Press Release
September 20, 2006

"Copycat coup" not likely to succeed in RP - Recto

Senator Ralph Recto has expressed doubt whether a copycat coup will succeed in the Philippines after mutinous soldiers seized power in neighboring Thailand.

First, we have reason to believe that what we have is a constitutional military, he said.

If our soldiers were not, then they could have taken matters into their own hands when the political climate reached boiling point in the aftermath of the Garci case and the resignation of the Hyatt 10, he said.

Katulad ng ordinaryong tao, mukhang may coup-fatigue na, he remarked.

Second, there is no opposition leader charismatic enough to bring the soldiers out of the barracks. In Thailand, there is their king whos the constant symbol of stability. Dito wala na si Da King, he said, referring to the hugely popular Fernando Poe Jr. who placed a close second in the 2004 elections.

He could have been literally the man on the horseback who if alive would have posed a serious problem to this administration, Recto said. In his almost 50 years as an actor, Poe often played horse-riding gunslingers.

Recto said Thailand s economy will be strong and resilient enough to weather an extra-constitutional change in government.

An attempt of a similar kind in the Philippines will badly affect our fragile economy, he said. First sign of disturbance and the fiscal turnaround will be halted.

A coup to them will just be a hiccup. If it happens here, it will knock us out cold for a long time, he said.

Recto said it will be foolhardy for those eyeing to oust Mrs. Arroyo from power to get inspiration from events happening in Bangkok today. Thailand may have started the Asian flu in 1997, when regional economies were hard hit. I dont think that this time its spreading a coup contagion in the region, he said.

He said the cure to inept governance should be elections or such constitutionally-prescribed changes such as impeachment, but please, not this Bangkok pill.

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