Snap Election or Transition Council?

As the Filipino people gear up for yet another campaign to oust a discredited President, not a few ordinary citizens have asked – what’s in store? Some opposition leaders have floated the chances of a simple resignation or a snap election while progressive blocs are pushing for a transition council.


In the event that a fed up populace throws out a third president out of Malacañang, the question of who would be the country’s next leaders has often cropped up. This scenario has arisen in the light of calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign following an expose of taped conversations linking her to electoral fraud in the presidential polls May last year.

In his public statements, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimenel floated the scenario of having Senate President Franklin Drilon as the country’s next president. This, he said, would follow the constitutional succession considering that public clamor is for the President and her vice president, Noli de Castro, to step down.

Several others have said that it should be former Sen. Loren Legarda who should be president considering that she was the vice presidential bet of the late Fernando Poe Jr. who, in turn, should have won the presidential race.

Poe and Legarda had filed an electoral protest with the Supreme Court (SC) questioning the results in several precints particularly in Mindanao. The protest however was dismissed by the high court early this year after Poe died of stroke in December 2004.

The events may have brought the issue on a downhill save for the emergence of the now infamous “Hello Garci” tapes that would prove there was fraud during the 2004 elections.

Transition council

The progressive Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), however, proposes what it calls a transition council in the event Macapagal-Arroyo is ousted from the presidency.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, in an interview with Bulatlat, said the idea is similar to a council of leaders that would effect some immediate reforms and would prepare the country for another election that should determine the new leaderdship.

He however said it would be premature to talk about the composition of the council because the broad alliance for Macapagal-Arroyo and de Castro’s ouster is just taking shape.

But he made sure that the forces that would make this up would come from the “the most decisive and most serious forces” that would throw the president and vice president out of the palace.

At the moment, Reyes said, the groups that are consistently critical against the present regime, aside from the progressive mass movement led by Bayan, would come from the United Oppostion (UNO), the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, the FPJ camp led by character actor Rez Cortez and Linggoy Alcuaz, some Catholic Church bishops and other religious sectors like the Bangon Pilipinas of former presidentiable Bro. Eddie Villanueva and some retired and active generals from the Philippine Army.

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