Sunday, December 10, 2006

De Venecia's Trojan Horse: Constitutional Convention

These shameless pigs think that they can fool the Filipino people all the time. Con-Con offer is just a face saving scheme. Jose De Venecia and his gang have no position to give an ultimatum. They are on the losing side. Politically defeated aggressor cannot make demands. De Venecia’s 72 hours deadline to the Senate to act on Constitutional Convention is just a hot air. Losers do not make demands.

The only way to diffuse political tension is the ouster of illegitimate President Gloria Arroyo. The volcano is ready to explode anytime. Charter change is a monster of her creation with hidden agenda. JDV and his gang are offering a Trojan Horse-Constitutional Convention. Gloria Arroyo can buy and influence the election of ConCon delegates. Three termed congressional lapdogs can run for ConCon delegates funded by Malacanang Palace. There are billions of pesos pork barrel funds under her disposal. What the difference between the two modes? It’s the same dog with different collar.
Gloria Arroyo’s Charter change has no solid foundation; it’s filled with deceit and greedy intentions. The legitimacy of GMA presidency keeps on haunting her. These shameless pigs are trapped in a quicksand. The wrath of the Filipino people will bury them alive on their sinkholes. Only time can tell.

GMA still hot on Con-ass, denies abandonment on Cha-cha

CBCP, Shaddai lose Luneta, but rally gets green light

Daily Tribune 12/11/2006

Even as the majority congressmen temporarily shelved their proposal to change the Charter through the Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) and called for a Constitutional Convention with the Con-con candidates to be elected simultaneously with the senators, congressmen and local officials, the

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), along with the El Shaddai flock, is not abandoning its massive prayer rally.

This decision was made despite a news report in a major daily that President Arroyo had ordered her allies in the House, led by Speaker Jose de Venecia, to drop Con-ass, quoting chief presidential aide Eduardo Ermita.

The decision to mount the prayer rally by the bishops and the El Shaddai, along with the Jesus is Lord ministry and the political opposition was made clear by Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, spokesman for the CBCP, as well as Bishop Teodoro Bacani, spiritual adviser of the El Shaddai Charismatic Movement led by TV evangelist Mike Velarde.

Ermita yesterday denied he had told the media that the President had ordered her allies in the House of Representatives to drop the Con-ass, saying Mrs. Arroyo continues to be firm in her position to change the Charter to bring about political reforms.

At the same time, Malacanang moved quickly to prevent the bishops from staging a massive rally, as it was recently discovered by the CBCP that Luneta, the site chosen for the prayer rally for Dec. 15 has been reserved for Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Games Corp.), a development which perplexed Quitorio, who wondered what activity Pagcor had scheduled on that date, and why it needed such a vast expanse for its activity.

But this development failed to dampen the CBCP’s resolve to stage the prayer-rally, with its spokesman saying that even as the bishops had been informed that Pagcor already reserved the venue two months ago” and even as the venue is no longer available to them, he stressed that they will carry on with the prayer rally since these protest action will not only take place in Manila but in the whole country.

“All dioceses nationwide have prepared for these (rallies),” Quitorio said.

It is likely that the protest action in Manila will take place in Liwasang Bonifacio, although Quitoro said there are also other possible venues in Manila and in Quezon City where they could hold the prayer rally.

“While this is not really a planned action because this prayer rally was a spur of the moment (act) following the developments in Congress, what I personally want to know is if this is just being done to prevent us from pushing through with the prayer march,” Quiorio said.

He said the committee tasked to organize the event has called for a meeting to discuss the bishops’ possible actions and options available.

The police force that served as a security forces for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Cebu, which was canceled, was yesterday reduced drastically, and sent back to Manila, purportedly to form part of the anti-riot police force against the rallyists.

Already, Malacañang yesterday warned the bishops to abide by the law in their planned mass rally next week.

In a phone interview, Executive Secretary Ermita said the Palace will not stop the rally organized by the CBCP as long as it remains peaceful.

“Our reminder to our good bishops is that everyone has free space to observe the democratic practices as long as they will not go out of the bounds of the law,” he said.

Ermita said the President respects the decision of the Church to stage rallies and that she does not intend to question its moves but bishops have to abide by the rules set up by the local government such as securing permits for the planned gathering.

“We cannot stop them if they plan to hold mass rally. What’s important is that they abide by the rules of the local government as well as the Philippine National Police on a peaceful conduct of such rally,” he said.

Ermita said the Chief Executive has already given marching orders to the police assigned in the National Capital Region to prepare themselves for the rallies.

Ermita also laughed off the threat issued Saturday by Kawal Pilipino, a reformist group of junior officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines on thier seeing a “constitutional coup” if Mrs. Arroyo’s administration would harm protesters who would march against the proposed constitutional assembly.

Ermita said the group was indulging in dreams.”That’s wishful thing. That’s not going to happen. Well they (Kawal Pilipino) may attempt (to stage one) but whether they have the capability to be followed by the majority of the Filipino people, I think that’s not going to happen.

He however, admitted that he is certain the the group is being closely monitored.

“I’m very sure that there is a coverage on these people. Of course our intelligence authorities know what they (Kawal Pilipino) are doing,” he said.

He took issue however with the statement warning the Palace against harming the demonstrators.

“Why are we going to hurt them (rallyists)? If they have secured a permit to conduct a rally in a specific place that would be honored by the law enforcers. We would not hurt them. Our police and military would not take drastic action if there is no provocation...I think it is uncalled for,” he said.

Meanwhile, clashes within Mrs. Arroyo’s inner circle sparked with the Executive Secretary yesterday issuing a strong denial that he had said the President ordered her House allies to abandon the Con-ass of Speaker Jose de Venecia.

An irked Ermita yesterday denied the reported quote attributed to him, saying the President supports Cha-cha but stressed that she has never interfered in the internal affairs of the House.

This was claimed even as House caucuses on Con-ass were held in Malacañang and even as it is common knowledge that Mrs. Arroyo certainly is into the thick of Cha-cha, whether through the People’s Initiative or the House’s one-chamber Con-ass.

“On reports that I had mentioned that the President ordered Congress to back off from Con-ass, that is not true. I can say categorically I’m a little displeased,” he said.

Ermita’s reaction came after Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor reportedly issued a statement saying the Executive Secretary has instructed presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio upon the orders of the Mrs. Arroyo that they are dropping Con-ass, purportedly due to pressure from religious groups.

Ermita said he had not talked with Defensor but that he had already conveyed his irritation on the issue with the President, also with Claudio and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye.

“The President was surprised, she never thought of me coming out with such a statement because Malacañang is a separate branch of government and our President never interfered in the internal affairs of the Lower House... its good that she heard me and that I told her personally that I never said that,” Ermita said.

Reporters had tried to reach Defensor for comment on the issue but he refused to answer phone calls.

Ermita added that even with Mrs. Arroyo as head of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), she had not given directives either way to her partymates to follow certain mode for Charter change.

Well-placed sources within Malacañang believe Mrs. Arroyo attempted to play two sides of the coin, but backed off again as she was concerned over De Venecia and his allies in Congress withdrawing their support from her in many other ways, such as giving in to resolutions from the political opposition that would hold hearings on several scandals in her government.

“The President it appears does not intend to abandon Con-ass... that’s why her House allies through House Speaker Jose De Venecia had issued an ultimatum with the Senate to approve a resolution to convene constitutional convention (ConCon) within 74 hours, if not they (House) would go back to Con-ass... it’s a ploy intended to pressure the Senate,” he said.

The source said this is the reason Mrs. Arroyo had no stand on the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines plan to the file second motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court to revive people’s initiative petition, under the new SC Chief Justice Renato Puno.

For his part, Claudio in a text message also stressed that Mrs. Arroyo never interfered with nor influenced the decision of the House to offer Con-con as an alternative to con-ass.

“There were no orders or pressure from Malacañang. The President had always been firm and consistent with her support for Charter reforms and the need to shift to a unicameral parliamentary system, but she made it clear during her caucuses with the members that she would leave to Congress the methods and processes for achieving that goal,” he said.

Bunye also said Charter change remains one of the administration’s key parliament agenda that has acquired a life of its own in the national consciousness.

“This administration will pursue the high cause because it is the right thing to do for the public interest as it will do away with a degenerated system and help build a new Philippines,” the presidential spokesman said. With Sherwin C. Olaes and Marie A. Surbano

Rallies a ‘go’ till Cha-cha
is buried

Perfect Storm
Outrage vs. Con-Ass won’t die down
CPP condemns Arroyo-De Venecia blackmail to push "Cha-cha"
Kawal Pilipino Warning
Ateneo students and faculty blast away at the Con-Ass with a noise barrage



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