MANILA, Philippines - Allies of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today denounced an alleged demolition plot by the administration against Mrs. Arroyo to bolster President Benigno Aquino III’s image in time for his State of the Nation Address on July 23.
In a statement released to the media, the minority bloc said they received word of a new demolition job against the former president to divert people's attention away from problems such as poverty, hunger, unemployment and inflation.
“Hindi na po ito matuwid na daan, at hindi rin po matuwid na kaisipan, Mr. President. Baluktot po ito. Tinatanong na po kayo ng sambayanan, kailan naman po ang kapakanan nila ang inyong pagtutuunan ng pansin?” the group asked.
Earlier, the minority group said allowing Mrs. Arroyo to post bail in the electoral sabotage case will not be an embarrassment to the Aquino administration.
Rep. Orlando Fua said no credible witness has yet to link the former president to poll sabotage.
He said those who have testified are government officials who can be easily influenced through bribes or even promises of promotion.
"Justice must prevail. If there is no evidence against her, by all means legally and constitutionally, she should be provisionally released. The matter of whether it's honorable or whether it's shameful, we are dealing with justice and justice cannot be compromised," Fua said.
Show some compassion
For his part, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the Aquino administration and Pasay regional trial court Judge Jesus Mupas should show compassion to the ailing former president.
"Pakiusap lang namin, compassion ng konti. May sakit sya. Di pa naman proven guilty. Babae sya. Baka naman pwedeng grant na ang bail kung weak ang electoral sabotage case na lumalabas ngayon."
He added, "We hope the President will take note that in a recent survey, the majority of our people-including those who do not oppose the filing of charges against her-most of them would be willing to see her granted bail or at least placed under house arrest."
Suarez is referring to a recent survey by Eduardo Malay, the head of the public relations outfit Issues and Advocacy Center. There, 41% of respondents prefer that Mrs. Arroyo be released from continued detention at the hospital.
The minority leader said the statement attributed to Arroyo supposedly ordering a 12-0 victory for administration senatorial candidates in the 2007 midterm elections was only meant to boost morale during a campaign period.
"That is a motherhood statement. Standard yung, 'we will wipe them out. We will take no prisoners.’ Parang ganun, mga morale boosters mo during the campaign. So yung 12-0, wala namang sumusunod e. Wala namang sinabing 12-0,” he said.
Fua added that statement doesn't make her a party in the cheating.
Second term for Arroyo
Meantime, Suarez said there is no reason for Arroyo not to seek a second term as congressional representative of the 2nd district of Pampanga.
He said Arroyo can campaign even while in detention. He clarified, however, that he has not yet asked Arroyo about her plans.
Suarez and members of the minority visited Arroyo last week.
Suarez said they were happy as a group. He said that even though Arroyo may miss golf, she probably won’t be able to play again because of her medical condition.