MALACANANG IN RARE PRAISE FOR LACSON
MANILA, May 14, 2004 (MANILA TIMES) FOR the first time, Malacañang and the administration critic Sen. Panfilo Lacson are singing the same tune.
President Arroyo’s spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said they were “pleasantly surprised” after Lacson called on his supporters to refrain from joining protest actions and instead focus on monitoring the canvassing of votes.
“We were not expecting that to come from him, but we welcome the remarks of Senator Lacson in cautioning all parties concerned,” Bunye said.
He said Lacson did that right thing because it was crucial to keep watch on the actual canvassing of the votes.
Lacson’s appeal to his supporters echoed President Arroyo’s appeal to all candidates to observe sobriety and prudence. Instead of calling a massive protest, they should encourage their supporters to protect the ballot, she said.
Lacson is the most vehement critic of the Arroyo administration.
He had accused the President’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, of dipping into the funds of government agencies to raise money for the Mrs. Arroyo’s campaign. President Arroyo stood by her husband, saying the allegations were baseless.
The tension between the usually outspoken Lacson and the President was palpable when both attended the unity Mass held on Sunday at the San Agustin Church.
The two, who were seated beside each other, preferred to stare at the altar and barely spoke with each other.
Bunye also praised Mayor Joey Marquez of Parañaque and Mayor Bernardo Vergara of Baguio for conceding once it became mathematically impossible for them to surmount the lead of their respective opponents.
Marquez lost the congressional race in Parañaque to former national security adviser Roilo Golez. Vergara lost his bid for reelection.
“We are glad that some responsible members of the opposition do not want to get involved in issues that will further muddle our situation,” Bunye said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
© Copyright, 2004
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