Wednesday, July 06, 2005

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The technical dismissal of the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by her pro-Arroyo members of the House of Representatives did not end the political crisis but re-installed a people’s movement to topple the Arroyo presidency. What came out it is a very interesting political boxing match between the incumbent female leader, Gloria, against two female opponents, Cory and Susan who are leading the mass actions. Who will win?

Normally when women fight, it’s the men who intervene to stop it, perhaps none other than the men in uniform. Given the current Philippine situation of rising consumer prices, skyrocketing energy costs, grumblings within the Philippine military, rampant corruption in all branches of government, loss of trust of the people on their president, I may conclude that it would be just a matter of months for this scenario to happen: a civilian-military coup d’etat unless pre-empted by Gloria’s resignation.

Students of history and political science are more inclined to see clearly the interplay of various factors that may determine a nation’s fate. The Philippines has already experienced several attempts by military elements to grab power. During Marcos’s time, a group of military leaders staged a mutiny and sequestered themselves in a military camp. The people gathered around the camp and saved them from a massacre. During Cory Aquino’s rule, seven military coups failed to oust her from power. Now, under Arroyo’s administration, a group of junior military officers staged a mini-revolt in the commercial center of Makati commonly dubbed as the Oakwood Mutiny. It was not really a coup but a protest demonstration of junior military leaders against their corrupt superiors.

Similar interplay of social, economic, and political factors led to the military coups in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, particularly in such countries as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Pakistan, Mauritania, Burma, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Liberia. Concerned Filipino patriots should learn from history and propose solutions in order to save our people from a violent upheaval if mistakes from the past would not be corrected. It is good that democracy is still very much alive in the Philippines today. Let’s hope that the sovereign will of the Filipino people prevail in the midst of the raging political crisis that threatens it.



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