More and more groups are calling for the President’s resignation, but they have misgivings about the possibility of the Vice President taking over.
If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s because it already happened before. In the immediate aftermath of the “Hello, Garci” scandal in June 2005, a long list of civil society groups and prominent individuals urged then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign.
The effort resurfaced in early 2008 when the $329 million NBN-ZTE deal controversy became public. Despite these two major scandals and many other controversies, Arroyo was able to finish her term which lasted until June 2010.
One major reason is because the groups calling for Arroyo’s ouster were not exactly happy to have Vice President Noli De Castro become the country’s commander-in-chief.
For example, the Black and White Movement in 2005 discussed a scenario where De Castro will serve as a caretaker president with the “assistance” of a Council of Elders of sorts. Three years later, the group rejected De Castro altogether. Of course, all their plans went nowhere since Arroyo stayed put.
The recent appeals for President Benigno Aquino III to resign is triggered by his administration’s actions before and after the clandestine police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25 were 44 officers from the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force got killed.
The tragedy is without a doubt the worst crisis to hit the five-year-old Aquino administration. It is now comparable to a tiger that’s bleeding profusely due to self-inflicted wounds.
Despite Aquino’s obvious mishandling of this tragedy (the most significant of which is to let erstwhile PNP Chief Alan Purisima direct the operation despite his suspension), his resignation or impeachment will not solve anything. The best thing to do at this point is to proceed with the independent investigation of what really went wrong on that fateful day in order to punish the guilty parties.
More importantly, do we really want Jejomar Binay to become President? The situation is really like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but what can we do? The Constitution mandates that the Vice President should take the place of the President if he resigns, gets impeached, or dies in office.
Needless to say, the so-called “National Transition Council” being floated by individuals including Peping and Tingting Cojuangco, Norberto Gonzales, and Francisco Tatad as well as Archbishops Oscar Cruz and Ramon Arguelles have no legal basis. As much as we detest Aquino, we cannot disregard the constitutional process just because of the prevailing heat of the moment. In any case, we are just 14 months away from the next presidential elections.
GIVE THE BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW A CHANCE: I am against the mindless scrapping of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The peace deal is a product of many years of negotiations between the National Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Just imagine if the next administration will have to start the process from scratch all over again.
I feel it should be given a chance to be deliberated upon after the investigation as to what really happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.