"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't use rally to oust Arroyo, use system to jail guilty’

People should not use the interfaith rally in Makati City Friday to press for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Richard Gordon urged Friday.

In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, Gordon warned that a rally that seeks to oust Arroyo could tempt the military into mounting a coup that would benefit the very person the protesters seek to remove from power.

"I've always been a risk taker but we have to be careful because it could be a 'coup me,'" he said, referring to a scheme by which a coup would actually benefit the administration.

Gordon said he wants the country’s political and judicial system to work and urged the protesters to exploit the system to jail the corrupt.

"We are all looking for justice. To my mind, [going to the rally] is an exercise in futility if we don't put anyone who's guilty in jail. I don't care who he is or who she is, but we must let the institutions work. Let the courts, the prosecution, the Sandigayan [anti-graft court] function," he said.

"Are we so stupid that we cannot make this system work? After Erap [former president Joseph Estrada] was charged, convicted, jailed, and pardoned, have we become better morally as a people?" he asked.

Gordon said the current political crisis is the result of issues not being resolved. "There's no closure. Did EDSA 1 resolve anything? [Former President Corazon] Cory [Aquino] was not able to solve the murder of her husband. Did EDSA 2 resolve anything? Sure, Erap was convicted, but he was also pardoned," he said.

He cited the case of China as a nation that values closure. There, he said, all government officials get their day in court. He noted that some Chinese ministers have lost their lives following state trials for failing to perform their public duties.

While he said he would not stop his son, Red Cross volunteers, and friends from joining the Makati rally, Gordon himself is not going.

"A senator like myself who will stand as judge in case an impeachment case is brought against her should be circumspect and independent. We cannot be seen as biased…There's a lot of anger out there and [going there] can cloud your judgment," he said.

Gordon, an alumnus of Ateneo De Manila University, said he is not even going to watch the La Salle-Ateneo fund-raising basketball game "for truth and Jun [Rodolfo Noel Lozada, key witness in the Senate probe into the national broadband network scandal]" on Sunday.

‘Don't use rally to oust Arroyo, use system to jail guilty’
By Veronica Uy
First Posted 16:58:00 02/29/2008


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