People's vigilance key to averting failure of elections - Drilon
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (23 March) -- Former Senate President Franklin Drilon has asked the people and the media to be vigilant in the coming May 10 elections to prevent a possible "failure of elections" and ensure a smooth transfer of power.
In a talk with Pangasinan mediamen before addressing a graduation exercise of the Lyceum-Northwestern University at the CSI Stadia Tuesday, Drilon stressed that the rule on succession may not work when there is a failure of elections even if a new Senate president is elected.
He said that historically, a military junta takes over when there is a power vacuum.
"I am not an alarmist but we should be extremely sensitive to the situation at hand," he said, citing present circumstances that when put together, he pointed out, it would appear that Malacanang is cooking up something like a failure of elections.
He said he was concerned of the apparent "mind conditioning" by the administration, referring to the statement attributed to deputy Spokesperson Charito Planas, that a failure of elections might pave the way for a military takeover. Hindi media ang nagsimula ng usaping yan," he noted.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, he recalled, broached the idea of having a transition government. People, he said, are becoming wary too about the appointment of General Delfin Bangit as AFP Chief of Staff.
Malacanang however assured that President Macapagal-Arroyo is going to step down and turn over government to whoever is elected president. First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo was quoted as asking the administration's detractors to wait since the Chief Executive, he said, is there for just a few months. He dismissed such talks of failure of elections as speculative.
On the Supreme Court ruling that the President can appoint the chief justice, Drilon said that while he was against it, he still respected it being a lawyer. He also welcomed the petition made by the Nacionalista Party although he observed that the party seemed to be just riding on the issue.
The Liberal Party led by presidential candidate Senator Benigno Aquino III barnstormed vote-rich Pangasinan starting Tuesday. They held rallies in this city and nearby San Carlos City. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]