Chavit Nixes Plan to Include Estrada in Political Summit

Article excerpt

VIGAN, Ilocos Sur Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson deplored yesterday the purported plan of Speaker Jose de Venecia to invite former President Joseph Estrada to a political summit aimed at restoring political stability in the country.

"That would be extremely foolish," Singson said of De Venecia's plan "Let me make this clear. I am all for national reconciliation and maybe it is exactly what we need in these times of crisis. But it should be anchored on justice and respect for our laws. Otherwise, we would be sending the wrong signals to the youth, to our law-abiding citizens, and to the lawless elements that it is all right to violate the law with impunity as long as you have power, influence and money."

De Venecia has expressed his plan to invite Estrada to the summit as head of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, which is a member of the United Opposition. He claimed President Arroyo had endorsed his summit idea in the wake of persistent reports about the possibility of a coup.

Singson said he hopes the President would carefully consider the repercussions that may arise with Estrada's inclusion in the summit, saying "her administration has, indeed, entered into some secret deals favoring Estrada in the plunder case. …