The title of this post is actually meant for the statement that follows, but is appropriate as a reply to our good friend Ricky Carandang regarding his post "Dear Black & White". And we are grateful to another good friend, Edwin Lacierda, for coming to our defense.
Perception may be everything to some. It is no secret that our movement does not ascribe to the beliefs of the extreme Left, and none of our members supports the restoration of Mr. Estrada. The people who make up our membership are proudly from what is left of our middle class. We all work hard to keep a roof over our heads, put food on our tables, keep our children educated and clothed, pay our taxes, and are grateful for the grace and faith that comfort us.
We may not be politically savvy, we may be naive in some respect, but we have never claimed to be slick operators either. We are not innocent of the knowledge that some groups may have agenda other than ours, but what is wrong with trying to influence them with our own? You can't do that unless you reach out to them.
"Damned if you do, damned if you don't". In a perfect world it is easy to be purist. But early on in this struggle, we realized it would be difficult to avoid any inter-action with all other anti-Arroyo groups. There were initiatives that required mass action and we had to take our place in the crowd, case in point, "Bukluran Para sa Katotohanan". We may have stood side by side with folks whose beliefs differ from ours at the press conference Ricky spoke of, but that didn't mean we were selling out to anyone. We remain loyal to the stand we took months ago - that Mrs. Arroyo and Mr. de Castro should resign, be impeached, or ousted out of office to make way for the Senate President and Special Elections as spelled out in the Constitution. We continue the search for truth in regard to Gloriagate. We call for the resignation of the COMELEC Commissioners. But should persistent rumors of coup d'etat become reality because many of our people continue to be apathetic, we won't have much choice but to stand aside, will we?
We are anti-Arroyo but remain apart from the political opposition. We admire Alan Peter Cayetano, for instance, but like 12 Liberal Party Congressmen, we aren't about to join the opposition. We have been criticized for our association with Cory Aquino, the Hyatt 10, and our convenor groups, but we are proud of their friendship and alliance. Our views do not stray far from those of the CBCP.
In closing, we would like to share with you our version of the "unity" statement which we hoped would have been incorporated into the final version read by former Vice President Guingona at last Tuesday's press conference. You may notice that it takes a decidedly middle forces point of view:
A democracy is measured according to the manner it prevents the majority from becoming tyrannical, and protects the minority from being oppressed. Democracy is demonstrated by the government proving it is responsible in handling its powers. Instead of democracy, we have:
· A ruling coalition of Lakas-CMD and its allies that is trying to inflict the most short-sighted, selfish, political changes in our history. Not only does Lakas want Cha-Cha, it keeps insisting on No-El;
· An administration using the force of numbers to prevent genuine debate and productive hearings;
· A government of silencing critics. To enforce this policy, extreme interpretations of the law, and a ruthless application of questionable legal doctrines and interpretations, are used;
· A government that ignores public opinion, and has threatened unleashing the armed might of the state.
As a result, we have been bloodied. But we remain unbowed. In fact, instead of shrinking, our numbers have grown. The true, unquestionable, majority in this country are those opposed to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Her lying, stealing, cheating administration has used every means, fair or foul, to get her off the hook.
But Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was never off the hook. Even the CBCP Statement released on Sunday shows that no room is left to doubt that the guiding principle of Mrs. Arroyo is to stay in power by hook or by crook. And if she remains in power today, it is only because it takes time to make straight the crooked paths she has made. But time and justice are on our side.
A tyranny of the majority exists. It is a majority that exists only in Congress, made bold by the expectation that through no-El and Cha-Cha, no day of reckoning with the public will ever come.
A tyrant rules from Malacanang: One who refuses to be bound by the law or by democratic tradition; one who fears, instead of loves, our people. One who believes the problems of her own making can only be solved through bribery and intimidation.
The past few months have been a tale of these two tyrannies –that of Lakas and the strong-arm tactics of Mrs. Arroyo. The path they continue to take leads directly down the path of violence.
Every person in our country, in whatever line of work, civilian or military, wants the same thing: justice; the righting of wrongs; the means to air their grievances, and have them attended to. Most of all, everyone wants a government that is theirs, and not imposed on them; they want genuine sovereignty, not the creation of a slave state.
We have a social contract. It is the Constitution. Every Filipino must abide by it; every one of us must live according to its provisions. A nation divided between the majority who believe in the rule of law, and an administration that thinks the golden rule is that those who have the gold make the rules, cannot long endure.
This is our warning. This is our plea. This is our demand. Bring government back to the people. Restore the rule of law. Return our society to one based on Constitution, instead of where it is now: a government that ignores the people, hurts the people, and even blames the people, for interfering in its efforts to rob the country blind.