Here is something interesting that I dug up from the Philippine Information Agency website:
“In an interview with a local radio station here right after the SORA, (Akbayan Rep. Risa) Hontiveros praised (ARMM Gov. Zaldy) Ampatuan’s program of government and expressed approval of the ARMM Governor’s support to the cause of women.”
Supporting the cause of women!
Majority of the 57 victims of the massacre were women.
That was just two weeks ago.
Oh, and Loren Legarda also had kind words for Ampatuan. Hehe.
Here is the Press Release:
Koronadal City (11 November) — Opposition senator and vice presidential hopeful Senator Loren Legarda lauded Monday the socio-economic programs and highlights of accomplishments presented by Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan in his 5th State of the Region Address (SORA).
Legarda, a staunch advocate of environment protection and climate change, said she was impressed by the ARMM chief’s focus on the environment, peace and order, health and education, including the settlement of the problem of teachers in the region with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
ARMM’s outstanding arrears of more than P1 billion with the GSIS about six years ago has been brought down to around P300 million as of lately through the interventions of Ampatuan and support of the Office of the President. Ampatuan said negotiations are currently ongoing to “finally write-off the remaining balance.”
“Hangang-hanga ako sa kanyang mga socio-economic programs (I’m really impressed with his [Ampatuan] socio-economic programs),” Legarda told reporters during a press conference shortly after the SORA.
The lady-senator also approved of the efforts of the regional government to address climate change and protect the environment.
Ampatuan said the region will make sustainable management and protection of the environment among its top priorities in response to the challenge of climate change and other emerging environmental threats.
Although a known critic of the administration, Legarda assured that ARMM constituents can count on her as an ally in the Senate in the fight against poverty and hunger. She said she would help the region, in her current capacity as Senator and if she ever succeeds in getting elected to higher office, get sufficient fundings to support programs and projects on education and health and sanitation.
She also vowed to help advance the Mindanao River Basin Development Plan.
Legarda was chair of the senate sub-committee which heard and approved the ARMM’s 2010 proposed budget in September of this year.
While Ampatuan is a keen supporter of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Regional Chairman of the Lakas-KAMPI-CMD, his SORA drew personalities both from the administration and the opposition bloc.
Aside from Legarda, another prominent opposition figure, Akbayan Party List Representative Risa Honiveros, also graced the 5th SORA.
In an interview with a local radio station here right after the SORA, Hontiveros praised Ampatuan’s program of government and expressed approval of the ARMM Governor’s support to the cause of women.
Both Legarda and Hontiveros, who have been openly critisizing the administration on a number of issues, are believed to be building up their chances to get elected to higher positions come 2010.
Ampatuan, however, stressed that he remains loyal to the administration and to the Lakas-KAMPI-CMD coalition.
“I will adhere to the consensus of the party and will strongly support its candidates in the upcoming 2010 elections. But any candidate, regardless of political affiliations, is free to campaign in the ARMM,” Ampatuan stressed. (bpi-armm/PIA 12)
Here is the link: