House minority bloc member: PNoy’s 2nd term bid divertionary tactic
• August 10, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
A member of the House independent bloc aired suspicion yesterday that the conflicting statements issued by Malacañang spokespersons on the prospect of another term for President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III were meant to divert pressing issues and avoid declaring him as a lame duck leader.
“It’s all part of their efforts to divert attention from the pressing issues of the day and to prevent being prematurely declared lame duck or irrelevant,” said Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of the bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo said any term extension for the President would destroy the legacy of his late parents — martyred Sen. Benig-no “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino — who are both considered icons of Philippine democracy.
“The President has been doing a lot to cleanse the government of government,” Castelo said. “But he should be aware that any term extension would only destroy his public image of a no-nonsense political leader. I prefer that the President preserves that public persona,” said Castelo, a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, spokesman and secretary general of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said some people in the Cabinet led by Budget Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad are afraid of losing their posts after 2016.
“Sintonado na nga sila. Iba-iba ang kanta. Takot mawala sa puwesto ang mga ‘yan dahil mabibisto lahat ng kalokohan nila. Mga self-righteous ang mga ’yan. Kung sino ang nagmamalinis, ’yun ang pinaka madaming kalokohan. Iyung DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) wala tayong kaalam-alam, mas madami pa silang itinatago, kaya takot sila mawala na sa puwesto,” Tiangco pointed out.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said personal interest could be the main reason why the group of deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte contradicted Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. who earlier claimed that President Aquino had no intention of staying in power beyond noon of June 30, 2016.
“The reason is simple — when you talk about personal interest and not the common good, people can’t get their acts together,” Batocabe explained.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, another stalwart of LP, said there is a growing clamor for him to secure a new mandate because of concerns that all the fruits of the reforms that he has started will just be put to waste if he steps down on noon of June 30, 2016.
Treñas said that there is now a simmering sentiment among many members of Congress that there might be a need for them to convene themselves into a Constituent Assembly (COAs) to amend the Constitution and allow the re-election of the President.