A meeting of Batangas mayors called by Renato
De Villa (Reporma) was successfully "sabotaged by Lakas members in Lipa City. The
Reporma media bureau said "money and forms of enticements were offered to the mayors
to break up the scheduled meeting between Reporma slate and the 34 Batangas mayors at the
Club Victorino." De Villa said, "Money politics. This is precisely what the
Reporma is trying to abolish in our political process..."
Lakas national campaign manager Cesar Sarino,
also former GSIS General Manager, said about the GSIS funds, "All the safeguards
against such abuses are in place in the GSIS: the Commission on Audit, our own internal
audit, and our resident ombudsman pore over every detail of our daily transactions."
Sarino criticized those who have accused him of diverting the funds and urged them instead
to conduct an investigation on the matter. He said the agency's finances even improved
during his stint as general manager.
Alfredo Lim (LP) vowed to "save the
environment from further degradation and achieve sustainable development around the
country... The long term protection of the environment will not be sacrificed for the
short term profitability of any investor, foreign or local, private or government... We
will treat the environment the same way we must treat our own children and women - with
much respect and deep consideration. We will not allow anyone to continue raping and
prostituting our forests, seas and other natural resources."
Tatad (PRP vice-pres. bet) urged organizers
of televised forums for presidential candidates to include the most vital issues on the
economy, national security and foreign relations in these discussions to test the actual
preparedness of the candidates for the highest office. He said that the debates have been
"generally uninformative and soporific" with no "fundamental and truly
searching questions" being asked to give the public an insight into the world-view
and actual grasp of the issues of the various candidates.
Miriam (PRP) scored a victory when the
Comelec overruled its Cebu election officer's order to demolish the PRP billboard in from
the the party headquarters in Cebu City.
Bank lending rates are likely remain
abnormally high until June this year as a result of the national government's deficit
spending, Ramon Bagatsing (opposition senatorial candidate) said. The Department of
Finance earler reported that the government posted a P5.465-billion cash budget deficit in
the first two months this year. "The administration has not lived up to its pledge to
cut spending. And the more it spends, the more it borrows. The more it borrows, the
greater the upward push on loan rates," Bagatsing said.
Macapagal-Arroyo (Lakas) called for the full
modernization of agriculture to achieve food security in the next millenium. She said the
party's platform calls for agricultural diversification by encouraging farmers to plant a
greater assortment of crops, as well as breed a wider variety of livestock.