by Jan Mikko Canarias with photos by: Tonchi Nanini
Davao City — Secretary Norberto Gonzales was invited to be the guest speaker on a forum at Ateneo de Davao University. Reaffirming the Pillars of Democracy in 2010 Elections – The Armed Forces of the Philippines, The Church and Faith Commitments, and The Civil Society in Fusion. “Vote buying cannot be stopped according to the Comelec, but cheating during the counting can be with automated elections” Gonzales said during his talk. “The AFP will be on against the guns and goons” he added.
The Ateneo community also invited some guest reactors for the speech given by Secretary Gonzales. The SICO Director, Ian Parcon, talks about the roles of the academe to disseminate informations to the students about the Election 2010. Youth Secretariat of the Mindanao Sulu Pastoral Conference, Karen Talidano, stated “ The church and state should be separated but the church is still a structure, yes, and inside the church are people, and those people have rights to share their thoughts”. “The church and the AFP are the same in purpose of protecting the rights of the people” said by Ms. Isabel Actub, Theology Division Chairperson.
“Naawa ako sa kanya”
That was the statement of Secretary Norberto Gonzales referring to Karlos Manlupig, spokesperson of League of the Filipino Students (LFS) for Southern Mindanao, during a forum in Ateneo de Davao University. “Baka nga Komunista ‘yan siya”, Secretary Gonzales added. Before the Secretary of National Defense released this statements, Mr. Manlupig asked him a question, during the open forum, about the involvement of the secretary and of the AFP in many extra-judicial killings and other electoral violence from the past.
He also mentioned the names of running candidates Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo to be promised by the Communist group a sure vote of 2 million. He also stated, “you (referring to the NPA) have the biggest private army”. At the middle of the secretary’s answering memebers of the LFS stood up and raised their protest silently while military personnel took pictures of them.