MANILA, Philippines— Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan cried foul on Monday over a Philippine Daily Inquirer’s (PDI) editorial, questioning his endorsement by the so-called White Vote Movement led by El Shaddai Bro. Mike Velarde.
Honasan, the editorial said, should have been excluded from the initial list of senatorial bets endorsed by the group based on the guidelines issued by the Catholic Church for not voting a particular candidate.
The editorial specifically referred to the 7th guideline which states that, “The candidate has been involved or linked to terrorism or the use of goons for self-protection within or outside the campaign period. Peace is the only way to peace.”
“This would have ruled out two more anointed members of the White Vote Six; both Senators Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV had taken up arms against the very governmental system they now serve,” the PDI editorial said.
But Honasan questioned why he was being held accountable for his history based on what he insinauted as “inaccurate, incomplete or sometimes totally ridiculous information.”
“I was hoping that there would be some balance in the treatment of issues like why should I be held accountable for my history of participating in apprising with my life as a senator for the last 15 years,” he said in an interview with INQUIRER.net’s editorial team.
“Case in point, I’m being held accountable for seven to nine coup attempts by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I can claim credit for the ’86, technically a coup attempt—the original plan was to attack Malacañang and in ’87 and ’89 for which I received an amnesty proclamation backed up by a diploma from the Ramos administration.”
“But you know what rankles me… is [that] because some sectors [with] vested selfish interests benefitted in ’86 it was all right then? When we did it for the same, very same reason in
1987 and 89 it was wrong?” he asked.
Compared to the 150 and 300 deaths during the failed coup attempts in 1987 and 1989, respectively, Honasan pointed out that more–-8,000 people— died in the 1991 Ormoc tragedy. He also pointed to the number of children who died of malnutrition because their parents have lost their jobs.
“Have anybody been held accountable? And now I’m being called to task for a decision that laity made about endorsing certain candidates,” he lamented.
Asked if his role in the failed coup attempts during the time of the late President Corazon Aquino could affect his re-election bid next month, Honasan said, “No. It will affect the truth.”
“I mean according one news group, media is supposed to report. And the people decide. It’s not supposed to editorialize on the basis of inaccurate, incomplete or sometimes totally ridiculous information. That’s what I understand,” he added.