Press Release
January 2, 2006

Drilon did not reject Black & White Movement,
PNA editor apologizes for misquote

The Philippines News Agency (PNA) today apologized to Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon for releasing an erroneous news report last December 30 stating that the Senate President allegedly rejected the urging of the Black and White Movement for him to serve as acting president in the event President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Vice President Noli De Castro quit.

In a letter to Drilon dated Jan. 2, PNA Executive Editor Ruben Cal said PNA reporter Louie Alonso-Belmonte, who is assigned in the Senate beat, apparently misquoted the Senate President when she wrote the article "Drilon rejects Black and White Movement" last Dec. 30.

"Please be informed that I will order our reporter today to make the necessary clarification regarding the news item which you were misquoted, particularly in the wrong choice of the word ‘reject’ which was somewhat off tangent," Cal said in his letter to Drilon.

"Rest assured that there was no intention of misquoting you in whatever manner. We thank you for calling our attention regarding this matter. Please accept my apology," Cal added.

Earlier, the multi-sectoral Black and White Movement (BWM) urged De Castro to take the reins of power from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and head an advisory council as "transition president" until 2007 when a special election would be held.

De Castro was given until November 30 to withdraw support from Arroyo and accept the proposal to take over the government as her constitutional successor.

The Black and White Movement said that if De Castro declined, he would be junked by the group that would support the succession of Drilon as "acting president" and who shall call for a special election within 60 days as provided in the Constitution.

During a press briefing last Dec. 28, Drilon was asked by a reporter: "Did you have meetings with the Black and White Movement members?" His reply was: "I have none. And I have no intentions of joining the Black and White Movement."

In its news dispatch, the PNA reported that "Drilon rejected any possible political offers of the opposition-backed Black and White Movement, citing his lack of interest in joining the group that seeks to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo." ###

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