February 21, 2010
La Bruja not El Niño is cause of power and agricultural crisis – JV Bautista
Lawyer and senatorial candidate JV Bautista lambasted the Arroyo administration today for its “ineptitude in preparing for the El Niño”, a natural phenomenon that is “recurrent during the country’s summer months especially with the expected change in global climate”.
The change in weather has lead to the destruction of thousands of hectares of farmlands as well as power shortages in Visayas and Mindanao, regions that are dependent on hydropower.
La Bruja not El Niño
“The La Bruja in Malacanang not El Niño is to blame for the ominous crisis in power and agriculture. Long before the lowering water levels of our dams, PAGASA has warned against the impact of El Niño. We should have prepared for it,” Bautista said.
“However, instead of prioritizing government projects and enacting policies to increase the country’s power supply while reducing electricity rates, the Arroyo government concentrated in privatizing the power industry, a hard-sell which failed miserably because of investor wariness to the debt-riddled NAPOCOR,” he clarified.
The activist lawyer added, “It appears that the Arroyo regime is indifferent with the supplying low- cost electricity to the people since it seeks to appease the concerns of bankers and investors. Even now, when different sectors of society have loudly warned of the effects of El Niño, nary a peep could be heard from the president”.
“More ominous than the threat of a power crisis leaving the people groping in the dark is the threat of a return to the dark ages of martial rule as Malacanang allies in Congress are considering the granting of emergency powers to the President to solve the power and water crisis,” Bautista explained.
JV Bautista, a former party-list representative of Sanlakas added, “Emergency powers to Arroyo would be used to perpetuate the unpopular president in power. We vow to mobilize the people against such threats to democratic rights as we commemorate the anniversary of Edsa 1 and the past struggles against fascism”.
Bautista is espousing economic reforms as part of a “Plataporma ng Masa” that would provide not only a lasting solution to the imminent power crisis but also as a step towards economic development that would benefit the poor.
“People before profit. The welfare of the people enjoys primacy over the concerns of foreign investors. To develop the national economy, the State should ensure the efficiency of a public-owned power industry. The privatization of the power industry – which resulted in unjust contracts with independent power producers – has caused the spiraling of electricity rates,” Bautista concluded. -30-