MANILA,  JUNE 24, 2004
RESTORATION OF ESTRADA PRESIDENCY IS CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS TO END GMA RULE  -  The Christian Nationalist Union (CNU) yesterday called for the return of detained President Joseph Estrada to Malacañang, and for him to use his residual legitimate claim to the presidency, “not to restore himself to that office for his personal political gain, but to establish the constitutional basis for the people's exercise of their constituent powers in ending the constitutional aberration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.”

The appeal was also directed at the military and police forces to do what is constitutionally right and proper, which is to “heed the call of the sovereign Filipino people.”

The CNU stated, in a full page ad yesterday that Estrada, being the “last duly credible and popularly elected President...should exercise his moral and political authority and power as Commander-in-Chief to sanction (Mrs. Arroyo's) acts of subversion of the Constitution and the sovereign will.”

The same group, which is a convenor-member of the Coalition of Hope (Honest, Orderly, Peaceful Elections) that has been calling for truth of the electoral exercise to be out in the open, through an examination of the basic election data instead of merely relying on the figures in the certificates of canvass, also called on Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, to take the lead in opening the eyes of the “blind institutions, including the Catholic church” “to confront the truth while providing the moral center in the rebuilding of the nation, reforms of our political system and leadership, and the renewal of our people.”

In the advertised statement, the CNU also asked the Church hierarchy and clergy to infuse their lay leaders with moral inspiration and courage to make their leap of faith in their advocacy for truth and real change “by renouncing the evil ways of the present system and the evil works of the leaders who sustain it.”

In calling for what the group called “supreme sacrifices of national leadership for national transformation, the CNU also called on former President Fidel Ramos “ to protect his leadership legacy by not lending further his name to support a fraudulent and bogus President.”

It was pointed out in the statement that Ramos “should unite with the people in seeking for the truth by exhorting the police and military to protect the state and the people, instead of protecting the power grabbers.”

There was an appeal as well issued to opposition standard-bearer, Fernando Poe Jr, as the CNU asked him to “expose the continuing conspiracy against and betrayal of the poor by championing their vindication and their struggle to have their beaten faces seen and their suppressed voices heard in the formation of a new government.”

It also called on Jesus is Lord founder and preacher, Bro. Eddie Villanueva to continue to raise his moral voice “against the rise of an unrighteous leader whose claim to the presidency is founded on deceit as this will certainly cause the destruction of our nation and people and worst, for the wrath of God to visit our land.”

The group, which has also been active in collating evidence of election fraud, pointed out that the moment of truth has come, saying the country's constitutional democracy can “ no longer stand and walk singly on the leg of its legal institution,” for the system has been turned into “private tools of elitist forces to pursue their parochial interest while the large majority of its constituencies continue to starve and beg for economic and political remedies without a face, a voice and an arm to defend themselves against the onslaught of continuing anti-God, anti-Country and anti-People betrayals and conspiracies inflicted by evil and greedy forces.”

Stressing the existence of a dysfunctional relationship between institutions and constituencies, the CNU said the nation's “last hope to correct such a dysfunction got lost due to the blatant and conscienceless manner, by which their sovereign will was suppressed and their very own sovereign power was manipulatively used against them during the May 2004 elections.”

The statement expressed concern over the nation's state as being “gravely polarized and divided” as a result of this dysfunction, “without a single credible process to resolve conflicts and a commonly acceptable means to bind the wounds of the nation, heal and reconcile the people, recover (the nation's) soul and conscience, and attain a moral inspiration and political vision to survive.

The CNU, stressing on its commitment to bring about “positive transformation of the leadership and systems of Philippine society through democratic and God-centered processes,” appealed to the national leadership to engage in “these supreme sacrifices for the sake of national survival and transformation.”

It called on “all self-respecting traditional political leaders to exercise statesmanship for the sake of national survival, interest and development by conceding the death of our dysfunctional democracy brought about the nails of fraud, deceit, arrogance of power and utter disregard of the true spirit of the rule of law driven on its coffin by an Arroyo stolen election.”

The CNU also called on the military and police to “heed the call of the sovereign Filipino people” and not to “bow to the supposed theoretical, institutional and technical majesty of the law as the promoter of the sovereign will of the people but to uphold and protect instead the ultimate constituent power of the people who can repossess their delegated powers from the institutions that subvert instead of serve the popular will.”

It also took to task the media, asking them to cease and desist from being used as instruments of “parochial elitist interest” and instead become the peoples' voice of truth and freedom.

The statement also directed an appeal to the international diplomatic community not “to acquiesce to fraud and the bogus President's solicitation for recognition by withholding the same.

It also asked all civil society forces “to set aside their ideological and political differences, demonstrate their patriotism, capability, readiness and the willingness to save and rebuild the Nation together, and to serve the National and People's Interest above everything else.”

It stressed on the unity theme, despite saying that Philippine democracy is dead.

But “be not afraid,” the CNU said, because “God will help” the nation be make a better one fir right makes might.

In making its appeal to the military, it also said the CNU has also noted with “grave concern and growing sense of alarm the unrelenting brutal suppression by the police of peaceful gathering of unarmed citizens who air their grievances on the conduct of the May 10 elections,” adding that even prayer meetings are immediately ringed by fully-armed soldiers and policemen with the patent purpose of intimidating the people attending them.

“Small assemblies of protesters not committing violent or illegal acts are immediately dispersed with truncheons and water cannons.

“What has become of the constitutional injunction against “abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances”?

“Not even at the peak of the much maligned Estrada government has such a naked display and wanton abuse of government power been employed against helpless and innocent civilians.

It stated, in a release: “We in CNU earnestly appeal to our men in uniform, especially to their responsible officers who are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not to allow themselves to be used by those who seek to install or perpetuate themselves in power despite the absence of an unequivocal vote of the people.”

It added that “The order to you to crush the right of the citizens to assemble and speak on matters of national concern has neither constitutional imperative nor moral basis. On the contrary, such instruction is offensive to civilized behavior, and grossly violative of human rights and the fundamental law.”

It advised the police and military not to be “used as the homicidal tools to bludgeon your fellow Filipinos who are simply meeting and seeking to redress their grievances.

“Tyranny and oppression are not the guiding lights of your noble calling.

“We in CNU solemnly ask you, the AFP and the PNP to exercise your authority in accordance with the Constitution by upholding our people's basic and human rights.

“We ask you to join the decent segment of our citizenry in its effort to stop the greed and madness of the corrupt traditional politicians and bribe-giving businessmen who are all out to protect their privileged holdings and perpetuate the exploitation of our impoverished masses by bribery and rampant vote-buying.

“An interim transition government, within democratic framework, that will oversee a truly fair and orderly election is the only way to arrest the country's freefall in to the abyss of perdition.

“Your inaction, or worse, your siding and identification with the oppressors of the less privileged, the vested interests, the monopolists, bribe-givers, the traditional politicians and all exploiters of our society will inevitably bring ruin to this only country we have.

“In which event, you, the men in uniform, will not be able to elude the condemnation of history. All because of your timidity and absence of moral will to exercise your constitutional duty to protect the people and save the nation in the hour of moral crises.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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