CNN interview

The following is the transcript of my interview with CNN Today which was aired last Wednesday morning.

What is the response from schools in your call for students to walk-out of their classes?

Youth DARE (Demanding Arroyo’s Removal) is happy to announce that the major public and private universities in Manila have committed to join the rally today in Ayala. Some students, in fact, would be accompanied by their school officials.

Do you expect a big crowd and what is your message in today’s rally?

We expect a minimum of fifty thousand persons to join the rally today. And the message is very clear: We want the President to step down immediately. She should heed the growing clamor for her to resign. And if I were her, I would step down voluntarily and face accountability to the allegations that she cheated during last year’s elections.

The police is saying that extremist groups will infiltrate your ranks to sow violence in the rally. What can you say about this?

We believe this is a police tactic to scare the people not to join the rally, and we fear the police is using this argument to disperse the crowd and use violence. But we want to assure the public that security will be a high priority among the organizers, and violence would not come from our side.

Is there a particular candidate you would like to see replacing Arroyo?

There is really no general consensus about a particular candidate we would be supporting after Arroyo.
Most would say that the Vice President must take over in case the President would resign. But some lawyers and scholars are also asserting that a caretaker government or some transition council to that effect, can be considered also to be in conformity with our Constitution. And we welcome the ongoing debate and discussions in the academe and media about what really are the processes which can be described as Constitutional.

Are you disappointed with the message of the Bishops over the weekend which did not ask the President to resign?

Unfortunately, the President and her officials have interpreted the statement of the Bishops as an endorsement for the Arroyo government. But if we read the statement very carefully, the Bishops did not categorically endorse the President and they did not discount the validity of the calls for the President to resign.

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