Palace: ‘No need for People Power’
MANILA, Philippines — Amid threats of fresh waves of street protests against efforts to amend the Constitution, Malacañang said there is “no need for People Power” in the face of “more important matters” the country has to attend to.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo also said if the public was “properly informed” about the intentions of lawmakers pushing for Charter change, they will realize there is “no need for them to go out in the streets again.”
A coalition of anti-government groups are set to march to Ayala Avenue in the Makati City financial district to express their outrage over fresh attempts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s allies in the House of Representatives to push for Charter change through a constituent assembly.
Administration critics say the move is a ploy to extend the President’s term beyond 2010.
“There is no need for people power. We have more important matters to attend to…I’m sure the people are more aware of the issues. There is no reason to panic. There is no reason for People Power. We just have to inform the public on Cha-cha [Charter change],” Fajardo told a news conference in Malacañang.
“If the public properly informed, there is no need for them to go out in the streets, if our countrymen are enlightened on the intention of lawmakers who want Cha-cha,” she added.
It was a “People Power” uprising in 2001 that ousted former president Joseph Estrada and replaced him with Arroyo. The so-called EDSA 2 revolt was patterned after the original uprising in 2986 that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
Fajardo maintained that the Palace would support Charter change only if it is for economic and political reforms, not for term extensions.
She also reminded people planning to join the rallies to know the “motives” of protest organizers first.
When asked by reporters, Fajardo acknowledged Estrada’s presence could boost the number of people joining the rallies.
Estrada, who was convicted of plunder but pardoned by Arroyo, has said he is willing to join the anti-government protests.
View article as posted on INQUIRER.net