JDV agrees with Trillanes, says gov’t needs ‘reforms at the top’
- Delon Porcalla () - December 2, 2007 - 12:00am

Opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes has found a rather unlikely ally in Speaker Jose de Venecia – whose ties with President Arroyo have been strained severely – after the House leader agreed that there should be “reforms at the top.”

De Venecia, however, stressed that “the rule of law must prevail in our people’s collective cry for reforms.”

The Speaker also expressed relief that the Makati City incident “was resolved with no bloodshed and with no loss of life.”

“Without a doubt we need reforms at the top. That is the reason we launched the moral revolution so the nation can retake the moral high ground and decisively move from the continuing crisis in our midst to a renewal of our values,” the Pangasinan congressman said.

Most of the House members, especially those who are known allies of the President, lambasted Trillanes and his group.

The Speaker said Trillanes’ call for change “is a cause for concern but not for alarm.”

“We must cleanse government and society and restore the nation from what our respected Church leaders have described as a state of moral bankruptcy. The idea of a moral revolution can achieve a real national transformation and bring about national reconciliation,” he said.

Meantime, the lawmaker-son and namesake of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona urged the Arroyo administration to heed the clamor of the people for change. “Listen to the whispers, and you won’t have to hear the screams,” he said.

“The Arroyo regime must listen to the people. But with their guns and tanks firing, they cannot hear,” Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III said in a statement. “Instead of listening to the message, they have this brutal habit of shooting down the messenger.”

“The Arroyo regime is good at intimidating people with guns. But this is not good governance. They are obviously incompetent at good governance,” he added.

The older Guingona was with Trillanes at the Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City when they called for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo.

“My father delivered a message. Instead of listening, they arrested the messengers, including the media who were just reporting the message. Worse, they punished the people by imposing a curfew,” Guingona said.

“These actions show a high degree of cruelty, a blatant disregard for human rights, a desperation to stay in power at all costs,” the second-term opposition lawmaker added.

Rep. Arthur Celeste, chairman of the House committee on national defense and security, slammed the attempted power grab of Trillanes along with his fellow Magdalo soldiers and a host of civilian supporters.

“The government, through the combined elements of the PNP and the AFP, was correct when it imposed an afternoon deadline to re-arrest the ‘escapists’ Trillanes and Lim, along with their civilian cohorts,” Celeste said.

“They didn’t respect the courts of the land and as such they forfeited whatever courtesy was due them either as senator or as former ranking military officers,” he said.

“Unremorseful rebel soldiers like Trillanes and Lim should never be again given the kid-glove treatment or lest copycat adventurists will do similar foolish attempts in the future,” Celeste warned.

“Elected officials as well as officers of the military establishment are sworn to protect the Constitution, uphold the rule of law and respect the supremacy of duly constituted civilian authority,” Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said, reminding Trillanes and his group of their duty.

“The improvident and recidivist adventurism of Trillanes, Lim and their armed complement in forcibly seizing the hotel to launch their concerted action to cause the fall of the government verily constitutes a violation of their oaths and transgression of penal laws,” he said.

“This calls for immediate sanctions, arrest and prosecution of the errant parties,” the senior House leader said.

Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles said Trillanes and his comrades “should follow the rule of law and not use violence and force to make their political statements as this will certainly not help our country a bit.”

“What they have done is not part of our democratic process. Chaos will ensue, so it is but proper that the government would take all the necessary action to end this standoff. Trillanes and his followers should wait until 2010 to replace a duly elected president by way of an election instead of fomenting civil unrest,” he said.

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante, meantime, urged President Arroyo to make a serious assessment of resolving charges of anomaly in government.

“Our nation is again being tried, the government must listen and address corruption and inequities but the best move of believers right now is to pray and ask God for mercy and wisdom,” he said.

Reps. Juan Edgardo Angara of Quezon and Edno Joson of Nueva Ecija both agreed that the means by which Trillanes and his group wanted to destabilize the government is wrong, as this would only make the improving economy suffer further.

“The Filipinos should learn from this, short cut shouldn’t be a process,” Angara said.

“A wrong cannot be made right by another wrong. Violence is not the solution. This is the reason why we proposed a vote of confidence through referendum and snap elections because this is the legal, peaceful and democratic way,” Joson said.

ALBAY REP PLACE PRESIDENT ARROYO TRILLANES TRILLANES AND LIM
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