Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It continues to amaze me how distorted our political values and beliefs have become as a nation. I have listened to all political sound bites and homilies of priests regarding the current ZTE issue, and all continuously repeat the words truth, democracy, and justice. It amazes me further that people who are now calling for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's ouster are not squeaky clean, themselves.

I remember one of my beloved political science professors' lecture on democracy. She told our class that the problem with democracy is that it allows for people of questionable credentials or morals to be elected into public office. But, she adds, the beauty also of democracy is its ability to allow people to remove these elected officials through the same process that got them into power to begin with. That is the function of elections.

I was too young to have been involved in the first People Power in 1986. I was part of the second People Power, however. I joined the gargantuan rallies in Fuente Osmeňa in Cebu City for three days and called for the ouster of President Joseph Estrada. That was then.

I know that President Arroyo is not perfect. However, she has been extremely lucky or careful in all her actions since her assumption of power in 2001. In fact, for someone whose administration has had so many controversies thrown her way, she has had an amazing staying power. Maybe the people in Visayas and Mindanao have finally realized that, for the first time in Philippine history, they are finally being represented. Although I am not pro-Gloria all the way, and have disagreed with many of her policies, I still admire and thank her for her constant ability to include officials from the Visayas and Mindanao to be part of her administration. She won my admiration further when she even took her oath of office in Cebu. I admire her for her ability to speak Cebuano. How many other former presidents could do this? Aside from Sergio Osmeňa and Carlos P. Garcia, who were Bisaya, the rest are from imperial Luzon. The fact that we finally have a champion for Visayas and Mindanao is an obvious reason why the call for Gloria's ouster is only strongly felt in Manila.

Given that GMA is no saint, we ask the question: who is? Rodolfo Lozada may have been the whistle blower that the opposition has been waiting for, but he himself freely admitted that he was not exactly virginal in all his dealings as a government official. Former President Cory Aquino may now be once more going around sponsoring masses in support of Jun Lozada, but have we forgotten that she and her family are still one of the biggest landlords in the country, and her Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program has, in fact, been extremely detrimental to the peasants and has only guaranteed the perpetuation of the Cojuangco family's control of Hacienda Luisita?

The De Venecia family has now portrayed themselves as complete patriots in making all these little revelations about anomalies in the Arroyo administration. But what does this say of them? They were right in GMA's inner circle, and thus were part of whatever anomalies PGMA was into. Doesn't this mean that they too, are guilty of all these and they are now simply trying to bring down Arroyo because of a friendship or a partnership gone sour?

What about all these Bishops and priests and nuns who have so valiantly shielded Jun Lozada from harm? Are they as clean as they present themselves to be? What about all those molestation charges hurled against priests not just in the Philippines but all over the world? Why have they not exposed these themselves? They continue to say they are praying for the eradication of corruption, but what about church corruption? There are hundreds of priests and bishops whose personal assets are in the millions, but are they being investigated? How many boys have been traumatized by the abuses of priests, only to be silenced by a generous payment by the diocese where these molesters are from?

Above all, the leftist groups and other anti-Arroyo groups are saying GMA should step down and a snap election takes place or that a “caretaker” government temporarily runs the country until an election is scheduled. Where do these ridiculous suggestions come from? Have they forgotten that we have a constitution that guarantees the smooth turn-over of power from President to Vice-President? Now, they are saying they don't want VP Noli de Castro because he, too, is part of GMA's “evil” cabal.

If these people want the truth to come out, let them wait for the proper evidences and forums to shed light to all these controversies. If they adhere to the principles of democracy, let them not continue with these stupid ideas of snap elections and caretaker governments. If they want justice, let them wait for the decisions of other impartial institutions in the government to render judgment to the ZTE controversy.

I resent how these hypocritical groups and individuals parade themselves on national television and declare that the Filipino people are tired of all these. Who are they referring to? People from Manila? The opposition? Luzon? I am from Cebu and Mindanao and I certainly have not clamored for GMA's stepping down. My governor and my mayor have certainly not demanded for the president's ouster. This is, again, a manifestation of Manila imperialism and I and many Bisayas and Mindanaonons are tired of and disgusted with this. I, too, want the truth revealed. I want democracy to be protected. I want justice served. But short-circuiting the democratic process will never solve the root of our problems. Besides, there is no real purpose to all these allegations other than to grab power from a sitting president. The senate obviously has been threatened ever since talks of an impending charter change plan to delete the senate from the proposed federal, parliamentary set-up. It's truly disgusting how political enemies before now are joining forces to topple down the Arroyo government.

I pray that these protests in Manila do not spillover to the countrysides and provinces. If they force my president out of Malacaňang, I will lose what little faith and hope I have left with the Filipino people.

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