Describing the current administration as “vindictive" and bound to “self-destruct," former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales vowed to secure state power through “non-violent and democratic means" by being an “active opposition."
“We should not allow our people to be deceived into treading a ‘straight road’ to a problematic future at the hands of a leadership with neither the competence nor the character to govern well," Gonzales said in his paper titled “Reclaiming Our Right to Initiate Change," dated Saturday.
Gonzales, who served as the defense chief twice under the previous administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and officially stepped down on July 1, was referring to President Benigno Aquino III’s popular slogan on taking the “straight path".
According to Gonzales, there are “strong indications" that the Aquino administration may “self-destruct sooner that we expect," and accused the dominant opposition of taking the safe “do-nothing" strategy.
He also stressed that “vindictiveness" is the Aquino government’s basic problem, “because they laid off many people without cause, except that they are identified with the former administration."
Before he stepped down as DND head, Gonzales had said he will put up a “shadow cabinet" as an alternative to the incoming Aquino leadership, and that he was going to be an active member of the opposition. (See: Bangit welcome to join ‘shadow Cabinet,’ says outgoing DND chief)
“We will reverse the vindictiveness of the present government leadership and their unjust condemnation of our civil servants. We will give just punishment to the bad but in the same vein we will provide our public servants … the respect and the honor every public servant presumably deserves," Gonzales stated in his paper.
Gonzales said his group’s vision is for the Philippines to become a “first world" nation, adding that mobilization will be a central task of the group, which will be composed of “authentic mass leaders."
“Together we shall secure state power, govern well, and build the future we deserve. We shall be a combined force of the governed and those who will govern," he wrote.
While conceding the credibility of the May 2010 elections in the public eye, Gonzales said the legitimacy of the Aquino government may soon be questioned in light of “manipulation" and “cheating" that took place on a “major scale."
But Gonzales, who also chairs the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas, maintained that his group’s cause is not to overthrow the government.
“I would like to emphasize that this is not destabilization, it’s really an honest-to-goodness opposition. It is not good not to have an opposition (in a democratic country)," he said in a separate interview.
Gonzales said they are aiming to get hold of state power through democratic exercises, particularly through the senatorial and congressional elections in 2013.
Also, he said they are pushing for Charter change, which former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo previously proposed in a bill she recently filed in the Lower House.
But the former Defense chief denied that he consulted Arroyo about his paper, saying that the political leaning of the former President remains unclear.
He likewise denied the group’s cause has the backing of the military, even as he hinted that retired members of the military may be involved.
Nevertheless, Gonzales vowed to remain within the confines of the Constitution. “That is what I will do. I don’t want to be jailed," he said.—
by gma news