Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Manuel L Quezon III on June 16 posted on his blog his stand on the Gloriagate tapes. Manolo is political analyst, columnist, and blogger. A grandson of a former president, he is also a chronicler of the history of the presidency. He used to work as President Arroyo’s speechwriter, then as a technical assistant, and eventually as a presidential assistant. He left his work in MalacaÃ±ang after the President went against her earlier statement that she would not run in 2004.
Here are excerpts from what the Inquirer called “Manuel L. Quezon III’s manifesto on the tapes”:
If you opposed the muzzling of the press during martial law, if you denounced the attempts to cow it under Estrada, then you must denounce and resist similar efforts now, and they are clearly taking place. I am not a lawyer, but in bringing out the tapes in the first place, can the government claim any right to forbid us to listen to the tape, and make up our own mind?
The question is a simple one, and nothing should distract us from this. It is a question of the Presidentâ€™s continued fitness for office. What will determine that fitness? Her being forthright with her people and disabusing them of the notion that she betrayed them by cheating her way to victory. The only way she can do this is to prove that the tapes are not genuine, that she never engaged in improper conversations with Comelec officials, that she was not the commander in chief of an army of fraud. Should she fail to do this -if she continues to hide behind a wall of silence, if she fails to take an active role in determining the authenticity or falseness of any version of the tape- then as of that moment she has lost her right to lead the country. I suggest those at the forefront of demanding clear, unequivocal executive action should be her supporters, because if she fails to prove her innocence she has betrayed those who supported her out of a genuine conviction most of all.