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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    TWO INFLUENTIAL religious leaders and opponents of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are pushing for the holding of a presidential election in 2007 to end the political impasse.

    Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde are calling for a "snap election" via a single amendment to the Constitution, according to opposition Senator Sergio Osmeña III.

    The Black and White Movement, which includes the so-called Hyatt 10, is urging Vice President Noli de Castro to take the reins of power from Ms Arroyo and head an advisory council as "transition president" until a special election is held in 2007.

    Both proposals would effectively cut short the six-year term of the President. Ms Arroyo, who has until 2010 to serve out her term, has been accused of stealing the presidential election in 2004. She has denied rigging the polls.

    Romulo Macalintal, a lawyer of Ms Arroyo's, said there was nothing in the Constitution that authorizes cutting short the President's term.

    Calling on Ms Arroyo to cut short her term was tantamount to asking her to resign, Macalintal said. "And if she agrees to cut short her term, she's considered resigned," he said.

    Former President Fidel Ramos has proposed that Ms Arroyo make a "graceful exit" by cutting short her term. He also wants the holding of elections next year only after Charter change and a shift to a parliamentary form of government.

    But local government officials and members of the House of Representatives adopted a manifesto on Thursday calling for Ms Arroyo to finish her term.

    Vidal and Velarde met with big businessmen in Makati City about "10 days ago" and asked them to lobby Congress to pass the amendment to the Constitution that would allow the snap polls, Osmeña said on Saturday night.

    Bullet amendment

    "Since snap elections are not provided for in the Constitution, they thought that Congress sitting as a constituent assembly could pass a bullet amendment to the Constitution to be submitted to the people in a plebiscite calling immediately for snap elections," he said.

    Osmeña said he was informed that Vidal and Velarde had requested the meeting. "They were testing the idea with the business community to see if they could get support and they could all go to Gloria and ask her to agree to this," the senator said.

    Osmeña said the meeting at the Citibank Tower in Makati was attended by nine businessmen from the Makati Business Club, Financial Executives of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines and the Federation of Philippine Industries.


    Vidal confirmed last night having attended a meeting in Manila, but he said he had no authority to divulge anything about it. "The matter is a little delicate to divulge," he said.

    "Whenever I am there, they take the opportunity to come and see me," he said, adding that people talk to him because they know "I am not madaldal (talkative)."

    He said he was just a participant and that he didn't initiate anything.

    Asked if he went to the Citibank Tower, he replied, laughing: "What I know is that I rode an elevator."

    Also last night, Velarde confirmed that he and Vidal had met recently with leaders of the Makati Business Club and other business organizations and discussed a "joint effort with all sectors" to resolve the lingering crisis in the Arroyo presidency.

    "The objective (of the meeting) is to unite everybody and establish a formula for principled cooperation," the influential leader of the Catholic charismatic group said in a message to the Inquirer.

    Constituent assembly

    "This will be achieved by having a multi-partisan Cabinet immediately and work for the lifting of the term limits (of elective officials and) to pave the way for the holding of a presidential election in 2007," Velarde said.

    Velarde said Congress should convene as a constituent assembly to propose a "simple amendment" to the Charter, which will lift term limits and provide for the 2007 elections. The amendment will be submitted to a plebiscite for approval.

    Velarde said the amendment would be part of a four-step formula aimed at ensuring the cooperation of all sectors.

    First is the setting up by Ms Arroyo of a multi-partisan Cabinet. (Velarde earlier told the Inquirer that he had proposed a 60-40 sharing of Cabinet posts, with more seats going to the opposition.)

    Comelec cleanup

    Next is the approval of the amendment by Congress and the people to be followed by the "cleanup of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)." Otherwise, Velarde said, the results of the plebiscite and elections would be questionable.

    After the presidential election, Congress could tackle the proposal to shift to a parliamentary-federal system of government, he said.

    Among the business leaders Velarde and Vidal reportedly met with were Ricardo Romulo, Cesar Buenaventura and Guillermo Luz of the MBC, which has called for Ms Arroyo's resignation, as well as the chair of the accounting firm SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV).

    Velarde felt the businessmen were "receptive" to the proposal, and one of them described it as a "winning formula."

    Until Nov. 30

    The Black and White Movement (BWM) has given De Castro until Nov. 30 to withdraw support from Ms Arroyo and to accept the proposal to take over the government as her constitutional successor.

    If he agrees, a "welcome prayer rally" awaits him on that day, BWM convenor Vicente "Enteng" Romano III said. "Our message to him would be, 'Game ka na ba (Are you ready), Kabayan?'"

    He said a "breakaway" by De Castro could hasten the downfall of Ms Arroyo, in the same manner that her "breakaway" from Joseph Estrada in 2000 weakened the Estrada presidency.

    But if De Castro declined, BWM said it would support Senate President Franklin Drilon as "acting president," who shall call for a special election within 60 days as provided for in the Constitution.

    "We will also declare De Castro an accomplice of GMA (Ms Arroyo) and that would give us the moral basis to junk him," Romano said.

    In throwing their support behind De Castro, the BWM, which includes resigned Cabinet secretaries Corazon "Dinky" Soliman, Florencio "Butch" Abad, Teresita "Ging" Deles and Imelda "Mely" Nicolas among its members, also "affirmed" its decision that Ms Arroyo should be replaced for cheating in the May 2004 elections.

    "After extensive deliberations, we have decided that our preferred option for regime change is for the Vice President to succeed as transition president until 2007, for him to install an advisory council and to agree to a popularly affirmed reform agenda," the group said in a resolution read at the closing of a daylong workshop on “succession options” at the Ateneo High School open court on Saturday.

    Abad said a delegation would meet with De Castro to explain the position and proposal made by the group. "This will need his concurrence," Abad said.

    The resolution was signed by Abad, Soliman, Delez and Nicolas of the Hyatt 10, and BWM convenors Romano, Gerry Bulatao, Gus Lagman and Chito Gascon. They were joined by some 300 community leaders and organizers from as far away as Davao.

    Saying Ms Arroyo was experiencing a "hardness of heart," a senior Roman Catholic bishop yesterday advised the President to heed the proposal to cut short her term and yield her post by 2007.

    Bishop Teodoro Bacani said such a decision would once and for all calm a restless public and allow her to govern more effectively for less than two years, rather than when she insists on completing her term to 2010.

  2. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The Black and White Movement (BWM) has given De Castro until Nov. 30 to withdraw support from Ms Arroyo and to accept the proposal to take over the government as her constitutional successor.
    doesn't sound right ... parang sila pa nagbibigay ng ultimatum. complicated talaga dito sa P'nas, kahit sino mapamahirap o mapainfluential o mapa "man of god", feel na feel na may part sila sa history in the making in the Phils. give the man a chance to decide for himself, he's earned it dahil binoto naman sya as VP. walang kundisyon-kundisyon kuno ... tsk tsk

  3. Join Date
    Aug 2005
    BALL SHEET! mga kawatan!!!

  4. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    goes to show that those who call themselves "men of God" are just plain sharlatans and are maybe the false prophets and teachers that the Bible is warning us about.

    if PGMA is steps down... VP Noli should take reigns of the government until 2010 as he is the duly elected VP for crying out loud.

  5. Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Snap election? Would it make the country better? Whoever wins would be charged as cheater.

  6. Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Snap election??

    It's just a damn waste of time.

    "Real" people have work to do and not waste time on this BS.

    But going back, it real looks like the RP political scene is a place where it's anyone's struggle for power (and each person/group having their own agenda).

    Hayzzzz, good thing this issue is not so damaging to our economy.

    BUT what if it did???

    If that were to happen, then you can expect Japan to beat RP in reducing its total debt (and that's considering na 800 trillion Yen ang overall debt ng kanilang bansa).

  7. Join Date
    Sep 2004
    If they want snap elections, let them shoulder the costs. Malaki naman ng mga tithings/contributions sa kanila di ba? Sisiw lang sa kanila yan.

    Otherwise, they should just concentrate on how to get more people to attend their congregations.

  8. Join Date
    May 2005

    Ibig nilang sabihin eh yung mga kino-kolektang EVAT starting Nov.1 eh
    mapupunta lang para gastusan ang isang snap election? Ganun din ang
    arithmetic nun dahil pera ng taong bayan din gagamitin dun.

    The government should simply ignore these people. If the snap-election
    suggestion is ignored, what are they threatening to do?

    An offer always has a threat involved, just in case the offer is refused.

  9. Join Date
    May 2004
    ano na naman yan?! aren't they tired of making noise?! wake up dreamers!!!

  10. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Kailangan pumwesto uli ang Hyatt 10 sa gobyerno. Wala na daw silang pera eh. . . :D

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Velarde, Hyatt 10 push snap election