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Jan 20

Forcing their hand

Two ideas from the past months have regained their former currency: the tactic of brinkmanship, and the idea of an autogolpe. After all, it’s been clear that a Constitutional crisis of sorts is virtually certain. The past months have led many, including myself, to argue that we need a resolution to the question of legitimacy, and that the Center must hold; while the National Democratic line is that there is no such thing as a Center. However, at the rate things are going, it’s unclear how anyone can expect the existing political order to survive the pressures it’s being subjected to.

Patricio Diaz clearly explains the difficulties involved in the political solution originally proposed by former President Ramos, but which has mutated into an altogether different plan under the combined efforts of the President and Speaker de Venecia (Solita Monsod, in her Business World column yesterday, pointed out the new parliament would have 486 members!). The other night, on Dong Puno live, I said that it seemed clear to me that the real objective for the President was to destroy the ruling party, Lakas-CMD, between now and June. With Lakas shipwrecked on the rock of Senate intransigence, or of popular opposition, or a lack of cooperation from the Supreme Court, the careers of politicians such as Speaker Jose de Venecia would be wrecked, offering up the possibility of what the President has been attempting all along: to establish her own, wholly-owned, political and ruling party, Kampi. A neutralized Lakas saves the President from the inevitable consequence for failing to successfully achieve charter change: a Lakas-led, or assisted, impeachment in July.

The inability of the political system to either heal itself or move forward out of the rut it’s in, has fostered the belief that the only way out may involve force of arms. If the population is indifferent; if those involved on either side cannot gain more allies; if the government remains in power because it has a war chest which enables it to ignore its own unpopularity; if even the earnest hopes of its allies for some kind of reform are ignored; and if the armed forces are constantly antagonized, and themselves do not experience better governance or leadership; then the inevitable consequence of this state of affairs is a rebellion. Therefore, many parties are pursuing brinkmanship; and as they do, the idea that either those inclined to rebellion will attempt it, or those who would be its target will head it off through some sort of self-coup, must capture the headlines once more. As it has.
The Estrada loyalists frankly look forward to armed intervention (though perhaps only to squeeze what they want from the government). The National Democrats are increasingly nervous, after having having attempted, and failed, to build a broader coalition with opposition faction, they are making overtures to disgruntled members of the military to enter into an alliance with them -yet the cautionary comments from their ranks suggests either they have been rebuffed or fully expect to be rejected or ignored: maybe, our soldiers remain firmly opposed to Communism, but are open to a milder form of Socialism (which would validate my suspicion that young radical officers may have more in common with the Left than the Middle).

The conventional wisdom thus seems to be, there are only two ways forward: charter change purely on the terms of the ruling party, or a coup, whether a self-coup, or a genuine plot by its enemies to overthrow the government.

What do we know? The government is concerned (as are its congressional allies). The military’s top brass is concerned. Those claiming to be rebels are getting more aggressive. The government’s gone as far as to raise the ante by saying it has bared a plot. The President, who toured Laguna today, said a genuine threat exists. This has been echoed by those old reliables, Gonzales and Gonzalez.

The weather is conducive to military or other action. The two parties with the finances to provide the logistics for some sort of coup, are the Estrada loyalists and the government.

A people, in the face of a coup attempt, have three main choices:

1. to actively rise up against a government
2. to rise up in defense of the government
3. stay home while either
a) expressing support for the government
b) or condemning the rebellion, or
c) expressing a preference for no particular side in the struggle.

Of course a whole people never really decide on something to do; a group within society simply manages to present itself as representative of the whole. In any case, the question is which side will have the minority with the tenacity to pursue and achieve success, and the skills to portray its side as representing the true will of the people.

If a government attempts a self-coup, only the refusal of the armed forces to obey orders, or the citizenry pouring out into the streets can potentially stop it; public hostility by itself cannot stop it. If the military mounts a coup, only public support for the government can provide the morale necessary for government to mount a stout defense, and for the world to be inspired to maintain support for the government; if the public displays hostility towards the government, it strengthens the resolve of the coup plotters, and increases the chances political and military factions will throw their support behind the coup. In the case of a self coup, public indifference helps the government; in the case of a coup, public indifference helps whichever side is better able to achieve a purely military advantage early on; if things become protracted, public indifference harms the government and helps those mounting the coup: whether rising up for or against a government, if the population becomes actively involved militarily, you have a civil war.

It seems to me, government’s actions at this point, indicate they want to force the hands of their opponents, to provoke their opponents with armed might to reveal themselves before they’ve even properly united, much less decided on what really to do. As with charter change, so with the possibility of coups. A bungled coup attempt now, helps the government. Any coup attempt now, while government is still marginally stronger and more cohesive, is better than later on down the line.

This being the 5th anniversary of Edsa Dos, it is a time for reflection. Philippine Commentary takes a skeptical, if not hostile view, towards the whole thing.

My views on People Power have changed somewhat of late. Certainly it’s different from the attitudes I expressed in Between the Barricades or So Sorry, Uncle Sam (perhaps Spaeth was right, after all), not least because of what I saw and experienced during the May Day Rebellion.

In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos accomplished a self-coup, and had the support of a substantial portion of the people. In 1986, the attempted coup failed, but enough actively went to the streets to deprive Marcos of any claims to legitimacy. In 1987 and 1989, the people stayed home but made their displeasure with the putschists clear -enabling government morale to recover, and time for the Americans to assist the government. In 2001, an engineered effort to topple Estrada was helped along by the crassness of Estrada’s allies: there was, indeed, People Power, but it was flawed because, in retrospect, the dangers may not have been so real, and what should have been the inevitable result of People Power -a peaceful revolution- did not take place. The result was that odd animal in political science, a revolutionary effort within the boundaries of the constitutional status quo. Hence the profoundly unsatisfying manner in which the Supreme Court validated the whole thing. It didn’t help that, on the verge of throwing in the towel, Estrada was convinced by advisers such as Edgardo Angara to beat a strategic retreat, and abandon office without actually resigning. Still, it might have been irrelevant if Civil Society hadn’t insisted, in the absence of a thorough, iron-clad victory, to force the issue by insisting on Estrada’s arrest. As the saying goes, at that point, it was “bastusan na.”

What we seem to have forgotten is that Edsa in 1986 was a historical accident; this meant that we have, ever since, been liable to a dangerous nostalgia. Many participated in Edsa Dos precisely out of a nostalgic desire either to relive 1986, or to make up for being absent or too young to be at Edsa the first time around. In both instances, the enemy was a president who represented character traits offensive to the middle and upper class, as well as the masses who aspire to achieve middle-class respectability. Edsa Tres demonstrated what happens when the masses (and the middle class skeptical of middle class values more in keeping with the wealthy), decide on mass action without limiting that action within the parameters established by the middle classes’ participation in the anti-Marcos struggle. And, incidentally, which involves too many of those targeted by the first Edsas (the National Democrats and the Marcos loyalists). People Power can’t be led from the rear all the time; and when the period of active confrontation is reached, the only thing that separates People Power from an angry mob is the presence of leaders in the front lines, and some sort of spiritual influence to remind the public that violence is not an option. Edsa Tres had no leaders on the front lines, and no clergy to counsel peaceful protest. It became an attack on the Bastille that failed.

Since the middle class has been decimated; since the old leaders of People Power have dwindled; since the masses have gotten a beating with the failure of Edsa Tres, but are more convinced than ever that they have little in common, and even less to respect, in those they once viewed as people to emulate; and since, inevitably, twenty years is about the useful life of one ideal, before a society retreats and must learn the lessons that gave birth to those ideals all over again; I have to wonder if objectively, the country faces having to undergo the pains of enduring what it endured from Plaza Miranda in 1971 to Ninoy Aquino’s assassination in 1983: the crumbling of institutions, their being replaced by a shortsighted, selfish tyranny, and then the redemption of society by its people.

January 2001 tried to copy and compress the accident that was February, 1986; worse was July 2005. We are back to square one, which means People Power is still an option, but one that needs to be reborn, and not simply dusted off. But that being the case, our fate will be decided in only one of two ways: a coup, or charter change. In both cases, most civilians will be on the sidelines as things play out.

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30 comments

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  1. jhay

    One question still lingers in my mind, how come civilians have always remained in the sidelines? I’m sure virtually everyone in the country knows about the situation, but stoll, how come civilians still remain in the side lines?

  2. mlq3

    they don’t always remain on the sidelines. but for the first time in a very long time, there’s a big chance things will be decided regardless of what the civilians think or want.

  3. jhay

    It’s that indifference or apathy that is getting the best of the people right now, either that or the ever increasing hardship of everyday living.

    Maybe a way out of it is for a new leader to rise up and take to the frontlines, but then again, right now, we’re fresh out of them…:(

  4. joey

    I don’t think it’s indifference or apathy.if you use the latest survey, the premiss that a big number is asking is to be able to prove the accusations & then they will join street protest.no matter how bombastic it was last year it was not convincing enough.

  5. cvj

    The Luis Teodoro column that you’ve linked to above is correct in pointing out that what is normally called ‘the center’ is actually a ‘category of the right’, more specifically, a neo-fascist segment of the middle-class which emerged as a reaction to the trauma of Erap’s rule and Edsa 3. One section includes the people who believe that cheating was an acceptable alternative to an FPJ victory and who want to cement their hold on power by disenfranchising his constituents through Charter Change. In so far as the Charter Change aspect is concerned, Carmen Pedrosa belongs to this category, which i guess is why you have such a gut reaction against her writings.

    Another section comprise those who call for some form of ‘junta’ to try to sort things out for x years. If i’m not mistaken, the late Teddy Benigno sponsored this line of thought. Both of the above fear the ascendancy of the masses and would accord to them a status as something less than fellow citizens.

    Also uniting the two is their use of trite invocations against ‘politics as usual’ as a strawman. As for the possibility of an alliance between renegade military officers and the ‘left’, this is certainly feasible since communism as an idea has been dead and buried for so long that people know better than to resurrect that bogey. For now, it is however not clear to me whether the renegade military belong to the Benigno-inspired fascists or the camp of the masses. More likely, their group’s intentions and effective results will diverge.

    The current conflict is therefore between competing flavors of fascism and its opponents. I gather from your analysis above that collectively, the former currently has the upper hand.

  6. gari

    manolo, the fourth choice would be for the people if faced with a coup is to reclaim civilian supremacy over the military and be in the center rather than on the sidelines.

    there are a lot of choices and hopefully, pinoys must choose than be left out on the margins/sidelines…if they remain to be in the sidelines, then welcome to bangketa republique. 🙂

    in anyway, is there a milder socialism?

    if there’s any, am sure it’s not on the left but rather conniving in the palace–compromising the constitution, the coco levy and even the entire agrarian reform.

    but nonetheless, its no longer an issue between right or left because the point is the people on the right side of the game is no longer right to be in the position.

    have a nice and calm weekend. 🙂

  7. mlq3

    gari, milder socialism yung akbayan kind. sa ganun, hindi ako masyadong takot.

  8. Chabeli

    Somehow, I get this feeling that majority have made up their minds. It seems clear: GMA is not on the mainstream; or anything for that matter that seems to involve her. Things are slowly coming into play and the lines will be drawn. Soon, a united Philippines will stand.

  9. Carl

    The problem with Communism and most other Leftist groups is that they are more concerned with redistributing wealth, not creating new wealth. In a country with much ignorance and poverty, retribution against the middle and upper classes will be foremost in the minds of many.

    However, I do not believe that hardcore Communists have the numbers to take over now, or in the future. But there could be a breakdown in law and order, resulting in anarchy and strife. This would be especially painful to the middle class (the upper classes can always flee to their enclaves abroad). This happened, not many years ago, in Indonesia, just before and after Suharto fell. The target was the Chinese community, which in effect was the entrepreneurial middle class. The loss of lives and property was enormous. Stores and houses were burned and looted, families were killed and the women were raped. There also was anarchy in Argentina in 2001, when it defaulted with the IMF and the Argentinian currency became worthless. Banks and petrol stations were bombed and stores and residences were burned and looted. These scenarios are not far-fetched from happening here. The sad part is that it is the middle class, the backbone of the economy, that pays the price.

  10. Abe N. Margallo

    Some food for thought from the ancient.

    “Where ought the sovereign power of the state to reside? . . . The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are alike and equal, a condition chiefly among the middle section . . . The middle class is also the steadiest element, the least eager for change. They neither covet, like the poor, the possessions of others, nor though others covet theirs, as the poor covet those of the rich . . . Tyranny often emerges from the overenthusiastic democracy or from an oligarchy, but much more rarely from the middle class . . .”

    Aristotle, Politics

    Like other city-states, Athens went through power struggles between the rich and the poor. However, Athenians avoided major political upheavals by making timely reforms.

  11. gari

    Manolo, buti ka pa at the very least somewhat knew how AKBAYAN places in the entire political spectrum unlike the AFP.

    I got hold of their Powerpoint Presentation on the Lecture on the Real Threat of Communism. And a certain, Capt. Glenn A. Dela Rosa labeled AKBAYAN as Euro-Communist and I am wondering where the hell they’ve got that idea.

    And much worst, in the lecture-presentation, they tagged Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, a known social democrat and a known peace advocate who sits in for the government in the GRP-NDF Peace Panel as communist together with Etta Rosales.

    Hay…with the varying colors of the political spectrum, don’t they think its no longer an issue whether one is a communist, a socialist, a democrats for as long as they would be able to present a distinguishing platform and as long as accountabilities, democratic principles and ideals are observed.

  12. Carl

    Can the zebra hide his stripes? That’s what the Communists want to do. They want to take advantage of democratic space in order to comouflage their sinister ideas.

  13. cvj

    Tyranny emerging from the middle class is not as rare as Aristotle thinks. In the last century, the rise of the fascist regime in Germany was enthusiastically supported by the lower middle class, and later on, by the big business and property owners who feared the presence of socialist and communists in parliament. Our post-Edsa3 middle class should seriously examine their political and social values and where it is taking us. Unfortunately, neither the transformation to Parliamentary nor the ‘junta’ approaches look like enlightened Athenian-style reforms to me.

    Whoever prepared that Powerpoint presentation for Capt. de la Rosa probably skipped the 90’s. It seems that military thinking on this matter is badly in need of an update.

  14. jhay

    It’s true that the communists would find it difficult to take over this time due to lack of necessary numbers, and you have to credit this to uncle sam who really did a swell job in miseducating us Filipinos.

    as for the AFP, it’s only natural for them to be ‘color-blind’ therefore failing to see the various colors of the political spectrum, they were after all, moulded by the US as well.

    No different are the great majority of our elder leaders today, most of whom are nearing the end of their lifespans. So it’s true, all these ramblings are the result of the old refusing to give way to the new. (Enter FVR, JDV and GMA and even our Catholic church)

  15. Rizalist

    Who ARE “the Communists”?

    Heck, not even Jose Maria Sison will readily admit to it. Oh no! He is just a “special political consultant to the NDF something eckeck something cppnpa. But theirs is neither a revolution nor insurgency, but a long running temper tantrum about nearly everything that has happened to the Philippines. Whether it is our fault or not, they blame our fate on the actions of other nations, especially America. Lots of people like Jhay believe we have been miseducated by the Americans. Yet they can’t present the argument in anything more eloquent than fine American English. Who taught him that? The Communists?

    The Left has a real investment in the very concept of “People Power”. I think when they use the term they really want to say “urban mass actions” or “mobilization of the masses in the legal struggle.” In this they find ample support and enthusiasm from the “nonCommunist Left”. Unfortunately only the various factions of the Left can understand the fine points of distinction. The people lump them all together in one bunch, more or less, because despite protestations to the contrary, they largely agree with Joma, the CPP NPA in their various idealisms. To people it’s really the differnce between potato and potAHto.

    In fine, they have staked their claim to a permanent archipelago of ideological positions, primarily anti-American and essentially fascist in their intentions, should they ever come to power. The “purity” and “clarity” and uncompromising character of their ideology ought not to be praised. For that was the same quality that was so attractive to weak, racist and totalitarian minds that Nazism and Stalinism presented.

    The hardest thing about debating Communists is there isn’t a single person I know who will act like a normal person, say what they are and what they believe in and not act like they are something so special or so revolutionary that they have to be concerned about their admiting they are communists.

    I find that attitude laughable in the extreme. It spells INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY to me.

    As for the Gloriagate situation, I am actually happy. For though we have not gotten rid of her, she also has not gotten rid of US. And she can’t! Too many Filipinos are too hip to the ways things work in the world that there is absolutely no chance now that GMA will rule this country with heedlessness for her fate, or arrogance that she will long prevail. She cannot relax because she knows a lot of people want her out and wake up everyday trying to figure out how to make that happen. She sleeps, I think with one eye open, and knows she will never attain the greatness of a leader genuinely admired by the decent, intelligent, freedom-loving people of her nation. LIke you MLQ3. Tranquility will always be a stranger in her life now. She lost you as she lost me years ago. And unless she does the noble thing that FVR has suggested she do, I suspect your and I will have the ear of History far more securely than she does. Because though it is not ascendant here at the moment, there IS good in the world that will not tolerate the evil of false ideals or mere supplicants to the people’s forebearance.

    Regarding Jhay’s remark on “miseducation”, seems to me Uncle Sam did do a swell job on him as I notice his surpassingly eloquent American English. Heck, looks like even our anti-Americanism was taught to us by Americans coz that line was invented by the US Anti-Imperialist League, not Renato Constantino. What an irony. What a painful laugh! Our leftism is a form of colonial mentality.

    But I should remind him–almost everything we know about Spain, Rome, Greece, England, America, science, history, art, –nearly everything about the rest of human culture and tradition — that came directly from America as result of McKinley’s and Taft’s colonial policy, which awakened the sleepers of the centuries in this Archipelago to the rest world. Literacy was probably less than 1% for 350 years under Spain. It was Spain’s steady policy NOT to educate the people–Which seems to be the Filipino Deped’s attitude too! America changed all that with EDUCATION no matter what Professors in Utrecht living off Eurocommunist welfare claim. If the numbers of the Left are dwindling, it is because their ideas, like Nazism and Stalinism hold no interest for the people, who know they are being sold a package that has already FAILED miserably in Russia and everywhere in Eastern Europe. I can’t accept Jhay’s INSULT that it is only because they are MISEDUCATED that the people reject the murderous, treacherous totalitarians with their persecution complexes. I think the people are a lot smarter than the Left claim they are.

  16. cvj

    Labels are convenient, but there is no shortcut to investing time and effort to study and understand the ‘fine points of distinction’ among the schools of thought within the left or any other political thought for that matter. We have to separate those in the left who are democratically oriented from those who have ‘fascist’ intentions just as today, we attempt to distinguish between the ‘Centrist’ politicians who support and oppose the ‘No-El’ proposal. Only by doing our homework can we avoid the trap of lumping Nazism and Stalinism with progressive thought. This will prevent others from conjuring up the ghost of a bankrupt ideology to suit their purposes. As a practical matter for the AFP, better understanding of the political spectrum could mean the difference between throwing the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ people to jail.

    America is great and all, but along with the ‘good’ came the ‘bad’. One cannot blame the Filipinos for what we feel after having our nascent independence hijacked. On balance, we owe the USA no special gratitude. They have no business on our islands beyond that of any typical sovereign nation, which, by the way, still leaves room for a lot of productive business to be conducted.

  17. Carl

    The poor may covet what the rich have. But absent the rich, they’ll take what the middle class has. Anytime. Even during the recent French riots, the middle class came out taking the lumps. Their cars were burned and their stores were looted. It wasn’t the rich enclaves that were attacked.

  18. cvj

    Carl, let’s not associate the Filipino poor with something
    they are not yet guilty of. Events may have occurred in a certain way in Indonesia, Argentina and France, but in our own history, it’s not the poor who are the aggressors (just yet). In the future your analysis may be vindicated, but for now, it’s a bit premature to paint a picture of the middle class as victims in this manner.

  19. joey

    Carl,that recent violence in france could happen only to the french.just as the french allowed those immegrants to enter their country.but the french can be so naturaly arogant.they will always treat anyone non french lesser then them.they don’t mean wrong.just that it’s the french way.they consider themselves superior.what they did has nothing to do w/ rich or poor.

  20. Carl

    I’m only pointing out what has happened in other countries. There’s no reason why it can’t happen here because it has transcended race and culture. Indonesia may be more racially similar to the Philippines, but Argentina is more culturally similar to us. The French Muslims may be totally apart, but my analogies still show that violence is usually directed towards the soft underbelly, the middle class. It’s difficult to reach the upper classes. They are either too remote or too well-protected. EDSA III was just a mild preview of what can come. It showed that the masses are capable of exploding in wild temper tantrums, to say the least.

    Saying this, I am not trying to sow fear and hope it doesn’t happen. But people better be prepared. After all, as the motto of Intel founder, Andy Grove, says: “Only the paranoid survive”. And it has served Intel in good stead, helping it to become a huge success in the extremely competitive and volatile dot.com world.

  21. joey

    Carl, I have an impression that EDSA3 is something that had more personal roots.It seems that it was more about followers of Erap that where intensionaly agitated to do the dirty work of interested parties.
    It seems to me that the “masa” is unfortunatly a group that is used by others & can be mobilized when there is an “investor”.
    I don’t think that violence is directed to the middle class.I think violence lessens the middle class.Because the upper class have longer strings.
    Carl, we are a country w/ many problems.That is a given.I think we have to learn to solve our problems systematicaly.
    We have the “masa”.The roots of our poverty goes very deep.Violence is NEVER a solution.
    One thing I’m sure of is that all our problems can be used by others to push agendas.
    Our problems where not born overnight.neither will they be solved overight too.
    If we are really serious about solving our problems.We have to take so many bitter pills & take so many unpopular steps.
    There will never be any quick fixes.
    If manny pacquiao is a WINNER.It’s only because he did what he had to do w/o complaining.
    Carl, my version is only the strong survive.The paranoid only add to our problems.paranoid is something that has to do w/ fear & insecurity & imagening things.I think it’s the last things we need to face serious problems.

  22. Jon Mariano

    All the talk about violence and bloodletting is mere speculation, but a possibility. When it does, what are you as a citizen going to do?

    The masa, or civilian groups don’t have the power. They know that, that is why any uprising against the sitting administration will always have a military component to succeed. If both sides have the order to shoot to initiate offense or for defence, the possibility of casualties become higher, right?

    Do you agree that the anti-GMA factions have the firepower? And do you agree that GMA has the capability to give the shoot order? If your answer to both these questions is yes, then there is a possibility of a bloodbath. As ordinary citizens, we don’t have a voice on these things, unless of course when you take a side and participate actively. But it is a given that if both sides won’t give in, it’s going to happen.

  23. Carl

    I agree that both sides have the firepower. At present they are sizing up one another. Normally, the one in power has the logistical superiority. But will and determination is also a factor. From the looks of it, Gloria Arroyo has the determination to stay. At this point, I do believe that she has made up her mind to fight until the bloody end, if necessary. On the other hand, I do not see that sort of determination in her opponents, except perhaps for a few outgunned and outnumbered military officers. Should this impasse not be defused, positions can only harden as time goes by, until the immovable object meets an irresistible force.

    Regarding paranoia, it can be taken in a negative sense, much like the word “strong” as in “strongman” connotes something negative. But being paranoid can also cause people to constantly be on their toes. Not to be smug or complacent. To always keep striving to improve, so as not to be left behind. While it is true that paranoia also connotes fear, fear can be also be a motivator for positive action. Fear of violence makes one cautious. It can also make one advocate peace and renounce violence. Fear of poverty and destitution makes one work harder. Negative motivators are not necessarily the best, but they are often the most effective. Statistics show that, more often than not, the prey escapes from the predator. Why? Because the predator is only hunting for his lunch, while the predator is fighting for his life. Perhaps that also explains why GMA seems to be more motivated to hang on than her opponents are to take her out.

  24. joey

    Carl, having a worthy opposition when debate can be made at the level of merits & intelegent counter proposals will really be something.problem is it seems at times it’s so hard to separate our cultural bad habits from how to behave in a professional way.
    Yesa, just like you said about the preditor is only after a quick lunch.In a way the opposition is only after the perks of power.the opposition could have participated in todays meeting in the palace insted of giving a litany of excuses.But, since participating in the steps to make this country move is not what they are after.
    if the opposition is supose to be an alternative to the administration.then they better work harder to be credible.
    carl, really paranoia relates more to something negative.I think a more positive version boils down to self worth, the “can do” attitude.That Intel guy must be very rich.you will also ask yourself.at what cost?

  25. Carl

    Sorry for the typo, I meant that the PREY has to fight for his life. On that note, the difference between GMA and the other beleaguered presidents is that Marcos was old and very sick in 1986 while Erap was probably his usual drunk and wasted self in 2001. It could have been a very different story were Marcos still healthy. EDSA I involved so many pieces falling into the right place at the right time (economic crisis, Ninoy’s murder, Marcos’ health, Ramos and Enrile’s breakaway, etc.), it wouldn’t be easy to replicate. And because, in so many ways, EDSA was taken for granted, people became complacent and allowed the politicians to steal the revolution.

    Re Andy Grove, he was a Jew born in Hungary when it was occupied by the Nazis (perhaps that explains why he’s paranoid). He lived a difficult life through Nazi occupation and the Communist takeover. He fled Hungary for the U.S. as a young man and worked his way through a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from U.C. Berkely. He co-founded Intel in 1968 and led it as CEO into becoming the biggest and most successful computer chipmaker in the world. Among many honors, he was once Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. He retired a few years ago and now devotes his time to philantrophy. So if he paid a price for his success, it doesn’t stop him from sharing his wealth and his knowledge with others. We should have more paranoid people like him.

  26. joey

    Carl i remember one of the remarks when marcos was kicked out – tama na, sobra na (leave some for us to steal also).
    maybe the failures that we have have something to do w/ our being very superficial, mababaw.
    maybe, we have so many wrong akalas.cory reasoned that she will lead by exsample.problem is after she made it restoring the Institutions & we will always be forever greatful for what she did.Then she did nothing else so as not to be accused of cheating & stealing.We ended up in “darkness”.ramos has to do quick solution that came w/a cost that we are paying today.
    carl,pinoys are know to be the best replicators, we can immitate almost anybody or anything.
    life is dynamic & things & people evolve continously.we must never be attached to forms, much less, past glories.
    i think our country is evolving.at the same time there is a part that wants to keep the “status quo”.using our problems as excuses for one reason or another.
    it’s clear that some people are profiting while while many pinoys have to leave for abroad & we see poverty growing.
    it seems to be certain people are not really interested at solving our problems but useing them as covers for other reasons.just as the “masa” has been conviently used to create illusions.just like “erap para sa mahirap” but he & his extended family continued to leave in extravagant luxury.
    maybe it’s time we ask ourselves.what is it that we are doing wrong?after we pointed a finger to everbody & everything.then what?
    thanks for the info on Grove, appreciate it.

  27. Happy

    EDSA 3? Did it ever occurred? It’s a dream up to present. The united opposition as they call themselves, are still dreaming. I think Edsa 3 is the mother-of-all-rallies they’ve long been waiting to happen. Nauuna po kasi ang daldal at yabang. They can’t even come out with considerable number of warm bodies even with all the “padulas”. They can’t accept the fact that they are losing trustworthiness. Pinoys are fed up with trapos’ classic lines. They project themselves as the modern heroes, hoping they could trick people to believing their speeches. “Para ‘to sa bayan.” “Corrupt ang presidente,dapat na syang patalsikin.” “Pagod na si Juan.” All these lines are bull. Holier-than-thou? Are they even sincere? What’s in it for the really? Our country will be doomed if we let anarchy rule.

  28. jhay

    to sir DJB, thank you for the education, for once I’m picking up good things from the elderly in my country.

    However, my eloquence in English, whether Renato Constantino first came up with the “miseducation of the Filipino” or not are mere ‘forms’ of which its substance is of a greater bearing.

    Literacy rates may have gone up, but those are just numbers, forms. What of the substance?

    It’s even delightful to know that Americans themselves, labeled anti-imperialists came up with the analysis, it’s a checking mechanism.

    As far as labels go, they are just labels as cvj points out. Is it really that important to admit that one’s thinking belongs to a certain label and so it follows that same person too, is be labled?

    Sir MLQ3 could bear the ‘mild socialism’ akbayan brings, but the people doesn’t. The difference? as sir cvj again pointed out, it’s about doing homework, thus education. So when I say of miseducation, it doesn’t necessarily say that people are dumb, which means uneducated, and there’s a world of difference in between.

    As for Joma, the CPP-NPA, they should all go back to school or atleast needs to wake up and realize that Mao is dead and that times have really chagned.

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