Malacanang is more or less equivalent to the White House or the government. Cha cha is constitutional change. This article suggests that the president Arroyo may be planning to institute martial law to give her more powers. Also, she wants to intitiate constitutional change that would allow her to stay in power longer. The Tribune is not exacly a neutral observer. During the last state of emergency the government occupied it for some time. It has not tamed down its rhetoric one bit.
Lawyer Avelino Cruz, a partner in the country’s most controversial law firm Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco, and more notably Gloria’s former Defense Secretary, revealed a lot when he appeared before television yesterday.
Cruz said his appearance was at his own request and he came out with a warning over the possibility of an emergency rule, a euphemism for Martial Law, over the current conflict in Mindanao.
Cruz used to be within earshot of those who wield power in Malacañang making his warning absolutely credible. The fact that he came out voluntarily on TV to issue the warning indicated urgency.
It appeared that Cruz did a preemptive strike on a plan he had gotten wind of.
He knows of Gloria Arroyo’s obsession to stay in power forever, if need be and he knows, too, that she will steal, lie and cheat just to stay on forever — that is, until she can hand over the reins of power to one of her sons, perhaps.
Cruz should know her well. He and his law firm were her lawyers long before she grabbed power. Come to think of it, his colleagues in the law firm even wrote that letter to the Supreme Court (SC) justices, claiming that then sitting President Joseph Estrada was no longer able to govern, as everyone — including the military, has withheld his support from him — a letter, incidentally, that was grossly illegal and unconstitutional, since she, as vice president, and a beneficial party, was not empowered to declare Estrada to be incapacitated.
But know her, Cruz does. And like her craving for Charter change (Cha-cha) for political perpetuity, Gloria is always on the lookout for an opportunity to wield extra powers and it seems that the worsening situation in Mindanao is her perfect alibi.
With 2010 getting closer, the efforts to have either Martial Law or a Cha-cha meant to extend the political wick of Gloria’s term appears to be intensifying.
The most recent effort to introduce changes in the Constitution was on the proposal to put up the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) through the aborted Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD).
The BJE, which was practically a Muslim state, would have required the amending of the Constitution. It appeared that had the Aug. 5 signing of the MoA-AD been rammed through, Gloria would have had the perfect reason to push Cha-cha “for peace in Mindanao” and blame her critics if fighting in Mindanao is reignited if the Cha-cha initiative is again blocked, which is similar to a shotgun pointed at the people’s head to allow Cha-cha.
Cruz, who, as a topnotch lawyer should know, said the MoA-AD was riddled with constitutional infirmities such as self-executing provisions which can be interpreted that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) owned the Bangsamoro homeland.
After the SC stopped the signing of the agreement, Gloria and her cabal tried to worm their way out of the treacherous deal by saying that Gloria was unaware of its contents including the giving away of the portion of the country’s territory.
Cruz finally issued a warning about “people holding on to power for too long.”
Without referring to Gloria, he said an amendment to the Constitution, if ever, should provide that the vice president who succeeds or takes over an uncompleted term of a president should not be allowed to run in the next presidential elections.
Gloria grabbed the presidency from popularly elected President Estrada in 2001 through the support of the treacheorus military chiefs, then stole a six-year extension after using government resources to cheat and bribe her way to a fraudulent victory during the 2004 elections.
Cruz, again without referring to Gloria, said most presidents at the beginning of their term are out to serve national interests but if “you are in power too long there are so many pressures and effects on you, you run out of ideas, you get tired, you become less patient listening to public opinion.”
Without naming Gloria, Cruz said a lot about the sinister character of her and the cabal in Malacañang.
And without saying it, he warned the country about what Gloria and her cabal would be capable of in achieving political perpetuity.
Cruz was saying, through it all, not to expect Gloria to willingly step down by 2010.