Sunday, November 17, 2013

PART 5: INC Rebellion - The deal with Manalo

Part 1: INC Rebellion - INC's role in bringing the crowd to the EDSA 3 rally
Part 2: INC Rebellion - INC's role in the rebellion plot
Part 3: The government's response to the plot, specifically against the INC
Part 4: The government's attempt to reach out to the INC leadership

The inside story:The Fall of Joseph Estrada: The Inside Story - a book by Amando Doronilla

INC Rebellion - The deal with Manalo

page 236-237
The National Security Council meeting in Malacanang was held next day. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel proposed a dialogue between the government and Manalo after hearing from Mendoza that INC members made up at least 70% of the EDSA 3 crowd. Some Cabinet members opposed the idea, but the president sided with Pimentel. She sent him, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, and Justice Secretary Hernando Perez to the INC headquarters. Even before the dialogue with the INC leadership was over, Net 25 and DZEC, which had been covering the rally round-the-clock, had gone off the air without warning or explanation.

There were several versions of what took place during the meeting. Manalo raised the issue of house arrest for Estrada or what he would regard a more appropriate detention for him-the bungalow built for the purpose in Fort Sto. Domingo, Laguna just would not do. The presidential emissaries said the issue of house arrest was for the court to resolve, but promised a better place and good treatment. But the opposition claimed that Macapagal-Arroyo's men had committed to a house arrest for Estrada and even agreed to put the plunder case against the ousted president on the back burner for the time being. Supporters of the opposition even spread outlandish rumors that Macapagal-Arroyo had considered putting out a statement acknowledging that she was just an acting president because Estrada was merely on leave.

The claim that Macapagal-Arroyo was amenable to house arrest gained credence when, after the Malacanang riot and her second surprise visit to Estrada's hospital suite at the VMMC, the palace announced that she was not opposed to the hospital arrest. Cabinet members who had denounced Estrada as a hopelessly corrupt leader echoed the line of Macapagal-Arroyo. They argued that, as former chief executive, he should be accorded preferential treatment while standing trial.

President Macapagal-Arroyo even ordered the start of work in the hospital compund on two bungalows - a new annex - where Estrada and his son could stay until Sandiganbayan decided their cases. Pimentel then confirmed that a hospital arrest for the president and his son was part of the compromise reached during their meeting with Manalo. Other sources close to the talks said the appointment of former Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero, an influential member of the INC, to a government position was also part of the deal. Tuquero was nominated as new ambassador to Canada.

Part 6:  Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo makes a personal visit to Manalo

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