Friday, December 4, 2009

Do your homework, Ramos told

Written by Fernan Marasigan / Reporter
Thursday, 03 December 2009 22:08

Original Story:

FORMER President Fidel Ramos should do his homework and stop riding on issues “just to make his presence felt.”

Thus said proadministration legislators as they hit back at Ramos for his “unnecessary call” for President Arroyo to resign to level the playing field in the congressional race in the Second District of Pampanga.

At the same time, Lakas-Kampi-CMD Reps. Danilo Suarez and Pedro Romualdo of Quezon and Camiguin, respectively, rejected Ramos’s position that Arroyo’s House bid would demean the stature of the presidency.

Romualdo said the President need not resign while pursuing her bid for a congressional seat in Pampanga.

“There is no law requiring her to do so. Secondly, it’s not her fault if she appears the heavy favorite for the post because she has done so much for her cabalen even before she became president. It’s unfair to say she might take advantage of government resources or her present position for her candidacy,” Romualdo said.

He urged Ramos to just allow the people of the Second District of Pampanga to decide on whether to vote for Arroyo.

“They are the ultimate judge if she deserves to be their representative. Let’s not forget, too, that it was her cabalen who prodded her to run and it was this show of overwhelming support that made her decide in the end to join the congressional race,” said Romualdo, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.

Suarez, chairman of the House oversight committee, said the President is known for working hard during past election campaigns to win public support.

“She won in the senatorial and presidential elections because she took the campaign seriously. Come campaign period, we will see her work hard again to reach out to voters and relay her agenda and platform to them. Her present position will not be the people’s gauge in supporting or rejecting her, but it will be her plans for them,” Suarez said.

He maintained that Article 7, Section 4 of the Constitution explicitly provides that the President shall be elected by the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the 30th day of June following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter or on June 30, 2010.

“Hence, these resign calls are baseless and unnecessary,” he said.

Suarez said the President’s decision to run for a lower position was an act of humility done mainly so she can continue serving the people.

“It will not degrade the stature of the presidency because of her well-meaning intention to serve further the people. Her objective is what really matters, not the position she is running for,” Suarez added.

Villar: NP now stronger

THE Nacionalista Party (NP) is now seeing an unprecedented surge in the number of its members, growing ten-fold over since the start of this year under the leadership of the party president, Sen. Manny Villar.

“I took an oath to reclaim the old glory of the Nacionalista Party and recapture its rich history of unparalleled greatness. Today, I can safely say we are on the right path toward that goal,” Villar, the party’s standard-bearer in next year’s election, said in a statement.

He revealed that from just a few members early this year, the NP’s membership has swelled to more than 6,000.

“This continues to grow by the day as our leaders begin to recognize the party’s stability as an organization and its firm resolve to fight poverty through genuine reforms,” he explained.

Villar said NP is the only party in the country today that can claim to have done more in shaping the country by immensely influencing the course of political history.

“This great party had produced six presidents and thousands of great leaders over a period of more than a century. The ideals and principles that guide the Nacionalista Party up to now are founded on doctrines of independence,” he said.

“We continue to take the side of the oppressed, the masses, the workers, the poor and the dispossessed. This, I believe, is one of the reasons we are growing bigger by the day.”

Last month was a productive one for NP’s efforts to enlist more members, as national and local leaders took oaths of membership with the party almost every day, sometimes by the hundreds.

The latest of these mass oath-takings with the NP was held on November 23, where some 700 incumbent officials across the country swore allegiance to the party in a simple ceremony at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City.

Two days before that, some 200 grassroots leaders in Batangas took oath as new members of the party in Santo Tomas, Batangas.

“These defections can only mean one thing: 2010 will be a great year for the Nacionalista Party. With our political stock continuously growing, I am confident we can relive the greatness of the Grand Old Party once again,” Villar said.

Dy vows to end Padaca reign in Isabela

NATIONALIST People’s Coalition Rep. Faustino “Bojie” Dy III of Isabela, a 48-year-old three-term lawmaker, has vowed an all-out political war against incumbent Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca in the gubernatorial race in 2010.

Dy defeated Padaca in the 2001 congressional race in the Third District.

“This would be payback time,” Dy said, adding that he would focus on health services and education as primary programs.

Padaca trounced Dy’s brothers, former governors Faustino Dy Jr. and Benjamin Dy, in the 2004 and 2007 elections.

Dy has teamed up with Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela’s First District, while Padaca teamed up with Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Edwin Uy of Isabela’s Second District. Uy, accompanied by Padaca, filed his candidacy for vice governor in the evening of December 1.

Davao del Norte priest runs for mayor

A PARISH priest in Davao del Norte is running for mayor of Santo Tomas.

Fr. Emerson “Em-Em” Luego, parish priest on leave of San Isidro town, said that “after deep reflection, I have come to the decision of meeting the challenge of the people of my hometown who want that something must change, and I know that this is a call of God.”

The 36-year-old priest added: “Serving the people in public office is another call of God for another mission, especially for my kababayan in Santo Tomas.”

Luego, who is running as an independent candidate, said Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz of the Diocese of Tagum gave a nod to the priest’s plan, and “wished me good luck” and even advised him not to fall into the dirty trappings of politics.

Luego said that with his running, he is considered “on-leave” and could not administer the Sacraments.

Luego tendered a tearful despedida party to his San Isidro parish leaders, laymen and apostolic workers.

The priest will be remembered for the renovation of the San Isidro Parish Church and convent, a lay leader said.

“In our country’s traditional politics, there’s that virus of division, retaliation and revenge. I want to spread the virus of unity that the people will enjoy,” Luego said.

Vidal on Arroyo’s Congress bid: ‘No big deal’

CARDINAL Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, played down Mrs. Arroyo’s candidacy, saying it is her privilege to do so since it is allowed by the Constitution.

Asked by reporters at a Makati hotel if he does not consider as a big deal the President’s decision to hold a lower elective post after relinquishing the presidency, the Cardinal curtly replied; “Why should it be?”

“That is her privilege as a citizen. If she wants her expertise to be shared again, it is up to her,” Vidal stressed.

“If she wants to serve the people, who can stop her?” he added.

Two other bishops defended Mrs. Arroyo’s 2010 bid, indicating that they respect it as an exercise of her legal and democratic rights.

“As a Filipino citizen supporting the ideas of democracy, I have to uphold the Constitution and the law of the land. As long as any move or action of anyone is in conformity with it, I believe I have to respect and uphold his or her rights,” Bishop Emilio Marquez of the Diocese of Lucena said in a statement.

Bishop Rodolfo Beltran of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe in Northern Luzon said legal experts have assured him that there are no constitutional or statutory obstacles to President Arroyo’s candidacy.

“If the President is motivated by a desire to continue serving her constituency in Pampanga as their representative in Congress, the purpose is noble and it is to be lauded,” Beltran said in his own written statement.

(With R. Alluad and C. Monforte)

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