in the mid-1970s. The pact involved the grant of autonomy to the Mindanao Muslims.

Negotiations between the GRP and the MNLF went on and off until 1996, when the two parties signed a Final Peace Agreement which created the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as a concession to the group.

Sulu is one of four provinces under the ARMM: the others are Basilan, Maguindanao, and Tawi-Tawi.

In October 2001, hostilities broke out anew between the GRP and the MNLF. The military was in hot pursuit of Abu Sayyaf bandits who had abducted tourists in Sipadan, Malaysia. At one point, the military had announced the defeat of an “Abu Sayyaf” contingent in Talipao, Sulu.

The MNLF, however, said that it was its guerrillas, not Abu Sayyaf bandits, who were killed by the military.

The massacre in Talipao led the MNLF, just five years after signing a peace agreement with the government, to once more take up arms. MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari, a former political science professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) who was then ARMM governor, said the Talipao Massacre was a “violation” of the 1996 Peace Agreement.

Misuari, who was then in Malaysia, ended up being arrested and subsequently detained in a military camp in Sta. Rosa, Laguna (38 kms south of Manila) and charged with rebellion. He is currently under house arrest in New Manila, Quezon City while still facing rebellion charges.

Since 2001, there has been sporadic fighting between the AFP and the MNLF. The waves of fighting have invariably been provoked by massacres of Moro civilians by soldiers, Jali said.

“Our people are always being massacred,” he said. Bulatlat

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The party-list system was envisioned by its advocates as purportedly a counter-current to the dominance of pro-foreign and elite interests in Philippine traditional politics. How have the party-list groups done in terms of their legislative work? Have they fulfilled the mandate of legislating particularly for the marginalized and underrepresented sectors? A look at the bills filed by party-list groups during the 13th Congress can give one an idea.



The party-list system makes it possible for groups representing the country’s marginalized and underrepresented sectors to have seats at the House of Representatives. It was envisioned by its advocates as purportedly a counter-current to the dominance of pro-foreign and elite interests in Philippine traditional politics.

The 1987 Constitution has a provision that representatives from party-list groups are to be allotted 20 percent of the total number of seats at the House of Representatives. For three consecutive terms under the 1987 Constitution, representatives from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and other sectors as may be provided by law –- except the religious sector –- were selected or elected to fill half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives.

Republic Act No. 7941, passed in 1995, served as the enabling law for the constitutional provision for a party-list system. It also adds the elderly, the handicapped, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals to the list of sectors that party-list groups are supposed to represent.

As representatives of marginalized and underrepresented groups, party-list lawmakers are expected to contribute legislation that would benefit their immediate constituency and the nation in general. As the Supreme Court stated in its landmark decision on Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW v. Comelec, et al, “while lacking a well-defined political constituency, the (party-list) nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole.”

How have the party-list groups done in terms of their legislative work? Have they fulfilled the mandate of legislating particularly for the marginalized and underrepresented sectors? A look at the bills they filed can give one an idea.

The party-list groups that won seats in the 13th Congress are: Bayan Muna (People First), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), Akbayan, Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay or Let Life Grow), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP), Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (Cibac), Butil (Grain) Farmer Party, Veterans Freedom Party, Cooperative-National Confederation of Cooperatives (Coop-Natcco), An Waray (literally, Those Who Have Nothing), Anak Mindanao (AMIN or Children of Mindanao), Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino (ALIF or The Struggle of Indigenous Filipino), and Alagad (literally, Agent).

Based on the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey last March, six of these party-list groups could expect to maintain, if not increase, their seats at the House of Representatives: Bayan Muna, Akbayan, Anakpawis, GWP, AMIN and Cibac. Four of them, meanwhile, fell short of the statistical requirement for congressional representation but are close to the threshold: APEC, Partido ng Manggagawa, Buhay, and Coop-Natcco.

Their performance during the 13th Congress may be taken as a measure of how they may be expected to do if they all manage to win seats in the 14th Congress.

Bayan Muna was represented by Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, and Joel Virador. The three filed more than 200 bills and resolutions in all during the 13th Congress, based on data from the House of Representatives.

Ocampo’s bills dealt primarily with human rights and foreign debt. Among his human rights bills are those repealing Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 and strengthening the right to free expression and peaceable assembly, defining and penalizing the crime of forced disappearance and declaring torture as a crime and prescribing penalties for acts of torture. He also has bills repealing the Automatic Appropriations Act, cancelling “fraudulent” loans incurred during the Marcos regime as well as those that resulted from onerous contracts.

Casiño, a former student leader, had a number of bills seeking to regulate tuition and other fee increases in private colleges and universities and mandating them to allow a certain number of students as scholarship grantees. Virador, meanwhile, is known for his bill repealing the Mining Act of 1995.

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran –- who has been confined under police custody at the Philippine Heart Center since February 2006 following his warrantless arrest on rebellion charges –- is best known for his bills providing for wage increases for private-sector workers and government employees. He also filed a bill seeking to repeal the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998.

The other Anakpawis representative, Rafael Mariano –- a farmer from Nueva Ecija and a long-time peasant leader before being elected to Congress –- had bills focusing mainly on land rights for farmers.

GWP’s Liza Maza filed a bill providing for equal rights for husbands and wives by amending Articles 333, 334, and 344 of the Revised Penal Code. Her bills have dealt mostly with the promotion of women’s and children’s rights.

Akbayan’s bills dealt mainly with the promotion of human rights education and international humanitarian law, and amendments to the country’s tax and labor laws.

APEC filed a few bills dealing with extending tax exemptions to electric cooperatives. Meanwhile, Coop-Natcco’s Guillermo Cua had bills seeking to strengthen cooperatives and give them representation in certain government agencies.

Buhay’s Hans Christian Señeres and Rene Velarde filed a few bills dealing with child pornography and abortion. Cibac’s Joel Villanueva filed bills against corruption, marital infidelity, and pornography.

AMIN’s Mujiv Hataman filed bills which provide for the mandatory study of Moro and Lumad history, culture and identity in all levels of education in the Philippines. Many of his other bills, however, are particular to certain legislative districts in Mindanao.

Partido ng Manggagawa represents workers. It is represented in Congress by Renato Magtubo. The House of Representatives website has no listing for bills under Magtubo’s name, but the Partido ng Manggagawa website lists, among other measures, a bill establishing a New Labor Code of the Philippines as well as bills providing for salary increases for public school teachers. Magtubo co-sponsored Beltran’s bills on wage increases for private-sector workers and government employees.

Having identified the major bills they filed, it remains another matter altogether as to why most of them have not been approved by the House of Representatives. Bulatlat

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Alexander Martin Remollino

Mapalad ang mga nangangailangan
sapagkat ang kanilang pag-asa't kinabukasan
ay nasa paghihintay lamang ng suwerte sa tuwi-tuwina.
Kailangan lamang nilang mag-antay na irehistro ng mga bola
ang numero ng kanilang tiket,
o maambunan sila ng mga proyektong pangkawanggawa
ng gobyernong walang pakialam
kung mabutasan nang kasinlalaki ng kamao
ang mga bituka ng mga mamamayan.

Ito lamang ang kanilang dapat na gawin.
Di na kailangang putlin pa nila
ang mga ugat ng kanilang pangangailangan.
Kailangan lamang nilang maghintay ng suwerte
sa tuwi-tuwina
sapagkat nasa gayong paghihintay
ang kanilang pag-asa't kinabukasan.

Mapalad ang mga nangangailangan.

The Makata, April 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Alexander Martin Remollino

“(What is happening today by way of human rights abuses) is nothing compared (to what we have experienced. What is happening under the Arroyo regime today) is so tiny that it is a mere speck.”

-- Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, 26 March 2007

You are not having the bell toll for them.

"A mere speck of blood," you say
of the bloodbath that they in the Palace
have brought upon this nation.
Close to a thousand innocent lives seized
in just a little more than six years --
that, to you, is "a mere speck of blood."

Do you hold human life so cheaply
as to scoff at the slays of hundreds of innocents?
Just one such murder is too much,
and here you have hundreds, hundreds --
and still you have not found it fit
to cry for a stop to the killings.

You are not having the bell toll for them.

Is there a heart that beats in your chest?
It would be no surprise to find none.

And so the bell should now toll for thee.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Alexander Martin Remollino

Ama naming nasa langit
Na nais din naming malikha sa lupa,
Sambahin ang ngalan Mo.
Mapasaamin ang kaharian Mo
At ang niloloob Mong katarungan para sa lahat
Ay mangyari nawa sa lupa,
Para nang sa langit.

Bigyan Mo kami ng tapang at tatag
Upang harapin at labanan ang mga kumakamkam
Ng aming kakanin sa araw-araw.
At patawarin Mo kami
Kung di-sadyang may pagkukulang sa aming pagbabantay
Sa kapakanan ng aming kapwa,
Para nang pagpapatawad namin
Sa mga di-sadyang nagkulang nang gayon sa amin.

At huwag mo kaming ipahintulot
Sa tukso ng kasakiman,
At iadya Mo kami
Sa lahat ng masama.

Siya nawa.
Alexander Martin Remollino

There is this mindset, which I think is so passe, that says: "The country is in shambles and the country is having a hard time and you are out there partying." But this generation is guiltless when it comes to that.

-- Tim Yap

It is not just that ten nights a week you party
like you'd never go to another party
while multitudes rot like plants long deprived of water
in this basket case of a country.
When those who bring the sumptuous dishes to your tables
ask for a greater share of the food they produce
from back-breaking toil in the fields and factories,
their demands fall on deaf ears --
or they themselves are fed to the prisons
or peppered with bullets.
They who feed the nation
are left to starve to death
so that you can continue
with your nightly bacchanalian orgies.
And you are guiltless.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Alexander Martin Remollino

Gaano kalala ang suliranin ng kagutuman sa Pilipinas? Maliit na bagay lamang, kung tatanungin ang diumano’y Pangulong Glorria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Batay sa panlipunang sarbey ng Social Weather Station (SWS) para sa unang sikapat ng 2007, may 19 porsiyento ng mga tumugon ang nagsabing sila’y nakaranas ng kagutuman. Ganito rin ang dami ng mga tumugon sa panlipunang sarbey ng SWS din para naman sa huling sikapat ng 2006 na nagsabing sila’y dumanas ng kagutuman. Ito ang pinakamalawak na kagutumang naitala sa buong bansa mula nang magsimulang magsarbey ukol sa kagutuman ang SWS noong 1998.

Gayundin, may 12 sikapat nang tuluy-tuloy na nasa 10 porsiyento pataas ang lawak ng kagutumang naitatala ng mga sarbey ng SWS.

Dalawang uri ng kagutuman ang pinagbatayan ng SWS sa sarbey nito: ang matinding kagutuman, na ang ibig sabihi’y “madalas o palaging” nakararanas ng gutom at walang makain ang tumutugon; at ang di-gaanong matinding kagutuman, na ang ibig sabihi’y “minsan o mga ilang beses” lamang nakaranas ng gutom at walang makain ang tumutugon. Upang mabatid ito, ang tanong sa mga tumutugon ay:

“Nitong nakaraang 3 buwan, nangyari po ba na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at walang makain? KUNG OO: Nangyari po ba ‘yan (nang) MINSAN LAMANG, MGA ILANG BESES, MADALAS, O PALAGI?”

Mantakin ninyong sabihin ni Arroyo na maging siya’y nakaranas ng gutom nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan – siya na may suweldong P40,000 bilang diumano’y pangulo at ang asawa’t mga anak ay may kani-kanyang hanapbuhay at ang buong pamilya’y may iba pang kayamanan (huwag na munang pag-usapan kung saan nakuha). Paano raw nangyari ito? Aniya:

“Kasi ‘yon naman ang question ng hunger, e, ‘Did you miss one meal in the last three months?’ E pati naman ako, I have missed one meal in the last three months.

Unang-una’y malinaw na hindi ganoon ang tanong ng SWS. Kung isasalin sa Ingles ang tanong na ginagamit sa sarbey ng SWS, ganito ang kalalabasan:

“Was there any time during the last three months that your family experienced hunger and had nothing to eat? IF YES: Did it happen ONCE, A FEW TIMES, OFTEN, or ALWAYS?”

Ikalawa ngunit higit pa, maliwanag na may pambabaluktot sa sagot ni Arroyo. Kagaya ng ipinaliliwanag sa press release ng SWS ukol sa nasabing sarbey, ang sinasabi nilang kagutuman ay “di-kusa” (involuntary, sa wikang Ingles). Hindi itinatanong ng SWS kung ang tumutugon ba’y may panahong kumain nang kulang sa tatlong beses sa isang araw, kahit na may pagkakataong kumain nang sapat, nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan: ang itinatanong ng SWS ay kung ang tumutugon ba’y may panahong hindi makakain nang tatlong beses sa isang araw, nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan. Ito ang lohika sa likod ng paggamit ng pariralang “walang makain” –- ibig sabihin, may panahong gustuhin man nilang kumain nang tatlong beses sa isang araw ay hindi nila magawa sapagkat kulang sa pambili o walang pambili ng sapat na pagkain.

Papagsamahin natin ang dalawang punto laban sa sagot ni Arroyo sa kinalabasan ng sarbey ng SWS, at makikita nating mambabaluktot na lang siya ng semantika’y hindi pa nagawa nang mahusay-husay. Magsasabing pati naman siya’y “nagutom” nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan –- isang litaw na tangkang kuwestiyunin ang kredibilidad ng mga estadistikang natipon ng SWS, sa layong mapalitaw na ang kagutuman sa bansa ngayo’y hindi kasinlawak ng nakikita sa mga resulta ng sarbey –- bago’y ni hindi pala niya naiintindihan kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng gutom, at maging yaong kasimple-simpleng Pilipino na nga sa tanong ng SWS ay hindi pa rin naunawaan.

Bakit gayon na lamang ang pagpupumilit niyang baluktutin ang katotohanang inilalarawan ng mga estadistika ng SWS? Bakit gayon na lamang ang pagpupumilit niyang palitawing maliit na bagay lamang ang kagutuman sa ating bansa sa kasalukuyan?

Kagaya ng nauna nang mabanggit, may 12 sikapat nang tuluy-tuloy na nasa 10 porsiyento pataas ang lawak ng kagutuman sa bansa. Una itong umabot sa lawak na 10 porsiyento pataas noong 2004 –- ang taong diumano’y nanalo siya sa halalan sa pagkapangulo.

Magbuhat noo’y walang pagbaba ang lawak ng kagutuman sa bansa batay sa mga sarbey ng SWS, at ngayon nga’y dalawang sikapat nang nasa 19 porsiyento ito.

Maliwanag na walang ginawa ang rehimeng Arroyo upang mabawasan ang kagutuman ng ating mga kababayan, gayong may kapangyarihan itong magsagawa ng mga karampatang hakbang.

Ito ang katotohanang ibig ikubli ni Arroyo –- kaya gayon na lamang ang pagpupumilit niyang baluktutin ang semantika ng kagutuman, kuwestiyunin ang kredibilidad ng mga estadistika ng SWS at palitawing ang kagutuman sa bansa’y maliit na bagay lamang.