Press Release
January 24, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas condemned the recent interchange of personnel in key Palace positions in favor of old guards in the military, saying these movements could be a sign that the palace is up to something.

"Mahalagang protektahan natin ang sibilyang karakter ng gobyerno. Sa panahong maraming kuskos-balungos ukol sa pagpapahaba ng termino ni Gloria, hindi magandang senyales ang paglalagay niya ng mga dating militar sa posisyon (It's important for us to protect the civilian nature of government. At this time that rumors abound about the supposed plan to extend the term of Gloria, the appointment of former military men is not a good sign)," he said.

"Nakita na natin iyan sa panahon ni Marcos, kung saan ang nakapalibot sa kanya ay mga taong military, kaya nasawalang-bahala ang demokrasya (We already saw that during the Marcos era, where military men were in his inner circle, that's why democracy was conceded)," he said.

He said this in light of the recent appointment of former Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as chief of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and ex-police chief Gen. Avelino Razon as presidential adviser on the peace process; as well as the Palace's pronouncement that former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is being considered for the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Roxas meanwhile said the Malacañang guards' shakeup should have included the removal of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who has failed to ensure the fair delivery of civilian justice in the country, as shown recently by the involvement of DOJ prosecutors in a bribery scandal.

"Nilalait itong kagawaran ni Gonzalez na 'Department of Injustice' dahil sa kabulastugan ng mga opisyal nito. Dahil sa kanya, bigo ang sibilyang institusyong pang-katarungan sa bansa (Gonzalez' agency is now being mocked as the 'Department of Injustice' because of all these controversies involving its officials. Because of him, the civilian institution for justice has failed)," he stressed.

"Kung gustong patunayan ni Gloria na pinapahalagahan niya ang mga sibilyang institusyon kaysa mga alipores niyang militar o sunud-sunuran sa kanya, sibakin niya sa puwesto si Gonzalez at tigilan na ang militarisasyon ng kanyang gobyerno (If Gloria wants to prove that she values civilian institutions over her military or other minions who suck up to her, then she should fire Gonzalez immediately and stop the militarization of the government)," he said.

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