BINAY: ARROYO COULD BE UNSEATED LIKE HONDURAN PRESIDENT
JUNE 29 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO
Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today warned Mrs. Arroyo that she could be unseated and exiled like the former president of Honduras if she persists in extending her stay in power beyond 2010.
Binay issued the warning even as he said reports of a planned “self-coup” involving generals known as Gloria loyalists would further fuel unrest within the military and galvanize opposition to her regime.
“Mrs. Arroyo should view the events in Honduras as a wake-up call. She should not test the patience of the people, especially the military with the supposed plan to force the current Armed Forces chief into early retirement to pave the way for a diehard Gloria loyalist,” he said.
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was unseated in a coup Sunday, hours before a referendum criticized as an attempt to stay in power beyond his term. Zelaya had pushed for a revision of the Constitution to allow him to serve another term even after the country’ Supreme Court ruled it illegal.
Binay said reports of a “self-coup” within the military leadership – where generals identified with Class ’78 of the Philippine Military Academy will get key positions before the end of the year – have been circulating for the past months. Mrs. Arroyo is an adopted member of Class ’78.
Such a plan, he said, falls in place with the recent moves by Mrs. Arroyo to extend her hold on power by pushing for amendments to the Constitution.
“Nothing happens by accident under the regime of Mrs. Arroyo. And a plan to consolidate her hold on the military leadership would be a logical part of a larger plan to stay in power beyond 2010,” he said.
Binay said the public “should prepare for the worst.”
“Should Oplan August Moon turn out to be true, then we should prepare for the worst, since you will have both the AFP and even the PNP under the command of known Gloria loyalists, and this will happen during the election period, a very critical period for the country but most especially for Mrs. Arroyo,” he said.
Aside from reports that AFP Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado will be “forced into retirement” and will be replaced by Army Chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, Binay said he also got reports that a certain police general has been telling people that he will be the next PNP chief by December.
“During the election period, Mrs. Arroyo will have complete control over the AFP and PNP leadership. She will definitely use this to her advantage, whether to ensure the victory of her anointed candidate, or to impose emergency rule and even martial law,” he said.