MANILA - Former president Fidel Ramos on Monday said it would be unfair and unethical if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo runs for a seat in Congress in 2010 without resigning from the presidency.
In a press conference before leaving for an engagement in India, Ramos said that as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and as head of state and government, it would not be fair if Arroyo does not resign in the event she runs for the second district of Pampanga.
He noted that in Bangladesh, the Prime Minister, who is the incumbent head of government, and all the ministers in the Cabinet all resigned from their posts 90 days before a general parliamentary election.
A caretaker government, headed by a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court, administered Bangladesh during the transition period.
Ramos said that resigning from their posts means that the officials will not be able to use the power and clout of their office to their advantage during the election.
He also said that a president's political plan is the responsibility of the president, both as commander in chief and as chair of the ruling party, to disclose.
He also said that President Arroyo should not be "controversial" anymore in order to maintain national unity.
However, Ramos said that he is not "looking for trouble" after he said last week that the President should declare his political plans for 2010.
Ramos said that even if the president’s plans, as Palace officials insist, is private, he said Mrs. Arroyo would not be able to keep it to herself for long. He also said that everyone needs to know her plans in the future.
In another topic, Ramos also criticized the planning system of President Arroyo's trips, saying that while these trips are necessary for her work, planners should have clustered her trips to be more efficient.
Ramos also challenged the members of the President's entourage in these trips, saying that they should explain to the public why they are joining her in her travels.
He said that even if these officials insist that they are spending their own money, the time they should spend serving the public back at home is lessened.