ATTENTION: PEOPLE’S TONIGHT Desk
Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
STORY #3 “NO-EL”
OPPOSITION and administration House leaders joined forces yesterday
in opposing the possibility of no elections in 2016 as suggested, but
later recanted by presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, stressing
it is even condemnable to make a joke out of it.
House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin
Romualdez, Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. and House Deputy
Minority Leader and Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III stressed
the people would not allow a “no-el” scenario as this would destroy
the very essence of the country’s democracy.
“Even if they were testing the waters, such idea is condemnable to
the highest degree. You can’t even joke it because this is a very
highly sensitive matter. This should have not been floated because
this is a direct affront and serious threat to the country’s
democracy,” Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine
Constitution Association (Philconsa), pointed out as he warned of
“chaos because the people will be opposing the idea (no elections)
After Lacierda recanted his statement, Presidential Communications
Operations Office Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. clarified that a
no-election scenario never crossed the mind of President Benigno
“Noynoy” Aquino III.
Belmonte, vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and main
advocate of economic Charter change (Cha) that Philconsa is backing,
agreed with Romualdez, saying the people within the President’s circle
should not float a “no-el” scenario because it would not do good for
the country’s stability.
“We can’t afford that (no elections),” Belmonte stressed.
For his part, Albano expressed belief that the government would not
succeed from suspending the 2016 presidential polls even if they are
serious about it, adding the people behind President’s circle should
not put to waste the good achievements of the Aquino administration.
“Hindi siguro, hindi nila magagawa. Magkakagulo ‘yan kasi inaasahan ng
taumbayan na magkakaroon tayo ng eleksiyon ngayong 2016. Kung
magkakaroon ng no-el, magagalit ang taumbayan sa kanila. Lahat ng
ginawang kabutihan nitong pamahalaan na ito masasayang. It will go
down the drain,” Albano, an advocate of Cha-cha through Constituent
assembly, told Rowena Salvacion’s radio morning program over dzBB
With the no-el scenario story coming from the Palace people, Albano
said they are harming the President whose popularity dropped in the
latest popularity surveys.
“Pinapahamak nila si P-Noy in the sense na baka naman tini-test lang
nila ‘yong waters. Ganyan talaga ang trabaho ng presidential
spokesman. Magsasabi ang presidential spokesman para i-test nila ‘yung
waters, ‘yung public opinion. Pag-adverse ang reaction ng mamamayan,
sasabihin ni Presidente, ay hindi ko panukala ‘yan. Kathang isip lang
nina Lacierda at (Interior and Local government Secreray) Mar Roxas
‘yan. Pero ‘pag maganda ang dating sa tao, sasabihin ni Presidente,
sigurado kailangan nating makinig sa ating mga bosses (masses),”