Shall we talk terms now?


Having previously discussed on this page the principal reasons why President B. S. Aquino 3rd must go “now na,” as Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa emphatically puts it, we must conclude by saying that this would be for the good of all, including Aquino himself. The system is broken, so we must fix it; it is diseased, so we must replace it. The only way to do this is for Aquino to first vacate the office. Then the work of national transformation could proceed.

Not having much bias for work, Aquino should welcome the opportunity to be finally freed of his duties. Instead of daydreaming of yet another term, which does not even exist in our laws, he might wish to imitate his late mother who, aware of her limitations, literally rushed out of the presidency as soon as her term was up. Until her son came, many thought she was the least prepared for the office. He proved us all wrong in that respect.

Until now, the Lipa and Cebu assemblies organized by the National Transformation Council, while calling on Aquino to step down, have left the timing of his departure at his own pleasure and initiative. However, some people have begun to show impatience. In Cebu on Oct. 1, they called upon the Council to “pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time” and to “immediately organize an alternative government.”

The stated purpose of the “alternative government” is to prevent a political vacuum from arising should Aquino finally exit, and every other member of government is prosecuted and jailed, as many people believe they should be, for corruption and other offenses. But the unstated purpose seems even more persuasive—to prevent Aquino from saying that he just could not step down despite his many sins, because he does not want to relinquish power to his embattled vice president Jojo Binay, and there is no other structure to assume the office he would relinquish.

Although the Council has declared a clear desire to avoid “people power,” especially one that would involve a military presence, it is now beginning to be asked if it can be completely avoided, should Aquino refuse to heed the call of the assemblies. After Lipa and Cebu, the next declaration will be coming soon from Mindanao, where Aquino’s effort to create a separate political entity for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has sailed into a host of unforeseen problems, including the arrival of elements identified with the extremist caliphate known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The demand from the assemblies will tend to escalate.

Can one foresee a point where the people will have to take direct action to press their demands? How far away are we from that? What will make the people march? Will it be enough for their moral and spiritual leaders to say, after the old Christian sages of the 11th century, that it is good that this thing be done, that they have the power to do it, therefore they have decided to do it?

Unfortunately for Malacañang, it has tried to falsify the Council’s clear message, by saying that the Council wants to abolish the projected 2016 elections as the method of choosing the next set of national leaders. This is not quite correct. Some people may have taken that view, but not the Council.

In my case, for instance, I seriously believe that we should now put paid to our rigged elections once and for all. Following the example of the Apostles who drew lots to choose a replacement for Judas after he hanged himself for betraying our Lord for thirty pieces of silver, we should replace our rotten elections with an honest-to-goodness lottery, where no candidate needs to spend a single centavo to corrupt or fool the voters or use any foul tactics to intimidate his adversaries.

Many would dismiss this as a crank proposal because it would leave everything to chance and do away with the “right of the people to choose their own leaders.” But the truth is that we have never had any truly clean and honest election, and the people have never really exercised their “right to choose their own leaders.” Invariably the politico-criminal syndicate chooses for them, especially in the last two national elections.

And yet this is not the position of the Council. As far as the Council is concerned, elections remain the only known and viable “democratic method” of choosing the nation’s leaders. But these have to be clean, honest and credible elections, except that we have not shown the slightest competence to conduct such elections. For the longest time, we have been enacting and reenacting an electoral farce, which reached its lowest low in 2010 and 2013, when the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic illegally divested the precinct count optical scan voting machines of their safety features and accuracy mechanisms.

The system has been thoroughly corrupted and debased, but Aquino has shown no interest in fixing it at all. Neither have the other politicians who daydream of succeeding PNoy. There are a number of them with oversize ambitions, but not a single one of them has had the courage to say they would not participate in any crooked election. Everyone is simply interested in controlling the cheating machine for their own ends. Only the Council is passionately interested in cleaning up the system so that the people’s vote, rather than the syndicate’s choice, will ultimately prevail.

So the Council does not believe we should have elections in 2016 unless and until we have at the very least totally overhauled the electoral system. This is but the first in a series of political and constitutional reforms, which should include a change in government structure. But it is the irreducible minimum. And it is non-negotiable.

Another non-negotiable first step is the prosecution of all those involved in the misuse of the pork barrel system, otherwise known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, pursuant to the order issued by the Supreme Court when it struck down the PDAF and the DAP as void and unconstitutional. This is necessary not only because the Court has ordered it, but above all because we need to clean up our political class so that we could have more public servants than rogues and thieves in public office, and so that the next administration could focus on its program of government, instead of simply putting on Aquino’s black robe as persecutor of one’s adversaries and protector of one’s criminal friends and lackeys.

No politician of any consequence has declared these two basic points as a conditio sine qua non for the holding of the next elections. Only the Council has. On the basis of this alone, the Council may have shown greater merit than the entire Aquino administration and those aspiring to replace it in looking after the common good and the public interest. But don’t take my word for it.

In a roundabout way, Malacañang has suggested that Aquino would like to dialog with the Council, probably when he is not too busy kicking his dead or jailed political opponents around, and blowing his own horn before polite and ill-informed audiences. I am sure the Council would be glad to oblige. But would he be ready by then to discuss the terms under which he would vacate his office?


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  1. I basically disagree NTC main objective to have PNoy step-down from office and have the transformation council manage the country until newly elected officals takes charge. We’ll be going back to what we have before after Marcos fled from the country. May 2016 is just couple of nights and new government will begin. What we can do right now is to be vigilant that PNoy and his allies plan of second term won’t happen considering that it’s against the Constituiton. Having the country governed by unelected officials is one step backward.

    My two cents..

  2. If we have to follow the logic of Mr. Kit Tatad, we let go of PNoy Now Na!! Then who will replace him, VP J. Binay?? Mr. Kit Tatad should properly coordinate his NTC mantra with his equally biased hossanna to VP J. Binay because whether he knows it or not. at this moment, VP J. Biany might not not be amenable of accepting as a show in president for PNoy?? And if VP J. Binay will also be impeached be cause of present alleged corrupt practices while serving as previous mayor of Makati city, who will then be sitting as president……………..Sen. F. Drillon, Speaker F. Belmonte or SC Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno?? Don’t give me a damn it should be Archbishop R. Arguelles??

  3. Dick van der Graaf on

    How dare you mr. Tatad? You, being a fanatic supporter of the Marcos-clan, are talking about corruption. Whilst the whole world knows that this clan was the biggest and most cruel criminal organisation in the Philppines ever. If you are so concerned about corruption first ask your friends to give back the money they stole from the poor Philippine people..
    How much did you steal?

    Dick van der Graaf

  4. You know what, mr. tatad? Looks like you attack noynoy aquino’s “syndicate govt.” e yang NTC nyo o whatever you call it, mukhang sindikato nyo din lang yan e. matigas ang ulo nyo, ni hindi nyo isinasama yung ibang tao, lalo na yung author ng 1986 people power philosophical construct. Papano nyo sasabihin na suportado kayo ng marami nating kababayan, lalo na ng masang Pilipino? Sa tingin ng marami, yang NTC nyo e sindikato ng mga marcos dregs and Gloria arroyo’s fawning parasites. So how can you expect for your call to oust pnoy fly? It won’t, with your obstinacy in not letting in other people join the movement. Don’t get me wrong. Do not mistake me for a pnoy underling or paid hack or troll. Know that potenciano.jennifer is a no-nonsense, well-respected blogger for years on end.

  5. Well written and clear column. I can add that Aquino has shown he can surrender his Presidency. He has already shown the capacity to surrender. He surrendered the south to the Muslims in the form of a proposed BBL.

  6. Brian Stanley-Jackson on

    It seems that perhaps the most urgent task for the entrepreneurial parts of the Council is the ensure that the warehouse storing the PCOS machines should meet a fiery end.

  7. Bravo, Sen. Tatad. I like what you wrote “In a roundabout way, Malakanyang has suggested that Aquino would like to dialogue with the council, probably when he is not too busy kicking his dead opponents or jailed political opponents around and blowing his own horn before polite and ill-informed audience” makes it mark. These are the few things PNoy is good at, nothing else other than of course stealing government funds to bribe his way around.

  8. it will not be surprising if we hear noynoy using the current binay debacle as an excuse and/or justification for his clamor for another term -that he and only he alone can continue what he started (whatever that is).

    perhaps in another month or two, noynoy will sing a different tune to further his ambition for another term -or a term for life?

  9. It will take a major catasprophe like an MRT train sailing down EDSA,which is linked directly to this administration’s incompetence and corruption, for the Abnoy to step down or else… It almost happened had that Taft Avenue terminal been on an elevated track.

  10. on

    Sen. Tadtad, Arc Vidal , Arc Cruz. nanaginip ba kayo. pinagtatawanan kayo ng Social Media Network, Pro Binay kayo, nagbabalat kayo na hindi. Pero based on your past -condoning all the anonalies of past administration and more being part of it, you lose your moral authority to pontificate . pwede ba tumigil na kayo. kahit na OFW pinagtatawanan kayo.

  11. “The stated purpose of the “alternative government” is to prevent a political vacuum from arising should Aquino finally exit, and every other member of government is prosecuted and jailed, as many people believe they should be, for corruption and other offences”

    Mr Tatad, does NTC include the Binays? the silence is deafening……

  12. To me the salient points of the NTC’s drive are to “pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time” and to “immediately organize an alternative government.” This to me are the imperatives plus the non-negotiable prosecution and jailing of all government functionaries who benefited from the PDAF and DAP. This would include the congressmen and senators who violated their oath of office by cooperating with the Abnoy and who also looted govt coffers. The money they received from the PDAP and DAP must also be returned.

    The organization of the “alternative government” must already be done so that it is ready when the Abnoy is pushed out of Malacanang. A change of government to a parliamentary system with a unitary assembly must also be in the agenda. The ideals of the NTC must be pursued.

    • I agree that an “alternative government” must be in place to prevent the automatic transfer of the executive power to vp Binay. This will be akin to transfer from one hot pan to even hotter, corrupt, pan. I do not think the NTC has “alternative government” after Abnoy’s stepping down.

      Yes, I also agree that those that abused PDAF and DAP, commited bribery in other governmental projects like the Makati fiasco, Binays’ Rosario hacienda, committed unconstitutional unlawful acts, parcipated and unlawfully benefited from overpricing methods of plundering government coffer, mus be jailed and not allowed for government employment.

  13. I’m puzzled, what is the council’s position regarding Binay? He is the vice after all. Is he acceptable to this council or not. If not, isn’t the council obligated to explain ? He is acceptable to the Manila Times which is obviously a very close Church ally, so why the non-mention of Binay as replacement? Im confused by the prelates’ politics. In case this quixotic venture succeeds- I’m sure the people will not readily embrace an unelected, nameless, faceless council to rule over them regardless of how they feel about BS Aquino and neither will the military- I hope you include as one of your priorities the thorough investigation of GMA’s re-enacted budget. That will be fun. If you will include an investigation of Cardinal Sin’s shenanigans in Radio Veritas and Monte de Piedad that would be even better. That is, after locking up Ali Baba and all the thieves in an old ship and sinking it the disputed seas near the Spratlys, that would be the best part of all.

  14. Tatad main thrust in urging Aquino to step down is not the National Transformation Council anti-Aquino resolution but a subtle way of endorsing VP Binay to takeover the presidency. Tatad must have gotten a huge pecuniary consideration in doing it from the camp of Binay. There is definitely a political vacuum in case Aquino quit since the National Transformation Council will take over, short of people power, to designate how government will be governed by a group or person but not the legal successors. But Tatad, if that happens will insist on a constitutional successor, not the NTC appointed group being unconstitutional. So Tatad is surreptitiously promoting NTC and support an “alternative government” to prevent vacuum but promotes VP Binays as constitutional successor. Tatad opinion above is a fraud and deceitful!

  15. Kasi Pinoy is not like Arroyo who gave vehicles (SUVs, cars and money) to some bishops. If only Pinoy will give them the same, MONEY and CARS maybe there would not be a call for resignation. Tatad, bubuntotbuntot ka ngayon kay Binay para mabigyan ka siguro ng puwesto pag nanalo siya. I know for sure you wanted to become his Press Secretary like you did with Marcos. Magsabi o mag-comment ka naman sa mga kasinungalingan ng mga Binays. Magkano ba ang iBINAYad sa iyo at tahimik ka o kaya’y takot kayong lahat na mga Manila Times sa mga Binays.