STATEMENT OF FR. ROMEO J. INTENGAN, S.J. REGARDING A SUPPOSED “EXIT PLAN”
FOR PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL – ARROYO
4 December 2005
This concerns the series of articles in The Manila Times from November 23 thru November 25, 2005, which claimed that National Security Adviser Norberto B. Gonzales and I had presented an exit plan for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Supposedly, the plan contains: (1) a description of the country’s political condition being “a revolutionary situation aggravated by political crisis,” (2) a proposal for the abolition of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and (3) conditions for the President’s “stepping down.” Major parts of the above mentioned articles were picked up by other news agencies and given very wide dissemination.
I absolutely deny having submitted or having taken part in preparing any “exit plan” for the President. The so-called exit “conditions” are not of my making, if they exist at all. Most probably these are pure fabrications fed to media practitioners for purposes of political intrigue.
There exist not only one, but two documents which I authored, that do contain, but separately, two of the points raised by the source of the reporter who wrote the Manila Times articles. The first document, the 50-page “The Armed Forces of the Philippines: Defender of the Nation, Guardian of Democracy, and Servant of the People,” carries my assessment of the present national crisis which, indeed, I describe as a “revolutionary situation aggravated by a political crisis.” It also exhorts the country’s armed forces to partake in the tasks of radical reform, social revolution, and national unity.
The second document, the 24-page “Program Points for Addressing the Revolutionary Situation,” does include the proposal to “(s)tudy the possibility of abolishing the ISAFP.” This proposal, however, is but one (and not even a major one) of the many initial policies and measures comprising my proposed “revolutionary agenda.” The entire agenda, which is comprehensive, is aimed at “renewing and strengthening the state,” “rectify(ing) the main defects and dysfunctions of our political system,” and “making our democracy an authentic one.”
Both documents are published by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), the office of which is on the Loyola Heights campus of the Ateneo de Manila University. Both documents are endorsed by the National Security Adviser. Both are also widely-circulated. Neither constitutes or contains an “exit plan” for the President.
A story published in the November 24 issue of The Manila Times alleges that I submitted the plan to the President “at the Jesuit House in Quezon City.” The last time the President was in one of the Jesuit houses in which I have resided or held office was in the year 2000.
I can only wonder if the source of the report regarding an “exit plan” thoroughly read the documents referred to above, or if they did so, what was their intention in distorting the significance of their contents. I am also amazed at that source’s capacity for invention.
Romeo J. Intengan, S.J.