Malacañang on Thursday said groups calling for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd are “opportunists” who have no clear solutions to the country’s ills and therefore are bound to fail.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., these personalities are actively sowing dissent in their bid to pursue their “selfish” agenda. But the official refused to say if he was referring to the National Transformation Council (NTC) and former congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and his wife, Margarita, both of whom have joined calls for Aquino to step down.
“Maganda po sana kung bukod sa pambabatikos ay may nailalatag silang alternatibong solusyon. ‘Di tuloy natin maiwasang isipin: Ayaw nilang magkaroon ng kapayapaan dahil sila mismo ang nakikinabang sa gulo at karahasan. Ang gusto nila muling magkanya-kanya ang mga Pilipino at mawala ang tiwala natin sa isa’t isa upang isulong ang kanilang pansariling agenda [It would be nice if, apart from criticizing, they are also presenting alternative solutions. We can’t help but think: They don’t want peace because they themselves will gain from the trouble and the violence. They want Filipinos to go their separate ways so that they will lose trust in each other and push their own agenda],” Coloma said in a news briefing.
He called on the public to be vigilant against efforts to take advantage of the Mamasapano massacre, where 44 elite police commandos died.
The Philippine National Police Alumni Association (PNPAA) is set to launch a Walk for Justice for the SAF (Special Action Force) 44 on March 8.
But the event, according to Coloma, may be used by critics of the President to press their demands.
“Pansinin natin na noong mga nakaraang araw, umusbong ang mga panawagan para sa pagbibitiw ng Pangulo, kasabay ng mga umano’y bantang kudeta at iba pang destabilization efforts. Ginamit pa ng mga oportunistang grupo ang pagdiriwang ng ika-29 na anibersaryo ng EDSA People Power Revolution bilang okasyon upang himukin ang mga mamamayan na gamitin daw muli ang people power laban sa pamahalaan [Note that in the past few days, calls for the President to resign grew, simultaneously with a coup threat and other destabilization efforts. The opportunistic groups even used the 29the anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution as an occasion to convince the people to use people power against the government],” he said.
Coloma described the President’s critics as “desperate.” He echoed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s statement that groups seeking the ouster of Aquino are committing illegal acts.
The PNPAA said a march scheduled for Sunday will not be political, an assurance that groups such as the NTC and its allied organizations are not welcome.
Coloma earlier warned NTC against stepping over the boundaries of legitimate dissent as the government stands ready to have them charged for violation of the Revised Penal Code.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a convenor of the NTC, last week taunted the government by saying he is not afraid to go to jail.
The NTC also called on the entire Cabinet and all members of Congress to resign for they, too, benefited from so-called pork barrel funds.
“It will be a great pleasure for me if I go to jail. Many of those in jail are innocent and still many of those guilty are there not because they are the only sinners but the greater sinners are free and are placed in government,” Arguelles, who led the latest gathering of the council in Lipa City, Batangas, said.
He insisted that their actions cannot be considered sedition or rebellion.