DETAINED senatorial candidate Brigadier General Danilo Lim on Tuesday said a military takeover in the case of a failure of election is unnecessary because an “Arroyo junta” already existed.

In a statement circulated to media, Lim said the government-led junta has trampled upon democratic institutions in the nine-year rule of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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“A junta is a government takeover led by an elite committee of so-called leaders with total disregard for the basic functions of democracy and its institutions. Nothing comes close to this than the nine-year rule of the Arroyo government,” said Lim.

“They continue to scare us with lies that the only alternative to Mrs. Arroyo’s rule is a military junta, not minding of the fact that the junta we are so terrified off is already here,” he added.

It can be recalled that deputy presidential spokesperson Charito Planas said that the government might create a military junta in case elections fail, sparking criticisms from opposition groups.

But Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales quickly contradicted Planas’s statement, saying the country “should not talk about failure of elections.”

Arroyo as supreme caudillo

Lim also tagged Arroyo as the “supreme caudillo of her own autocratic regime” surrounded by “loyalists” from the legislative and judiciary.

“From a credibility-challenged election body in partnership with some corrupt military officers, a Gloria-rubberstamp legislature up to a muted judiciary, one can sense that the country has been taken hostage by Mrs. Arroyo and her gang of cronies and seasoned trapos (traditional politicians). If this is not a dictatorship, if this is not a junta, then I don’t know what this is anymore,” Lim said.

Two weeks ago, Lim said some restive elements in the military are “closely monitoring” the developments in the so-called “Arroyo Court,” following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed Arroyo to pick the replacement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno despite the “midnight appointment” ban.

But Lim was quick to distance himself from the possibility of new military uprising, saying he has taken another path to “pursue his advocacy for social change.”

The Liberal Party senatorial candidate is facing rebellion charges in connection with the November 2007 standoff at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City and also faces charges of mutiny before a military court in connection with the February 2006 coup. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)