UNA: No-El not just Lacierda's slip of the tongue

Posted at 08/24/14 4:45 PM

MANILA -- The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) does not believe that the “no election" (no-el) scenario was just a slip of the tongue from one of the members of the Liberal Party.

In a statement, UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco noted the "disturbing" trend being pushed by administration allies to “perpetuate” President Benigno Aquino III into power beyond 2016.

The No-el talk is even an “implied bribe” to allies for another three-year term, he claimed.

"Hindi naman pwedeng si PNoy lang ang may term extension. Lacierda's message was: 'Pwede namang everybody happy.' If the President's term is extended, siyempre kasama na dun yung mga lawmakers na mag-eextend sa kanya," Tiangco said, referring to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who stirred up speculations on a no-el scenario in 2016 in an interview with reporters last week.

“Let’s wait for the endorsement of the President kung sino ang kanyang kandidato sa 2016 kung sakaling itutuloy ang 2016 elections,” Lacierda was quoted as saying, although he issued a retraction later in the day. “The President has neither decided on term extension or endorsing a candidate. In both instances, 2016 elections will push through,” he later said.

But for Tiangco, Lacierda's statement "only confirmed loose talks and the baleful proposals" for Aquino to have a second term.

He further said that Malacanang and the LP led by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are "already laying the groundwork for a no-el scenario."

"What the administration is doing now is courting the people's rage," Tiangco said, stessing that the No-el scenario will only favor those who have no chances of winning in a fair and honest elections.

“Where there is smoke, there is fire. It is clear that the Roxas-Abad group is keen in having the President hold onto power beyond the end of his term. And when all else fails, Oplan 'No-el' is the most convenient plot to stay in power," Tiangco said, also referring to Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

“’Yung mga gustong guluhin ng eleksyon eh 'yung mga nag-aambisyon sa 2016 but have no chance at all to win in an honest and clean elections. They have no chance at all that they rather skirt the Constitution and acquire power illegally," he added.

He noted Malacanang and allies at the Liberal Party have been giving mixed signals on amending the Constitution.

"No matter how they kill the story of Charter change, impeachment of the judiciary, Oplan 'Noel' or to the extent of testing the limits of the 1987 Constitution, there are signs of life of a holdover beyond 2016," Tiangco said.