Saturday, June 24, 2006

Another Battle Front

Forgive the long silence. Have been overworked, tired, tense, and irritable lately. Didn't think it would do anyone good to spout vitriol like an overturned kettle. Although exhausted, none of us are sick enough to require hospitalization. We have developed pretty good coping mechanisms through the friends and supporters that buoy us. The latest invigorating shot is from Justice Isagani Cruz (http://opinion.inq7.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=6308) and we are all grateful for his encouragement in regard to filing the Impeachment Complaint against Ate Glue.

Some have likened this endeavor to scaling a mountain that can't be climbed. Others say, why bother, when we'll never get the numbers in the House to elevate the Impeachment to the Senate because we don't have the influence nor the money of Ate Glue. We don't stand a chance in hell, they claim, because the odds are against us.

Well, none of us have said we were doing this because we're sure of a "win". This is no stacked shell game. For us, there is no choice, no other alternative more just, more constitutional. We're filing this Impeachment Complaint, whether or not we succeed. Gloria Arroyo once claimed she could defend herself and we hope to provide her the means with which to do just that.

We must ask her to explain and defend her reasons for violating our Human Rights through illegal proclamations like EO464, CPR and PP1017, not to mention illegal arrests and raids. She should stand up to the allegations of bribery, graft and corruption and defend the Fertilizer Scam, the North Rail Project and the Piatco controversy. Gloria Arroyo should also answers questions pertaining to the gross inactivity of the government in regard to the growing number of extra-judicial killings of media and activists. And although not mentioned in our new charges, let us not forget what began this terrible rollercoaster ride - Hello, Garci?

There is sadness at how unmoved and unbothered our fellow countrymen are, disappointment at their lack of outrage and their willingness to accept mediocrity. How can we claim high standards when we hold our leaders to such low benchmarks?

Prof. Randy David says we need closure - impeachment can provide that. He goes on to say, "The impeachment of an unworthy leader is always a correct starting point for a nation’s political rebirth". He's right, but not only do we need political rebirth, but GMA's impeachment may resurrect belief in ourselves as a proud and honest people.

Tomorrow evening, Sunday, beginning at 6pm, many of us are spending the night outside the gates of the Batasan. We will pray, sing and make joyful noise. We will be vigilant, and hope to peacefully ensure that it is our complaint that is filed first come Monday morning. Bring an ID and your CTC (sedula). Like Justice Cruz, all of us pray you will join us.

We all have to link and expand our ranks till the entire country is bound together with the strength and the ardor of our resolve. I do not exaggerate when I say this could be our last chance to save democracy in the Philippines. The darkness thickens and we have to move. - Joaquin "Chino" Roces

5 comments:

pinoy said...

Still, snap Gloria

By Conrado de Quiros

MEMBERS of the Black and White Movement should really stop muddling things by being there all the time and making it appear as though the citizens’ initiative to impeach Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is their initiative. You would imagine from the way they keep invading the activities devoted to it that it is their brainchild. They should stop usurping things. It makes them look like their former boss.

The issue, in any case, is black-and-white, they shouldn’t make it gray. The one thing I’m still waiting for Dinky Soliman and company to say is that Arroyo should resign or be ousted because she cheated in the elections. They’ve said a mouthful of things about why she should resign, but they have yet to say that.

When they left Arroyo’s government last year, all they said was that Arroyo had lost the trust of the people. All they said was that Arroyo was no longer accepted by the people. That is opinion. Why on earth should Arroyo resign because of their opinion? When in fact the clearest and most obdurately compelling reason for why Arroyo should resign was staring them right in the face: that is, that she cheated in the elections. That is not opinion, that is fact. That is truth etched in tablet, or in the obdurately compelling form of Arroyo’s DNA-imprinted languorously raspy voice saying “Hello, Garci.”

Dinky and company continue to say a mouthful about why Arroyo should resign -- or be impeached -- but they have yet to say because she stole the vote. I leave them to say why they cannot say that.

I’m all for the citizens’ initiative for impeaching Arroyo. The lawyers and politicians, who are often one and the same and to be found plentifully in the camp that pays money will, of course, scoff at it and say it has weak legal and legislative legs to stand on, if any. But clearly the matter has gone beyond the court of law (or of Congress) and landed squarely in the court of public opinion. The first has a “buy-able” judge, notably the congressmen, who stand to rule on the merit of impeachment; while the second has an incorruptible one, notably the public whose will has been known to move mountains and remove molehills.

I do wish, however, that the citizens-impeachers would emphasize one thing above all others. I do wish that the citizens-impeachers would put in black-and-white ahead of all items in their charge sheet one thing. That is the fact that Arroyo cheated in the elections. It is not that she has lost the public trust, it is not that she has become a dictator, it is not that she has caused the slaughter of the innocents or committed crimes against humanity. It is that she stole the vote, it is that she is not the rightful president, it is that she is ruling this country without the voters’ mandate.

That is the fountainhead of the iniquity. Everything flows from there. The loss of public trust comes from it, the recourse to dictatorial methods comes from it, the murderousness and viciousness come from it. Everything else is subordinate to it.

I do wish, as my one other caveat, that the citizens-impeachers would launch an accompanying campaign for snap elections. The one goes with the other. In the past, calls for the impeachment of Arroyo have run up against the question, trotted out by her supporters, “But whom do we replace her with?” A ridiculous question doubtless -- proposing as it does that anyone may seize the reins of government and keep them for as long as there is no immediate “alternative” -- but unfortunately one that has not fallen on deaf ears. Arroyo herself is the best argument for it, demonstrating as she does that removing a bad leader can produce worse. Noli de Castro is second.

The answer is snap elections. It preempts or voids the question “But whom do we replace her with?” that’s bound to be raised again against impeachment. The answer to illegitimacy is legitimacy. The answer to a leader who did not win the elections is a President who won an election. The answer to who to replace Arroyo with is who the voters want to replace her with. That’s what democracy is. As I’ve argued repeatedly, the most obvious legal argument for snap elections rather than for succession is that the presidency isn’t being vacated by illness or incapacity, it has never been occupied. An impeachment initiative that says first and foremost that Arroyo stole the vote presumes that.

As I’ve learned over time, however, what makes the wisdom of snap elections hard to grasp for many people is the misconception that they can happen only once Arroyo resigns or is ousted. That isn’t so at all, and that has to be said again and again.

A snap election does not happen after Arroyo leaves, it happens before Arroyo leaves. It is not the effect of Arroyo leaving, it is the cause of Arroyo leaving. It is a way, a means, an instrument, a tool, a weapon, a crowbar to pry Arroyo loose from a position she is clinging to like glue, or like Ate Glue, illegally. Or at the least the call for a snap election is. That call by itself, particularly where it is made by the most representative sectors of society, by the most credible representatives of those representative sectors of society -- Cory Aquino, Archbishop Lagdameo and Cardinal Rosales, business leaders other than the equally fake Donald Duck (he has a reversible jacket, one side saying “Estrada” and the other “Arroyo”), civil society stalwarts or the ones other than those who still have to return the Peace Bonds, and so on—will be as Joshua’s trumpets tearing down the walls of tyranny like the cardboard fa├žade of a B-movie.

Impeach Arroyo, hold snap elections to fill in the blank. The first can’t prosper without the second. Both really need just one idea to get it across to the public, and that is “Snap Gloria.” Still:

Say No to A Phony.


Comment please.

Jego said...

Re Conrado De Quiros's column quoted in toto above:

Why does everybody insist that there's a blank after Arroyo? The people voted for a vice president. If (and I hope, when) Ate Glue is impeached and convicted, the law states Noli Boy is prez. Simple as that. The elite will complain because he cant speak English and all that. Tough. It is the failure of the elite that made the masses vote for Erap as a symbol of their alienation; their marginalization. The same reason they voted for Noli Boy as Veep. The elite made this bed, now they have to sleep in it.

nursing1998 said...

Jego... basahin mo ulit what "Black and White Movement" says about Noli de Castro. BM-movement wants de Castro impeached
--- that BM movement rejects the constitution, that BM does not recognize that VP-de-Castro is next-in-line should GMA be impeached. [Parang Pol Pot or Bush... those not with us are against us.]

santi said...

I hope the people should see who is really bringing the government down. This administration always say that there are people trying "to bring the government down". I also wish for a successful impeachment. Successful meaning our leaders do their job well in really bringing out the truth and adhere to the right process. It is about time for us to really rally to strengthen our institutions.

I am not so much in pushing for one thing that should be done or propose for our country. But I wish each one of us as a citizen should agree not to support or let some people get away when they do something against the law.

vic said...

My suggestion on how to launched a successful impeachment strategy. Just like securing an indictment in criminal case, impeachment is no different, only the process involve the high officials of the land and the venues and even the "term" are the only difference. As far as I understood the Process, the house of representatives, will be the chamber where the impeachment hearing should be held, and upon securing the impeachment, the trial should then proceed to the senate. Just like in criminal court, a successful outcome of the case is always done in proper and orderly process whereby the case is handled by one single prosecutor, with a staff of competent assistants. And all the complainants should be considered as witnesses, instead of each and all trying to outdo one another who get the honour of prosecuting, and indicting the subject of the Case. The way the impeachment case is approached, granted it will go to trial, it might take the whole term of the President to even sort out the charges.