Press Release
September 17, 2006


With paper trails on cheating and corruption leading to it again, it is high time Malacañang cut short its long-running policy of protecting 'vultures' posing as the nation's servants and protectors, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson said such a policy of protecting 'thieves and cheaters' showed itself anew with government lawyers preparing to defend the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG)'s so-called immunity from investigation before the Supreme Court this week.

"Malacañang 's new policy of protecting thieves and cheaters must stop. Documents showing the bantay-salakay attitude by some PCGG officials are too clear to ignore, yet Mrs. Arroyo through the Solicitor General is poised to defend tooth and nail the PCGG before the Supreme Court," Lacson said.

The high court had set for this Thursday the hearings on the habeas corpus petition filed by the Solicitor General questioning the arrest by the Senate of PCGG chairman Camilo Sabio last Sept. 12.

On the other hand, Lacson said Mrs. Arroyo's policy of protecting 'vultures in government' goes back a long way, when she resorted to legal means and her political allies, to escape questions about cheating in the 2004 elections.

She also tried to muzzle her critics with calibrated preemptive response (CPR), and even her own Cabinet members with Executive Order 464.

Worse, he said, when the high court ruled CPR and EO 464 as unconstitutional, she maintained the policy with Memorandum Circular 108 for Cabinet members, and an 'all-out war against insurgency' for her critics, highlighted by her appointment of Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as AFP chief of staff.

Even the Senate was not spared from such a policy, with her instructing Cabinet members to seek presidential clearance before attending hearings, and her allies trying to force Charter change to abolish the Senate by next year.

"Instead of being thankful to the Senate that abuses committed by PCGG commissioners are being checked, she appears determined to stop the Senate investigation," Lacson noted.

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