No agreement, no deal with Honasan – Palace
Manila (7 May) -- With the May 14 mid-term elections just a week away, Malacanang clarified today that there was absolutely no agreement or proposal to include independent candidate former Senator Gregorio Honasan in the administration’s Team Unity ticket.
“Reports that former Senator Gregorio Honasan, who is now out on bail and on the campaign trail, has reached an agreement with the government in exchange for his inclusion in the administration’s senatorial slate have no basis,” Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said.
In his weekly column “The View From the Palace” coming out Monday, Bunye said that “speculations about a deal between Honasan and the government” surfaced after the accused coup plotter met with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last week.
Honasan, who is seeking a fresh term in the Senate in next week’s polls, has been accused of involvement in the failed Oakwook mutiny in 2003 and the aborted coup attempt in February last year.
“It was Honasan who sought an audience with the President in connection with the rebellion case against him, wherein the Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an amended information with the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) upgrading the charges against Honasan to leader of the Oakwook mutiny,” Bunye said.
According to the Press Secretary, the meeting was arranged “through the intercession of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, with whom Honasan’s political and public life has been entwined.” Honasan was accompanied by his son Kim, Bunye said.
The Presidential Spokesman narrated that during the meeting, the former senator gave a letter to the President, wherein he “disavowed any intention to overthrow the government” and also denounced military adventurism as “an incorrect method of change.”
Bunye said that after reading the letter, the President said if Honasan really “believes he is innocent, he should follow the judicial process” to prove his innocence.
“The President is aware that the filing by the DOJ of upgraded charges was based on the prosecutors’ evaluation of the available evidence showing that Honasan was not a mere supporter or sympathizer of the Oakwook mutiny,” the Press Secretary said.
“It is therefore in everyone’s best interest that these charges be fully ventilated in court, which is the best and proper venue for Honasan to refute these,” Bunye concluded. (OPS) [top]