On December 14, Mrs. Arroyo “conceded” that the time is not yet ripe for Charter change. On the same day, her allies at the House of Representatives archived the controversial con-ass resolution.
But even as the Church-organized prayer rally was going on at Luneta last Sunday, Rep. Mat Defensor, a pro-Gloria and pro-Cha-cha congressman, was being interviewed on ABS-CBN News Channel about the prospects of Cha-cha under the Arroyo regime. On Monday, news reports quoted Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as saying that the administration has not really given up on Cha-cha.
Arroyo issued a statement yesterday, saying Cha-cha is “is a platform commitment of the administration that will be pursued with urgency and fervor.” This confirms the bishops’ suspicions that Arroyo issued the December 14 statement only to discourage people from joining the Luneta rally.
Bishop Oscar Cruz earlier doubted Arroyo’s statement, citing her track record of lying. In December 2002, when her popularity ratings were very low, she vowed not to run in the 2004 elections. This made her look good in the eyes of many Filipinos, and even earned her a Filipino of the Year award from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She eventually ran, and won–allegedly with the help of Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.