PRESIDENTIAL chief of staff Michael Defensor said yesterday President Arroyo’s "I am sorry" speech made a year ago yesterday on national television was a "mistake" and that she was set up by her former allies who are now with the opposition.
"Yung kinakalungkot natin doon, yung mga nagtulak para magsalita ang Pangulo ang siya rin palang babaligtad laban sa Pangulo. Mukhang inihanda ang ganitong klaseng sitwasyon sa Pangulo para magsalita at sa bandang huli, iiwanan din nila ang Pangulo at magtulak ng ibang kandidato para pagkapangulo o di kaya para agawin ang poder ng gobyerno," Defensor said.
Wrong. The reason why Arroyo was forced to apologize was because the 10 cabinet members threatened to resign if she did not come clean to the public. When her instead delivered her so-called "apology" instead of coming clean and telling the truth, doon nag-resign ang sampu.
Anyway, in a move to pre-empt the resignation of the 10 cabinet members, inunahan ni GMA sila by firing all of them.
More here from the Washington Post. When Arroyo made her "apology", Connie Veneracion, a supporter of the Arroyo presidency, was furious. Bad move raw, she said.
More from Defensor:
"Nagkaroon pa kami ng away doon during the debate. Pati yung pamilya ni Presidente pinag-usapan. They were talking of the family as if on a personal level, as if they were talking of a Cabinet appointee pero pamilya ito. That night when I left, they met with the President and that was how I believe they were able to force the President to take that position," he said.
Of course, that's what he says. Here's how some of the cabinet members remembered it last year:
IF the Hyatt 10 had not told us about a July 5 Cabinet meeting where Gloria Arroyo talked about using "muscle" to counter protests against her crumbling administration, we would have dismissed Chavit Singson’s X-tape as pathetic.
Gloria Arroyo’s propagandists Ignacio Bunye and Rigoberto Tiglao can deny to high heavens that they had nothing to do with Singson’s crude tactic but the signs are there that it was a Malacañang-sponsored attempt to obfuscate the truth of election fraud exposed by the Garci tapes.
In that July 5 meeting, the Hyatt 10, Arroyo’s key officials who resigned and asked for her resignation in a press conference at the Hyatt Hotel last July 8, said that they were aghast when Arroyo blamed them for convincing her to admit and apologize over her conversations with Garcillano.
She reportedly said:,"You know, against the advice of my legal counsel, I followed your recommendation to admit and apologize. Now I’m getting all the flak and I’m constrained to use muscle."
Then Social Services Secretary Dinky Soliman and Budget Secretary Emy Boncodin were aghast. It was there that they realized that there was really no contrition on Arroyo’s part despite her June 27 "I am sorry" televised address.
Arroyo proceeded to explain her plan to show the opposition that they have "muscle". "From now on, (Davao Mayor Rodrigo) Duterte and (Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward) Hagedorn will have a prominent role."
Duterte had threatened that he will establish a Mindanao republic if Arroyo was ousted. This prompted then Agriculture Secretary Rene Villa, who is a lawyer, to remark, "Are we engaging in a state-sanctioned secession?" Shouldn’t we be distancing ourselves from Duterte?
Villa also remarked that throughout the Garci tapes controversy, Malacañang’s line was to uphold the "rule of law" to justify its silence on the illegally obtained phone conversations as well as in ignoring calls for Arroyo’s resignation. He pointed out that Duterte’s threat is "against the law."
Arroyo’s reply: "Duterte said if they remove me, that’s against the law. So, if we react in such manner, we are just correcting a violation of the law."
"That’s tortured logic," the flabbergasted Villa remarked. Three days after, he and nine others called it quits.
Duterte was joined later by Singson, hero of Edsa Dos that installed Arroyo as unelected president in 2001, who also announced his plan to secede Ilocos Sur from the Philippines if Arroyo is ousted.
So, kumusta na ang secession threats ng mga kaalyado ni ARroyo?