Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Say 'no' to Noynoy – Palace (‘Voting for LP candidate will resurrect bad legacy of Cory’)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 00:00

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Malacañang on Tuesday warned voters that electing Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd president in the May 10 polls would be bad for the country because he stands to resurrect the weak government of her late mother, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Prospero Pichay, the Palace top political adviser, said that Noynoy's threat to go after President Gloria Arroyo for her alleged wrongdoing during her watch set a dangerous tone. The elections less than two months away will pick the successor to President Arroyo, whose term ends in June 2010.

The way he sounded was he was trying to set aside due process, maybe it will even be worst. You know, if you want to go back to the Cory Aquino government, we had a lot of brownouts [then], we had a lot of coups, the economy wasn’t that good and it was not even cleared [of] accusations of graft and corruption. So if that is the legacy he [Noynoy] is trying to bring back, it’s not a very good legacy,” Pichay added.

Noynoy, the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) had said that if he won the presidency, he would reopen investigations of scandals that rocked the Arroyo administration, among them the national broadband deal, the fertilizer fund scam and “Hello, Garci” scandal. Malacañang dismissed Noynoy’s threat on Monday.

“The issue of ‘Hello, Garci’ has already been settled. No less than Sen. Aquino voted against the playing of the tapes because he believed that the tapes were not authentic and it was actually a violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law. I think if he brings that back, then he should start questioning his vote during the time that we were investigating the Garci tapes,” Pichay said.

The ‘Hello, Garci’ scandal arose from the President allegedly telling during a telephone conversation former Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcellano of the Commission on Elections to rig the 2004 presidential elections, which she eventually won over opposition candidate Fernando Poe Jr.

The alleged conversation was captured on several tapes.

Meanwhile, majority of students of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) would vote for Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. if they were old enough to exercise their right to vote in the May 10 elections. Lakas-Kampi CMD is the ruling party.

In recent mock polls held at the PSHS in Quezon City, 54 percent of the 300 students who participated chose Teodoro while Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd of the Liberal Party got 19 percent of the votes and Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon of Bagumbayan, 12 percent.

Lawyer Mike Toledo, Teodoro’s campaign spokesman, also on Tuesday said that the PSHS students were capable of separating the chaff from the grain when it came to judging a presidential candidate’s qualifications.

“Like others supporting Teodoro, the students were aware of the implications to their future of a wrong choice in the elections by those who are old enough to vote,” Toledo added.

The PSHS main campus admits only about 2 percent of an average of 18,000 applicants who are mostly topnotch students from schools across the country.

Teodoro was also the choice of local-government officials from Aklan province in the Visayas.

On Monday, they gave the Lakas-Kampi CMD candidate for president their full backing, saying that he is the “most qualified” among the nine running for the highest position in the land.

Gov. Carlito Marquez and Rep. Joven Miraflores of Aklan together with 15 of Aklan’s 17 mayors pledged to support Teodoro’s presidential bid, according to Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul Banias.

Their support for the administration party bet was expressed during a multi-sectoral forum that was organized by the Kasangga party-list group.

“Both Gov. Marquez and Rep. Miraflores hold Gibo in high regard, admiring his accomplishments, education and his concrete plans for the country,” Banias said.

Toledo said that the warm welcome accorded the former Defense chief in Aklan was the latest proof of the growing support for Gibo nationwide.

“What we saw in Aklan gave us confidence that Gibo’s ratings in surveys will continue to surge,” he added.

Toledo said that Teodoro has been continuously gaining the public’s confidence, especially after they hear about his credentials and his proposed platform of government for the country.

Covenant with Bangit
An LP senatorial bet also on Tuesday challenged newly appointed Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit to enter into a covenant to ensure peaceful and credible elections on May 10.

Lawyer Alex Lacson urged Bangit to sign the proposed pact amid fears from civil-society groups that the new military chief would prevent the proclamation of the winning candidates.

“To put a stop to all these fears and speculation, I will be consulting various civil-society groups to unite them to work for a covenant that we will then present to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. I will challenge Lt. Gen. Bangit to take part in this initiative and sign the covenant,” Lacson said in a statement.

The proposed covenant, he added, would call on Bangit not to take part in an alleged plan to install Mrs. Arroyo as a holdover president if there is a decision to declare a failure of elections on May 10.

Lacson said that the agreement would squash fears that the administration intends to use the military to further extend the term of the President.

According to him, Bangit’s personal closeness to Mrs. Arroyo is “making everyone jittery.”

“Seventy six percent of the people do not want an Arroyo [term] extension. This has been a consistent theme since five years ago. If you frustrate more than three fourths of the people, you risk incurring the ire of all Filipinos,” Lacson said.

Even with the busy campaign season, a few presidential aspirants expressed their condolences to the family of former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin who passed away on Monday.

Nacionalista Party presidential bet Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. said that “Emy [the late secretary’s nickname] is a great loss to our government and society. She exemplified the highest standards of public service and leadership amid most trying times.”

Villar added that he had always looked up to Boncodin, who in pursuing reforms was forthright and firm while remaining low-key and modest, earning the trust and admiration of her fellow civil servants.

“After her stint in government, she chose to continue to serve as an educator, sharing her expertise in good governance. She will truly be missed,” he said.

From Naga City, Camarines Sur, Noynoy also extended his condolences to the Boncodin family and said that he was considering Boncodin to be part of his Cabinet if he got elected on May 10.

Aquino said that he was shocked about the news of Boncodin’s passing.

“Malaki ang naitulong niya sa atin para mabantayan ang kaban ng bayan [Boncodin did a great job in safeguarding the people’s money],” the LP bet said during a press conference at the Naga City airport.

Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said that Boncodin’s passing was a great loss.

“Nagsimula siya hanggang sa kadulu-duluhan. Walang masasabing kahit anong mantsa o bahid na dumapo sa pangalan niya [She rose from the ranks and her reputation was spotless],” he added.

Jefferson Antiporda, Angelo S. Samonte, Francis Earl A. Cueto and Cris G. Odronia

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