PRESS STATEMENT                                                                                             10 April 2010

Nacionalista presidential bet Manny Villar is feeling the pinch of allegations that he is Gloria Arroyo’s “secret candidate.”   With his survey ratings in a slide, he recently has to declare his “anger” over the persistent “VillArroyo” conspiracy theories.

That wouldn’t be enough though to dispel notions on his perceived collaboration with the present regime. It doesn’t help that his response to the allegations has largely been evasive.  Instead of confronting the allegations head on, he chose to counter with his own broadside.

He pointed out that it is Noynoy’s clan who has close ties with the Gloria regime as visibly propped up by Tessie Aquino-Oreta and other relatives.   He also questioned where Noynoy sympathy really lies when the latter voted against the airing of the Hello-Garci tape during the Senate investigation.  He even emphasized the fact that Cory and Noynoy lauded Gloria’s I’m-Sorry Speech and that Cory herself tried to dissuade Susan Roces from calling for People-Power protest actions in response to the massive fraud in 2004 elections.

While these disturbing events are beyond refute, they do not automatically clear Villar of the supposed VillArroyo conspiracy.  In the same vein, Villar may be enmeshed in the highly-irregular C-5 project, but that doesn’t acquit Noynoy of his own involvement in the highly-overprice Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway project.

Noynoy’s SCTEx by the way cleared the path for the Hacienda Luista Massacre and the assassination of the project’s critics since 2004.

And this brings us to the litmus test of a true oppositionist and alternative to Gloria.

Villar, Noynoy, and other presidentiables must take clear and concrete steps against the legacy of political killings and persecution as institutionalized by this regime.   They should stop making motherhood statements on justice, truth and human rights.  They should take the cudgels now for the victims of wanton human rights violations.  They should not be content with eloquent promises to democracy through their ballyhooed platforms.  They should join human rights defenders now in clearing the cloud of state terror and impunity that has obfuscated our constitution.

If Jamby Madrigal could stand by the victims of mass arrest in Morong, Rizal, there is no reason why the leading contenders are having cold feet in confronting the crimes of the Gloria regime whether or not these involve their relatives and estates.

They cannot evade this issue.  It stares them in the face.  It reflects the true image of those who purports to be Gloria’s alternative, but actually are her mirror image.ÿ


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