Lawmakers to Gonzales: Just shut up
By Jess Diaz
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Congressmen want Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales to just keep his mouth shut if he has nothing positive to say about the May 10 elections.
“He should put up or shut up,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who belongs to former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, said.
He said Gonzales should have supported with evidence his claim that some candidates have started bribing military and police officers in Southern Luzon so they would take part in cheating for at least two presidential aspirants.
“If these alleged incidents were true, he should have obtained evidence like the testimonies of the officers who were supposedly offered money. Remember that the military officers are under his department. Better still, he should have arranged for an entrapment instead of crying wolf in the media,” he said.
Rodriguez said Gonzales’ claims only strengthen speculations that the administration is out to sabotage the May 10 balloting so there would be a failure of elections and President Arroyo would extend her stay in office.
He recalled that last week, the defense chief told a television interviewer that the administration was preparing for a 30-percent failure of elections.
Earlier, the opposition lawmaker accused Gonzales of meddling in the power situation in Mindanao.
Rep. Joel Villanueva, of the party-list group Citizens Battle Against Corruption, said the defense chief’s bribery allegation was “fueling the people’s fears of a no-election scenario, which will benefit GMA.”
He said instead of making “premature and worrisome” allegations, “he should have done what is necessary for both the briber and the bribed.”
He decried the defense secretary’s alleged propensity to float “rumors” that he could not prove.
“Remember when he was GMA’s national security adviser? He terrorized the whole nation by announcing that three foreign terrorists have entered the country.” he said. – With Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Alexis Romero and Jose Rodel Clapano