Saturday, February 25, 2006

Watch for Arroyo’s murder instinct

This is funny: the calamity had struck a small village in Leyte and the President proclaimed a state of national emergency.

These are not: while “over these past months” certain enemies of the state have conspired to bring down the Arroyo’s government, an opposition congressman was arrested, pursuant to the declaration, for “inciting to rebellion” allegedly committed in 1985; citing (but without employing) martial law powers under the Commander-in-Chief provisions, President Arroyo raided newspaper offices as if she were sequestering buses invoking the National Economy provisions of the Constitution on taking over of public utilities, with the peso and the economy tumbling down as a result; and to top it all, she commemorated the 20th anniversary of People Power by banning it.

She is the same Arroyo who by “Garci tapes” measures cheated in the May 2004 presidential elections in cohort with the same military officers who are now enforcing her national emergency proclamation.

Marcosian? Forget it.

Gloria is her own woman now. Anyone who is still taking lightly her murder instincts will be in for a long and painful ride. She gets her way - doesn’t anyone notice it yet? - with or without martial law or without telling the Supreme Cowards: “Don’t provoke me.” She doesn’t warn, “The penalty will be death”: she just pulls the trigger.

Gising Bayan. The Philippine National Police Director, General Arturo Lumibao, is openly warning the print and broadcast media that the government will take over any of them if it does not conform to the “standards set by the government” during the emergency and it will resort to prior restraint of editorial contents, news reports or views aired in radio and TV stations to see if these conform to those standards. Arroyo unabashedly calls this state of affairs as the “democratic Philippine State”; those of her opponents’ she brands as “authoritarian” or “totalitarian.” Meanwhile, dissenters are being arrested without warrants and protesters beaten up by the police unprovoked or not.

Yet, what are the undisputable facts: foremost of all, there is no lawless violence, invasion or rebellion whatsoever in the nature of a 9-11 attack. Won’t Arroyo otherwise have resorted to martial law or suspended the writ of habeas corpus if there is?

If the reports are true, what might have happened were certain exercises of “political acts” by some “misguided” men in uniform involving solicitation of “withdrawal of support” from the Arroyo government. “This was not an attempted coup, but an attempted withdrawal of support,” Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Generoso Senga in fact has been reported to have said.(PCIJ's version is here.)

Apparently, the plot was for the soldiers to join the people power march (the same kind of march Arroyo had joined before as vice-president of the Republic) marking the 20th anniversary of first People Power uprising. Conducts unbecoming of those officers that could subject them to appropriate military discipline these appear to be, but they are no less democratic than the call of former president Cory Aquino for President Arroyo to step down. What should becalm the restiveness in the military, if one suggestion could be offered, is for Arroyo to prove her legitimacy by other than the votes the COMELEC counted. In full hindsight, the impeachment process was a missed opportunity.

Now, back to free speech because this is closer to heart. Are newspapers public utilities within the contemplation of Article XII, Section 17 of the Constitution? Certainly not. A newspaper (like Sassy’s Web log) is not obligated by law to give a space to the public in the same way telephone and power companies must make their services available to every household. And as for the government, if it doesn’t like what’s printed, fight the unworthy by superior facts or thesis and simply try to win the argument. If a regime like Arroyo’s uses the truncheons, water cannons, the padlock, or other strong-arms tactics, it means it has nothing to test the mettle of the opposing logic. Suppression this way is authoritarian to say the least.

What would Arroyo be capable of if she actually declares martial law? Gising Bayan.


Blogger ria said...

All means possible should be exhausted to ensure that every Filipino is fully aware and concerned with the very disturbing events of the past few days. We should all speak up before it becomes dangerous and illegal for us to do so.


-Maria A. Jose
Filipino citizen

February 26, 2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your concern seems heartfelt but quite limited on why in heaven's name the president of the Philippines acted the way any person in such a capacity and predicament would do. You nor anybody outside her circle of trusted president's men and women is privy to a "take-over-the government" information deemed actionable intelligence gathered from reliable sources, military or otherwise, so it's effortless for most who protested this declaration of state emergency to shout so vehemently. There's more to this coup or attempted coup than meets the eye, and certainly does not escape someone's closer observation of an off the wall cluster of disreputable personalities panting like rabid dogs and spouting soiled diatribes against Arroyo. The sight of Corazon Aquino rallying for Arroyo to make the "supreme sacrifice and step down, and condemning her declaration" in the company of president-pretenders, election losers, plunderers, and communists-turned politicians who feign false faithfulness to the republic is a testament to the preservation of their own hides, holdings and hidden personal agenda. These amoral association of men and women don't really care for the poor, downtrodden, out of luck, living on a 100-peso a day people like us, nor does Gloria Arroyo neither. The Philippines will never, ever, get out of this rot it is submerged in because I and the rest of the Filipinos who live here are simply too dead beat from the schmucks we elect round-a about way to govern our, yes, banana republic, in exchange for for a can of sardines or a pack of noodles bought by these embezzling bozos out of the tax money I paid for an extremely hard job at a metal factory. Yes, I could go on and on, but I'm too fogged out to even think rationally when all I sense is that hunger pang I felt every frigging day. Meanwhile, let this theatrics go on like "Les Miserable" in Broadway and the "Cirque de Solei" in Nevada.

February 26, 2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous cvj said...

Abe, are you anticipating a 'Plaza Miranda' type event to happen? That's the logical next step, right?

February 28, 2006 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sweeping and perhaps an unfounded statement to cry out that Philippine politics necrotizes the very life of the country. This perilous process is a health hazard that anesthetizes every citizen to simply wander aimlessly like zombies in search of other androids for cold comfort, and what a pity that I have become one of them, and so for the rest of us. I see Gloria Arroyo, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and all their minions as a school of metastasizing malignant cells each selfishly caring and wickedly scheming only for their own being. "To each his own" as the old adage goes, isn't it? Or is it Michael Douglas' famous remark that "greed is a good thing". It's a pathetic show of idiocy to say the least how these conniving bastards planned its way to substitute its own form of goverment for what exists, validating and proclaiming their actions legit somewhat with a report and perhaps a broadcast from an invited Time World magazine correspondent who sat through this supposed summit of sort of "dissed" bit players in Cojuangco, Saycon, Aquino, et al. Let's not use wordplay, sugar coat nor paint over what the country's DISMAL future holds. It was DIM then, it is DIM now and it will be DIM forever, and you know what? I lay the blame squarely on my shoulders and everybody else's for having done what each and everyone of us could possibly do and yet unable to get out of this rot because we can't get through these morons' porous, atrophied granite heads. I wish I'm Blaine or Copperfield perhaps so I could make these plotters, politicos and purveyors of imagined model of governance disappear with dispatch, that way a new blueprint gets in the way of reinventing the wheel. Bryan Walsh of Time couldn't have done it any better when he aptly headlined his account "Dinner with Coup Plotters". Read on.

February 28, 2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Abe N. Margallo said...

ria and anonie,

I hope my post above on FVR and the Holy Coup would help to soothe you. Thanks for visiting. (Pretty pics, ria)


If she has the qualm to call Garci during election period, hiring the Sopranos next could be logical. haha

March 01, 2006 12:37 AM  
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