Thursday, May 31, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Despite reports of massive cheating in the May 14th mid-term elections particularly in Southern Phllippines that was marked with filling out blank election returns with names of Gloria Arroyo's senatorial candidates for a 12-0 results, the Filipino people have spoken through the clear victory of rabid anti-administration senatorial candidates that they want the present tenant of Malacanang out of office as soon as possible. Appearances of looking presidential such as having bilateral talks with foreign governments and painting an improvised Philippine economic growth that smack of a Fidel Ramos' hand as the puppeteer can not dispel the naked truth of an illegitimate Arroyo presidency.

Philippine politics has a history of politicians switching party loyalties to whoever is popular. When Gloria Arroyo's executive secretary, Eduardo Ermita, gleefully told the press that another planned impeachment would be futile because “her allies won most of the seats in the House of Representatives,” the numbers are now subject to change with Arroyo's humiliating political defeat as symbolized by poor Father Ed Panlilio's gubernatorial victory over her super-rich allies in her home province of Pampanga.

There is still a saving grace for Gloria Arroyo to escape political damnation and criminal punishment as a result of her “one million vote margin of victory, Garci style” in the 2004 presidential elections. She can resign with grace and whoever would succeed her most likely would pardon her in the same manner American president Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. No true-blooded Filipino likes political instability, economic crises, and social unrest. For Filipinos are peace-loving people.

Let a new administration take over the reins of the government and start overhauling the faulty electoral system and revamping the corrupt Commission on Elections. Let's all hope that a true and dedicated leader emerge in the coming 2010 presidential elections under an atmosphere of a real “vibrant Philippine democracy.”


Thursday, May 24, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


What the American media and so-called political pundits in our midst failed to see it coming that actually caused the defeat of Republican candidates in the 2006 midterm elections was the solid impact of the Republicans' failure to deliver an immigration reform legislation on the American electorate. Definitely the Iraq war is not to blame for the loss of the Republican control of Congress. That's how the Democrats succeeded in having their political song played against President Bush's policy and the media danced along.

I can say without any reservations owing to my 13-year immigration service and enforcement work background that every American is somehow involved in an immigration issue. Because America is a nation of immigrants.

Just recently, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II visited Jamestown, Virginia where the first English immigrants made an illegal entry way back in 1607. The place was then inhabited by native Americans belonging to the Powhatan tribe. Without undergoing any quarantine, it was told that the English settlers even brought sickness and death to the native Americans. The poor native Americans then did not know about deportation and so the English illegal entrants permanently resided in Jamestown, Virginia without their permission.

There is truly no argument against the need for a secured border in our country. Having a recognized territorial jurisdiction, our government's immigration policy is to admit only eligible and admissible travelers into our country. The procedures, guidelines, and regulations are all written down in our laws. We still have illegal entrants because of the principle that there is no perfect defense against entry, especially when the United States is widely regarded as the land of opportunity, or the “land flowing with milk and honey.”

The reality of our immigration problem is two-fold. First is the presence of about 14 million illegal aliens, or properly described as undocumented aliens. Majority of them have families with children born in the United States. So they have to work to live and provide food, education, and good health for their children. Even without documents, they manage to pay taxes to Uncle Sam just to prove that they want to contribute and not to be public burden. But having no immigration status, they suffer exploitation and discrimination from their employers. Second is the constant influx of aliens who failed to get restricted immigration documents and resorted to illegal entry. Take note that in this problem, the motivation of these aliens is economic, social, and political in search for a better life- the very same reason why the first Pilgrims came to America.

The bipartisan move in Congress led by Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy to initiate a comprehensive immigration reform legislation is like a gift from heaven. Who doesn't want it – only the misguided Americans who think that they own the United States and refuse to share the blessings God has endowed on our land.

The much-debated immigration bill aims to set free millions of people from economic and political bondage who now live in the shadowy underworld of the undocumented aliens and let them join the rest of America who enjoy the benefits of freedom and democracy. Their entry into the labor force would indeed impact on the slowly depleting Social Security fund lock box. It also provides for a temporary work permit program for willing aliens to work for willing American employers in order to discourage illegal entry.

Now, does anybody see or feel anything in the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill as horrifying such as an invasion of America by strange-looking people currently being expressed by certain Republican and Democratic Senators and Congressmen and reckless commentators and newspaper columnists? I believe such fears betray an intolerant, greedy, and racist character.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The consistent domination of opposition candidates for the Philippine Senate over the estimated multi-billion peso candidacy of Gloria Arroyo's cronies in the May 14th midterm elections proved that an educated and informed Filipino electorate would choose reason, principles, and honest government over corruption, dirty patronage, and a cheating government. The credit goes to a coordinated efforts launched by the responsible Philippine media, non-governmental organizations, and other concerned groups for free and clean elections.

The defeat of movie celebrities running for theSenate, and most particularly the humiliating election “knockout” of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiaowho was running for Congress, would send a signal tothose concerned that the Filipino voter is now 'bornagain.” However, reports of election fraud, votebuying, switching and snatching of ballot boxes, andviolent acts such as burning of a school house used asan election precinct still happened despite anationwide red alert and the presence of foreign observers to monitor the election process. I believe a new and effective Philippine government would be able to solve such problems next elections.

Aptly described as having the effect of a referendumon Gloria Arroyo's questionable presidency, the elections produced a clear and convincing victory fordie-hard critics of the Arroyo administration such asformer vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda,Congressman Francis Escudero, Senator Panfilo Lacson,and most importantly former military leader AntonioTrillanes who staged a military demonstration in 2003 that was participated by hundreds of disgruntled military men calling for a change in the current administration.

Here in the United States, President George Bush accepted the resignation of his beloved defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld after last year's midterm elections when the Democrats took control of Congress.He saw that the American voters were not satisfied with the conduct of American military involvement in Iraq where the Pentagon took responsibility. He got the cue from the electorate and he did what he had todo- change the course of action to win the war forfreedom and democracy.

There in the Philippines, the signal for change isthe resounding defeat of Arroyo administration candidates such as Mike Defensor, Luis Singson,Prospero Pichay and Sultan Kiram for the Senate, Lito Lapid who received only one percent of the vote for Makati Mayor, Ali Atienza, son of incumbent Mayor LitoAtienza for Manila Mayor, and the imminent defeat ofher allies for Pampanga governor , Lilia Pineda who is the incumbent mayor of Lubao, Pampanga, and Mark Lapid who is the incumbent Pampanga governor, at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest named Father Ed Panlilio whose main advocacy is against corruption and gamblingcalled “jueteng.” And the Filipino people's cry for change is none other than the illegitimate presidency of Gloria Arroyo.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


In a any given political situation, when the masses revolt against the ruling class, they had to resort to violence. That was the reason for Jose Rizal, the Philippine's national hero and martyr, not to support the KATIPUNAN, a Filipino secret society supported by the masses, during the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines, to rebel against the abuses of the Spaniards. He advocated change through peaceful reforms to be led by the intellectuals instead of the workers. In his revolutionary novel, El Filibusterismo, he frustrated the plan of the character of Simoun, the revolutionary, to start a violent uprising against the Spanish rulers.
So let me show you the possible scenarios if and when the current Arroyo administration decided to once again rig the May 14th elections in order to stay in power in full defiance of the will of the masses:

The defeated candidates would once again file electoral protests before government agencies that had been instructed to fail them. So life would go on as usual for the cheaters.

The media would launch a campaign to force the Arroyo leadership to resign. The ruling administration would retaliate and enforce the Anti-Terrorism Law by ordering the arrests of the anti-administration journalists and closing down their newspapers on a false charge that they are supporters of the New Peoples Army(NPA). So life would go on as usual for the cheaters.

Various groups such as religious leaders, labor leaders, peasant and student groups, and other militant political leaders would take to the streets with thousands of their followers demanding the ouster of the current Arroyo administration. Then, they would march to Malacanang Palace to demonstrate in front of the gates. The ruling administration would order the police and the military to break up the street demonstrations, arrest the leaders, and stop the mammoth crowd from proceeding to Mendiola Bridge onto Malacanang. So life would go on as usual with the cheaters.

Another similar street demonstrations would be launched by the same groups this time with the help of disgruntled police and military elements and other para-military groups. The same order would be given by the ruling administration to arrest the demonstrators. But the unlawful order would not be carried out by the police and the military. The masses would march to Malacanang Palace and take over the presidential seat of power. Also this time the United States government would not be able to rescue the First Family and their cronies. So life for the cheaters would go for the worst turn and the reign of terror would begin a la French Revolution.

Who needs this kind of another violent chapter in Philippine history? It may happen if the Arroyo administration would be too blind not the see the “handwriting on the wall.”


Thursday, May 03, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Philippine democracy hangs in the balance this coming May 14th Congressional and local elections. God forbid if it fails because of a fraudulent and violent elections tolerated by the current administration, this beautiful tropical country equally endowed with rich natural resources will be open season to political and military adventurers.

Jose Rizal, the Philippines' national hero and martyr, saw in his 19th century essay , “The Philippines A Century Hence,” the interest of foreign powers to acquire the Philippines in the aftermath of a violent revolution. He was proven right when American president McKinley decided to colonize the Philippines a few years after his execution by the Spaniards.

If another Philippine revolution may ensue as a result of a failed democratic process, then a similar scenario of a foreign power – this time the Chinese dragon - entering Manila Bay may be in sight. China' s interest in the Philippines is definitely focused on the abundant natural gas and oil deposits in Palawan and Sulu Seas that would be sufficient enough to boost its robust industrialization program. Asia's “Pearl of the Orient “ is indeed worth invading, Chinese officials may think when opportunity comes.

How would America, the world's crusader for democracy, react to a possible anarchy or civil war in the Philippines if democracy fails? American President Bush has already sacrificed thousands of American lives and billions of American dollars to establish a democracy in Iraq. How much more important to do everything at his command to save Philippine democracy. Contingency plans may already be underway in case of emergency.

The future of the Philippines is now in the hands of the Filipino voters. I believe an average voter, let's say Pedro, knows the candidate that would be good for him, his family, and his country. When he cast his vote, nobody will know how he voted, even the candidate who gave him P100,000 insurance card, P10,000 pledge, a sack of rice, cash, or who threatened him with death. Definitely, he would not vote for a candidate who has stolen money from the Filipino people, who has no clear vision on how to help the country develop economically in order to create jobs, generate revenues, and reduce poverty, and who is not ready to sacrifice personal benefits or conveniences for the welfare of the people.

I urge everybody to pray that God will protect the Filipino people's right of suffrage, a democratic institution, from being violated by evildoers for the sake of democracy.