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Jeff
02-13-2008, 04:00 PM
The Manila Standard Today
Feb. 13, 2008

OUSTED Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. yesterday said he would not support renewed calls for President Arroyo to resign and would instead urge her to lead “a moral revolution.”

“Let’s give her a chance,” De Venecia said when asked if he would urge the President to step down in the wake of new allegations of high-level corruption in the cancelled ZTE national broadband network deal.

De Venecia said even the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines endorsed his call for a moral revolution, as did the leaders of other religious groups.

At the same time, De Venecia denied he was joining the political opposition despite a recent meeting with its top officials at his Forbes Park residence in Makati City.

“I will remain an independent force. I’m still president of Lakas-CMD,” he said. “I will remain independent and will ask others to lead [the moral revolution] because I said I am not worthy to lead the moral revolution. I can only provide the ideas, I can only provide the push, I can only provide the impetus.”

He said if he were ousted as party president, he would stay within Lakas as an independent force.

Malacañang yesterday urged its allies in the House not to issue statements that would widen the rift between De Venecia and President Arroyo.

Earlier, two officers of the House identified with De Venecia resigned or went on indefinite leave as the Chamber began an audit of its funds on orders from the new speaker, Prospero Nograles.

“We should not fan the flames,” Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said. “Let’s have a cooling-off period.”

After launching a scathing attack on President Arroyo just before his ouster as speaker, De Venecia has come under increasing pressure to resign as party president.

Former President Fidel Ramos, Lakas chairman emeritus, said he preferred De Venecia to stay on as party president, but that would be untenable if he continued to attack the administration.

Also yesterday, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said he was disappointed by De Venecia’s refusal to testify against President Arroyo because he was not “vindictive.”

“This has nothing to do with vindictiveness,” Casiño said. “This is simply about telling the truth and ensuring justice and public accountability.”

He added that if De Venecia was sincere about a moral revolution, he should start by telling the truth. Romie A. Evangelista, Roy Pelovello, Macon Ramos Araneta.

Remarks:

In my own opinion, year 2010 is near. If GMA will resign, automatically it will be DeCastro. Now, if the opposition wants to grab the chair, they need to have more patience and wait for the right time to snatch. If Noli will set as the President the more headache for the opposition, of course Noli will do his best to hold on until the last minute. Kailangan pasensya at kaunting lamig huwag masyadong mainit sa ZET deal, anyway na scrap na man din yan at di natuloy, at sigurado yan ang gamiting panangga. Sasabihin nila na kaya nga iniscrap dahil anomalous and deal at yan ay kayang palabasin at ma squash yung petition to impeach kung mayron man.