STATEMENT of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao

The Senate probe on the ZTE deal has not only revealed the truth of corruption involving the First Family, but also the underhanded means of the Arroyo government to suppress the truth.  There was the abduction of ZTE witness Rodolfo 'Jun' Lozada to prevent him from testifying in the Senate, and the invoking of Executive Order 464 to prevent former Neda chair Romulo Neri from appearing in the Senate.  Both instances showed the government's attempt to violate the Senate power to conduct investigation and violate Lozada's life and liberty.

That Arroyo later admitted to having known about the anomaly in the ZTE deal but still signed the contract makes her culpable of graft – an impeachable offense.

This ZTE deal is only one of the many cases of corruption involving Arroyo and the First Family.  It is disgusting how Arroyo has suppressed the truth, the same way she has done in the Hello Garci election fraud in 2004; the many anomalous projects such as the P728-million fertilizer scam, the P200 million Diosdado Macapagal Highway, and the P503-million North Rail project; and the current reported sell-out of the Spratly Islands to China in exchange of the ZTE deal, North Rail and South Rail Projects.

Arroyo has run this government like a Mafioso bent on corruption and repression, without regard to the rule of law and the people's sovereign will. She has run this government like a dictator, imposing Draconian measures to silence critics and giving tacit approval to the culture of impunity that is responsible for more than 900 cases of political killings and disappearances of activists, media and professionals, including lawyers, judges, and paralegals.
But it is the sovereign will of the people that had put her in the presidency through people power in 2001. It is this same sovereign will that now decides to remove her from power.

Impeachment under a rubber-stamp House of Representatives is not an option, as evidenced with the killing of impeachment complaints in the past three years.

A probe by a partial Ombudsman would just cover up the Arroyos. We see the Ombudsman probe as a smokescreen to the ongoing Senate investigation.

Only the ouster of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remains the choice of the people to remove the illegitimate, corrupt and evil occupant in Malacañang.  Only the ouster of Arroyo would restore the rule of law and the supremacy of the people's sovereign will.

Atty. Carlos Isagani Zarate
Secretary General