UNA says LP-Roxas political agenda endangering reforms; hits palace spokesman for arrogance

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today said the political agenda of the Liberal Party and its presumed presidential bet in 2016 Mar Roxas is endangering the President’s reform agenda and could erode the people’s trust in his administration.

“The people have very high expectations of the present administration. They want jobs and a better life. They are fed up with the previous regime’s lust for power. They want more governance and less politics,” UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said.

But the Liberal Party’s power grab in Cebu “is a return to the discredited mindset of politics at all costs,” he said.

“The obsession of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and the administration party with capturing power in 2013 in preparation for Roxas’ all-but-declared presidential bid in 2016 is endangering the President’s reform agenda and could erode the people’s trust and confidence in his administration,” he said.

Tiangco also chided the Palace spokesman for “arrogance and self-righteousness” when he cited the “credibility” of the administration in differentiating its suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia from the suspension of Vice President Jejomar Binay during the Arroyo regime.

“What he is saying is that because the present administration is more popular and credible than the Arroyo regime, it can get away with political harassment,” Tiangco said.

“He is saying that the administration party can use the power of government and misuse the laws to go after political opponents. It has a license to politically kill its opponents, so to speak, because it is credible and popular,” he added.

“The administration spokesman’s arrogance and self-righteousness could very well erode the people’s trust and confidence,” he said.

Tiangco also took issue with the Palace spokesman’s statement that the Vice President, who is the chair of UNA, should have convinced Governor Garcia to comply with her suspension order and leave the Capitol.

Tiangco said when Binay was suspended in 2006, he was visited by former President Cory Aquino who encouraged the Vice President, who was then Makati mayor and leader of the United Opposition, to stand his ground because the order was illegal and violated due process.

“She told the Vice President that to oppose an unjust order is to fight for democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

Tiangco said the Vice President, being a former human rights lawyer and a victim of political repression during the previous administration, “cannot countenance and endorse what he considers a violation of due process and the rule of law.”

“The suspension of the Vice President during the Arroyo regime and the suspension of Governor Garcia are both characterized by violations of the rule of law and the denial of due process. They constitute abuse of power,” he added.

The UNA official likewise assailed the display of force when the orders were served.

“In both cases, the orders were enforced with an intent to intimidate. How else can you describe the deployment of hundreds of policemen armed with high-powered rifles, the setting up of barricades, the dispersal of peaceful supporters, the closure of media outlets and even the shutting off of water service at the Capitol?,” he said.#