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People Power IV? No, thank you!

Get Real
February 23, 2008 01:59:00
Solita Collas-Monsod
Pili!!ine "aily #n$uirer
M%&#'%, Pili!!ines -- ()en te sear* +or trut is *on+used ,it !oliti*al ad-o*a*y,
te !ro*ess is redu*ed to a $uest +or !o,er./ &o-elist Mi*ael Cri*ton used tis $uote in
one o+ is boo0s, borro,in1 it +ro2 autor %lston Case. 3n+ortunately, tis a!!ears to
be a!!enin1 in te Pili!!ines today.
4ere ,e ,ere, outra1ed at te re-elations about te 2a1nitude, s*ale and bra5enness o+
te *orru!tion a**o2!anyin1 te 678 national broadband net,or0 9&:&; !ro<e*t, ,it
te 'o5ada testi2ony rein+or*in1 te testi2onies o+ =ose de >ene*ia ### and Ro2ulo
&eri, +or2er dire*tor-1eneral o+ te &ational 8*ono2i* and "e-elo!2ent %utority. %nd
ri1tly so. 7ese testi2onies are all te 2ore *redible be*ause tey are not sel+-ser-in1
9and in +a*t 2ay be dan1erous to te ,ell-bein1 o+ te ,itnesses and teir +a2ilies;, and
be*ause tey *annot be bro0en under all 0inds o+ e?a2ination.
)at ,as also $uite *lear durin1 te earin1s ,as tat President Gloria Ma*a!a1al-
%rroyo@s usband, !o!ularly 0no,n as FG, !layed a role in te !ro<e*t. :ut at no ti2e
,as te President ersel+ brou1t dire*tly into te !i*ture, e?*e!t ,en &eri testi+ied tat
e re!orted to er te P200-2illion (bribe o++er/ o+ :en<a2in %balos.
So based on te results o+ te earin1s, one ,ould tin0 tat te e?!ressions o+ outra1e,
trou1 rallies, de2onstrations, !rayer ser-i*es, sould +o*us on su!!ort +or te ,istle-
blo,ers and te de2and to brin1 te 2ale+a*tors to <usti*e, startin1 ,it %balos and
,oe-er else *an be so,n 9not <ust assu2ed; to a-e el!ed i2 one ,ay or anoter.
7is, ,eter te 678-&:& !ro<e*t ,as sus!ended or not, or ,eter all oter o++i*ial
de-elo!2ent assistan*e 9A"%; !ro<e*ts in te !i!eline are sus!ended or not. %nd tat is
,at is a!!enin1. 7at@s !art o+ te sear* +or trut.
:ut tey *ouldn@t lea-e ,ell enou1 alone. :y (tey/ is 2eant tose +ro2 te 'e+t, Ri1t
and te o!!osition 9!oliti*s does 2a0e +or stran1e bed+ello,s;, ,o de*ided to insert
teir !et !oliti*al ad-o*a*y to te 2i?: a Resi1n Gloria or Aust Gloria s*enario. 7ey
*an@t a*0 it on teir o,n, so tey ride on te *la2or a1ainst *orru!tion, o!in1 to start a
Peo!le Po,er #>. 7e resultB )ere tere ,ere a !eo!le united a1ainst *orru!tion, tere
are no, a !eo!le di-ided -- in*ludin1 te biso!s -- re1ardin1 te (e?tra-*onstitutional/
re2o-al o+ te President.
# eard so2e youn1 students o-er te radio tal0in1 about o, (so-erei1nty resides in te
!eo!le,/ and tey ,ant to e?er*ise teir !o,er to re2o-e te President. )ell, te
Constitution outlines te !ro*ess by ,i* te !eo!le 2ay e?er*ise tat !o,er 9e.1.,
ele*tion, i2!ea*2ent trou1 teir ele*ted re!resentati-es and (ser-ants/ ,o are
sub<e*t to *e*0s and balan*es;.
)at see2s to be +or1otten by tose ,o ,ant to ride on Peo!le Po,er is tat te 198C
8"S% Peo!le Po,er Re-olution too0 !la*e, i.e., te (!arlia2ent o+ te streets/ only
be*ause te *onstitutionally !ro-ided *e*0s and balan*es ,ere inutile a1ainst a di*tator.
)e ,ere in a situation ,ere a *ount by te *iti5ens@ ele*tion ,at*do1 so,ed Cory
%$uino to be a ,inner, but te !u!!et le1islature ad de*lared te in*u2bent to be te
,inner. )e ,ere in a situation ,ere te <udi*iary and te le1islature ad been *o-o!ted,
,ere te 2edia ,ere not +ree. #n oter ,ords, so2eone ad 1rabbed te !o,er +ro2 te
!eo!le, and te !eo!le ad to 1rab it ba*0 9a+ter 1D years and an assassination;. )e, te
!eo!le ,ere +i1tin1 to re1ain te +reedo2 and de2o*ra*y tat ,e ad lost. Gi-en si2ilar
*ir*u2stan*es, at !resent, # ,ould be !art o+ su* a Peo!le Po,er 2o-e2ent all o-er
a1ain.
3sin1 20-20 indsi1t, # *annot say te sa2e o+ Peo!le Po,er ##. )at a!!ened, +ro2
2y !oint o+ -ie,, ,as tat ,e, te !eo!le, ,at*ed as te Senate 2a<ority *an1ed te
a1reed-on rules in te 2iddle o+ te i2!ea*2ent trial, and !ut to a -ote tat ,i*
sould be te !ro-in*e o+ te *ie+ <usti*e o+ te Su!re2e Court to rule on -- all in order
to !re-ent o!enin1 an en-elo!e *ontainin1 su!!osedly -ital in+or2ation. )e ,ere
outra1ed. :ut let@s +a*e it, it ,asn@t ,e te !eo!le ,o re2o-ed a sittin1 President, it ,as
te 2ilitary (,itdra,in1 su!!ort/ +ro2 i2, ,i* did te tri*0. 7at te sittin1
President 2ee0ly le+t Mala*aEan1 instead o+ ta0in1 a stand +or due !ro*ess or te rule o+
la, 2ay be an indi*ation tat e i2sel+ ,asn@t a staun* de+ender o+ eiter. :ut it 2ade
it easier +or te Su!re2e Court to rule tat e ad *onstru*ti-ely resi1ned. %t least, tere
,as an orderly *onstitutional su**ession.
Peo!le Po,er ### ,as a tra-esty.
%nd i+ a (Peo!le Po,er #>/ ta0es !la*e, so ,ill it be. :e*ause it ,ill not be Peo!le
Po,er, but a Fuest +or Po,er by so2e !eo!le ,o ,ould oter,ise not attain it in te
*onstitutionally a!!ro-ed 2anner: trou1 ele*tions. #+ anybody tin0s tat o-ertro,in1
Gloria Ma*a!a1al-%rroyo ,ill sol-e te *orru!tion in 1o-ern2ent, re2e2ber tat Peo!le
Po,er # 9,i* ,as already te best o+ *ir*u2stan*es; didn@t 2a0e tat 2u* o+ a dent,
and Peo!le Po,er ## !ut in a 1o-ern2ent ,i* ar1uably 2ay be e-en 2ore *orru!t.
7e 2ost i2!ortant ar1u2ent a1ainst a Peo!le Po,er #> is tat it *an a!!en only ,it
anoter 2ilitary inter-ention be*ause Ms %rroyo is not li0ely to 1o 2ee0ly, and it ,ill
result not in 2ore +reedo2 and a stron1er de2o*ra*y but in less +reedo2 and a ,ea0er
de2o*ra*y. "id ,e +i1t and ,in a1ainst Carter *an1e ,it its !ros!e*t o+
!arlia2entary autoritarianis2 only to end u! ,it 2ilitary autoritarianis2B
&o, tan0 you.