Press Release
March 11, 2010

Aquino not buying Bangit's assurances of clean polls

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" S. Aquino III is not buying the assurances of new Armed Forces chief of staff Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit that the military will not be used under his watch to sabotage the results of the May polls.

At a press conference here, Aquino said Bangit's appointment to the sensitive post may even be the start of a plan by the Arroyo government to stay in power beyond June 30.

"'Hello Garci' has not been resolved. The Mayuga report has not been made public. Gen. Gudani's assertions were never threshed out. Then you put in someone closely identified with the administration. That is the president's prerogative subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA), but conveniently the CA is not in session," he said.

Aquino was referring to the Hello Garci scandal involving wiretapped conversations made public in 2005. The conversations indicated that Arroyo was involved in a plot to cheat in the 2004 presidential elections.

Aquino noted Bangit is close to Arroyo and is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1978, which adopted the outgoing president as an honorary member.

"Mrs. Arroyo could have chosen to get someone perceived as neutral. We have a transition she should be managing as the outgoing president. But once again and consistently, she chose someone to advance her own interests," he said.

"We should also be worried about sudden changes such as people who are not due to retire but do retire and are advanced to inconsequential posts," Aquino warned.

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