GMA-Velarde Cha-cha dialogue looms

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — MALACANANG yesterday did not discount a dialogue between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her spiritual adviser El Shaddai founder and servant leader Bro. Mike Velarde in connection with the great push for Charter change.

This developed as Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo ruled out any people power come Dec. 12 in line with a massive anti Cha-cha protest rally being mapped out by multi-sectors reportedly to be led by former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Estrada has indicated that he may invite Velarde to join the anti Cha-cha rally.

“There is no need for any people power. There is no cause for alarm,” Fajardo said.

She said that Estrada’s joining the anti Cha-cha protest rallies is within his right even as she cautioned the public to be wary of the agenda and motives of politicians who are agitating them against Mrs. Arroyo.

Fajardo said that a dialogue between the President and Velarde may be coming, pointing out the spiritual guru is very accessible to Mrs. Arroyo.

The Palace official said that the President and the rest of Palace officials have high respect for Velarde who is spiritual leader of about 8 million strong El Shaddai charismatic group, pointing out Mrs. Arroyo would certainly consider the latter’s advisements on pressing issues including Charter Charge.

But Fajardo was quick to clarify that Malacañang is leaving the matter of Charter Change to our lawmakers at Congress, stressing that the President remains focused on addressing economic concerns notably the impact of the global financial crisis.

She said that Velarde and even Estrada should instead urge our people to rally behind the Arroyo regime and support its programs benefiting our people amid any adverse blows of the global financial meltdown.

It will be recalled that Velarde has indicated mobilizing his flock to oppose amending the Charter before the end of Mrs. Arroyo’s term on 2010.

Velarde said the elections for 2010 must be pursued, pointing out that he favors the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention coinciding with it.

He said that he is even willing to run for the Con-con so that he can make recommendations on certain amendments that must be done in several provisions in our fundamental law of the land.

Earlier, Velarde hinted he may even run for the presidency as long as the Almighty and his flock would approve of it.