Monday, March 22, 2010

Satur: firm "No" to military take over in case of poll failure

Media Release

Satur: firm "No" to military take over in case of poll failure

Makabayan senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo today said that Malacanang has itself to blame if no one believes its assertions that there will be no hitches or delays in Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo' s exit from the presidency in June.

"Pres. Arroyo has lied before – back in 2002 she said that she would not run for the presidency but she reneged on her word. The more denials Malacanang issues regarding the matter of Arroyo's exit, the more people become skeptical. In any case, the Filipino people will remain watchful against any and all attempts to keep Arroyo in office beyond June 30, 2010," Ocampo said.

Ocampo also said he is against proposals that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) take over in the event of a failure of elections. He said that allowing the military to assume power should not even be considered. "A military take-over is not even an option. We cannot risk handing over the reigns of government to a military junta given the AFP's record in abusing civil, political and human rights," he said.

Ocampo said that should there be a failure of elections, a civilian body comprised of church leaders, grassroots people's organizations, political parties and credible government officials can stand in and fill the vacuum. "Civilian authority must never be ceded to the military. We have learned our lessons from the dark years of martial law. This body can temporarily perform administrative functions as more comprehensive remedies are put in place to solve the problem of the vacuum in office," he said.

"But why are we even discussing such a possibility such as a military take-over? Does Malacanang know something the rest of us don't about the upcoming elections? We have the sneaking suspicion that Malacanang should actually be behind all this talk of failure of elections as a means to condition the public into accepting such a fatal possibility and so Filipinos will end up lowering their guard," Ocampo said.