Monday, March 17, 2008

Of People Power And Propaganda

Angela Stuart Santiago posting in the Republic of Pundits debunks the propaganda being played by Gloria and those who still refuse to open their eyes to reality. Ms. Santiago discusses the issues raised by some quarters on why another People Power should not be pushed. People Power is the only peaceful means by which we can oust a criminal government, unless of of course we go by the palace's divisive assertions and end up with a full blown civil war.

Back in 1986, People Power ousted a dictator. Marcos stole the people's voice during his years in power. He ruled with impunity and he controlled every institution during his reign. After fourteen years, the people found enough courage to finally deal with him. As there was an issue of personality against Marcos, the issues behind it are far larger. Marcos had a horrible record when it came to human rights. The thievery of his administration left the country bankrupt and submerged in debt. EDSA 1 was and is still being used by suppressed people the world over.

EDSA 2 was a totally different story. It had a script that was played to the last scene. The middle class and the elite had a perception or a bias against Estrada from the very start. Even before Erap was finally declared president, these sectors of society have seen him as incompetent being a high school graduate. His rise to power showed how huge the disparity was between the poor and the rich. He played into the trap set by the Arroyos and those who perceived him to be unfit to be president. At the end of the day, the spirit of People Power was bastardized by Gloria and Mike. It actually did not take much to get the crowds riled up and kick Erap to kingdom come.

We had a chance to kick Gloria out back in 2004. Running against another actor, sectors of society raised alarms bells again. FPJ is a close friend of Erap and was viewed as similar to Erap by the powerful minority. It was only after a year and the Hello Garci scandal that we learned how the voice of the people fell victim to GMA's greed. Elections should reflect the voice of the majority, however, that is not the case with our country. Personal interests and comfort far outweigh not outnumber national interest and democracy.

Gloria would like us to believe that People Power is bad because she knows how she prostituted the exercise. She knows how her husband and their greedy gang maneuvered and exploited the situation back in 2001. She has to make it appear that kicking her our is unjust and unconstitutional. At the same time, she slowly re-framed the vital institutions of government to make sure that any legal and constitutional means to take her out of office will not work. Falling out of grace and ending up like Erap will be a bitter pill to swallow. Now she is believed to be the worst president the country ever had. Not only that, she is now even perceived to be a traitor by some.

Malacañang will do anything to make it appear that everything Gloria is facing now is simply political and the opposition's desire to oust her. But we all know, at least those who now accept that the Arroyos hoodwinked them in 2001, that these calls for her resignation is based on issues. These issues have dragged the country into instability both politically and economically. The repercussions of Gloria's transgressions are being felt now with immeasurable consequences yet to be seen.

People Power only becomes bad when persons with ulterior motives use it. The opposition is just one part of the entire picture. With people now more informed and more discerning, pulling off an EDSA like what the Arroyos did will be very difficult. Politicians are being shunned now. The youth has picked up the slack. Politics has taken a backseat and genuine people power is emerging. Despite the drumbeating of the palace, never again would the people be easily swayed by politicians. But even the likes of Card. Rosales nor the voice of Winnie Monsod would not convince the people that it is best to maintain the status quo.

Gloria will never step down. She will do anything to avoid paying for her sins. People feel betrayed and the nation is sitting on a powder keg. People power this time around will not be a simple case of ousting a treacherous leadership. It will not be case of personalities, it will be based on issues and genuine change. The youth have learned the lessons our generation have overlooked. The lies that this administration are peddling exposes its weakness. It's just a matter of time before we reach not only the boiling point but the tipping point as well. We only have two options when all else fails. Either we resolve this peacefully or an outright revolution.

I would always prefer the peaceful path to solve our problems. We can also reform and strengthen our institutions through this. But if you are dealing with a lawless administration, would this really work? Perhaps the latter maybe more apt. It is is a better means to eradicate the greed and to exterminate the breed.


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