Joker, Recto joins GMA team


PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — FINALLY, reelectionist Senators Joker Arroyo and Ralph Recto have decided to stick to President Macapagal-Arroyo and run under the administration ticket in the May 14 polls.

Arroyo and Recto have broken their silence on whether running “again” for the administration or eventually going opposition considering that for the past year they had been vocal against the supposed excesses of the Arroyo government such as the Executive Order 464, Proclamation 1017, among others.

They have reported out and condemned anomalous deals and contracts involving PIATCO, the tax credit scandal, the questionable National Power Corp. (Napocor) and Masinloc biddings, the P700-million fertilizer scam and others.

“But through all these, the President never tried to dissuade us from opposing her. Why then should we not run again in the administration Senate slate?” Arroyo and Recto said in a joint statement.

“We ran for the Senate and won on the Arroyo administration slate. Nothing that has happened since gives us reason not to do the same in our reelection bid,” they stressed.

Arroyo and Recto said that in a crisis, one must take a stand. The opposition wants to impeach the President and that is their constitutional prerogative. “But one has yet to hear the opposition denounce attempts by military adventurers to topple the government and set up another one outside the Constitution,” they said.

“On balance, until the opposition can offer something more than the impeachment of the President, the country is better off letting this administration complete the work it is doing while keeping a close watch on anything else it may attempt,” they pointed out.

They noted that they have opposed the President on many major issues, before the Supreme Court no less. “And we won. We fought the Venable contract which involved American money to change the Constitution. We fought the People’s Initiative to do the same,” they said.

They noted that they never allowed the committees to be used for harassment or any other purpose than to find the truth. “Yes, the administration has committed grave blunders,” they said.

“It (Arroyo government) has never tried to undermine our independence or bind our conscience or stand in the way of what we believed had to be said and done. It has respected if it did not always enjoy our roles as senator,” they added.

They said that the opposition leaders have steadfastly refused to recognize the constitutional succession of the vice- president. “In short, the opposition want to write their own ticket and take back power on the broken back of the Constitution,” they said.

They noted that the economy is improving. Inflation and unemployment are dropping. True, the rich are getting richer and these improvements have yet to be felt by the vast majority of the poor.

“But no question, little by little, the people are getting better off. The opposition have yet to explain what part they intend to play if they achieve their ambition in this midterm election,” they said.

“No one can deny that the country is moving forward. The political choice in the coming election is to trip up the country or help it along,” they said.