Thursday, June 14, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Antonio Trillanes IV, the leader of a military faction called Magdalo that staged a military protest demonstration so-called Oakwood Mutiny against government corruption, most particularly corruption in the Philippine Armed Forces, won millions of votes in the last midterm elections with no campaign organization, no millions in campaign funds, and no means to shake hands with the voters while in detention. He said that he ran for a senate seat in order to push through his goal to go after the corrupt leaders in the government. So it seems that the Philippine Commission on Elections, a constitutional body created to proclaim winners in an election, refused to do its mandated duty, under pressure from the incumbent Arroyo administration.

The Filipino people, most especially the rank and file members of the Armed Forces, voted for Trillanes clearly to express their dissatisfaction towards the Arroyo administration whose favorite senatorial candidates lost. The defeat of Arroyo's candidates no doubt is a referendum on the illegitimacy of her presidency or an expression of the people's rejection of her leadership.

Before the May 14th elections, Arroyo and her cronies in Congress tried to amend the Philippine Constitution and drastically change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary. The obvious reason was to avoid holding the scheduled midterm elections, a democratic institution, through which the people express their will and elect the national leaders. Surely if it was a snap presidential election between Gloria Arroyo and another opposition candidate, she would definitely lose.

The May 14th election results are indeed conclusive: the Filipino people are not happy with the Arroyo administration because of how it usurped political power and how it fooled the people most of the time. If denied of this democratic practice, the people could have asserted sovereign power and evicted the illegitimate tenant of Malacanang by force.

Confronted with the truth of the people's loss of confidence, a sane leader would not insist on holding on to stolen presidential power. Gloria Arroyo's call on her cabinet members to resign presumably because of her election defeat may really be a subconscious call to herself to resign. Before the “gods” proceed to make her mad, she may as well accept the reality of the situation and step down as soon as possible.



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