FVR wants GMA to divulge political plans

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — FORMER President Fidel Ramos yesterday warned President Macapagal-Arroyo of the people’s anger which is being manifested in the protest actions against the move to amend the 1987 Constitution as he urged her to once and for all make a clear declaration of her plans for 2010.

“With precious time fleeting, PGMA must make a clear and positive declaration that she will not delude our people and her select circle of Congressional cronies and family advisers with titillations about Charter change, Con-Ass and her future role as Pampanga representative come July 2010,” Ramos said in his speech at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Manila during a leadership forum.

The former chief executive also warned Mrs. Arroyo to beware of the public’s anger and discontent saying that the “street protests by cause-oriented groups and ordinary Filipinos plus their manifestations of discontent, anger, and outrage towards the administration must be seen as people’s hunger for freedom from poverty, deprivation, and bad governance,” he said.

Last week, a massive rally, the biggest gathering so far of anti-Arroyo forces, was held at Makati’s Ayala District to protest the passage by the Lower House of a resolution urging the convening of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to pave the way for amending the Charter even without the participation of the Senate.

Critics of the move said administration allies in the Lower House are pushing to extend the term of Mrs. Arroyo and other elected public officials beyond 2010 despite repeated denials by House Speaker Prospero Nograles and even Malacanang.

They pledged to stage more protest actions in the coming days leading to the President’s State of the Nation Address next month.

With the rising opposition to moves to amend the Charter, Ramos said the President should also disclose her position on Charter Change so that suspicion will be eased.

Mrs. Arroyo has supported Charter Change but only to amend the economic provision of the Constitution.

The former president’s comment came as speculations continue to rise that Mrs. Arroyo is set to run for Congress as Pampanga’s representative in next year’s election following the disclosure of Agrarian Secretary Nasser Pangandaman that the latter will seek a congressional post.

Pangandaman said he was just misquoted by the media.