GUTALAC, Zamboanga del Norte—Opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday rejected President Benigno Aquino III’s plan to lead a People Power uprising to prevent the leading vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from sitting if elected.
In a news conference, Binay expressed alarm over the President’s call for a massive protest as a sign that he believed there would be no honest and orderly elections in May.
The President said he would lead a people power “if the situation calls for it.”
“I was with the Aquinos in People Power I but this was to topple a dictatorship and restore democracy,” said Binay, questioning the President’s motive behind the plan to support an uprising against Marcos.
Binay said he would not join any uprising that sought to topple another Marcos.
“This time, it doesn’t seem right that people power will be used by the President to thwart Bongbong Marcos from sitting if he won the vice presidential race,” he said.
Binay said he would allow protests as part of free speech, but questioned the wisdom of calling for an uprising and said the Commission on Elections should take note.
“Attention Comelec. I don’t understand why the President would say he would mount a rally if Senator Bongbong [Marcos] won. This is not a good open, because why rally against the winner if the election is clean and honest,” Binay said.
Binay said the President was not the man he knew.
“It’s like that’s not the President I know talking. It looks like he has really changed,” he said.
He said the Edsa revolution against Senator Marcos’ father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, was a fight against a prolonged dictatorship, while Aquino threatened to lead an uprising over just one election.
The President’s remarks came as Marcos picked up the support of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, which held a special meeting of its leaders to make official their support for Marcos.
“The platforms of government that vice presidential candidate Marcos have been presenting are indeed championing the welfare of the people. He is also advancing the causes of the opposition. These are the main reasons that made Lakas-CMD to support his [Marcos] vice presidential bid,” the party’s executive director Butch Corpin said.
The Lakas-CMD was formed by then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and former President Fidel Ramos.
It was the ruling party during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Lakas-CMD vowed to deliver three million votes for Marcos.
Party president Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez called on his party mates to unite behind the candidacy of Marcos and work hard for their respective victories in the elections.
Marcos said he was honored by the party’s support and said his campaign for national unity was paying off.
The Bohol United Opposition also threw its support behind Marcos, pledging to push for his candidacy as one solid group.
BUO is a coalition of local leaders of the province from various political groups that have banded together to go against the ruling Liberal Party. With Maricel V. Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta
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