My column for today is Face of the opposition, in which I suggest that the weakness of all those opposed to the President is best addressed by finding two leaders to rally around. In my view, those leaders are Senators Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. and Rodolfo Biazon.
Another opinion piece that makes for timely reading is Manuel Buencamino’s What time is it? His concerns echo mine:
Because the man on the street, unlike academics and ideologues in their ivory towers, does not live by manifestos and reform agenda alone. He needs to see a face. Experience has taught him that who is as important as what.
Second, although some of us enjoy large followings, none of us, so far, is acceptable to all of us, and worse, some of us will actively oppose some of us. This is not the time for personal agenda. This is the time to concentrate on restoring the rule of law. No one can run for president while Gloria Arroyo occupies Malacañang. First things first.
First things first is to find a face for the opposition.
Still, it’s useful to ponder the philosophical issues, such as when Patricio P. Diaz in Mindanao asks, Where lie the solutions?
Even as the fallout from the Council of State has been confusing: Jove Francisco reports on the conflicting statements from the President’s people, which has been echoed in reports that alternate between blind optimism, suggestions of disagreements, and even more involved speculation, the President’s visit to Camp Aguinaldo has helped fan the flames of speculation concerning the loyalty of the armed forces (scuttlebutt was, the head of the Presidential Guards quit; instead, reports are he’s asked to be reassigned, or that he has been axed).
What do this repeated rumors of coups and their repeated postponement tell us? They tell us that a) the same group of people are behind these persistent efforts; b) the coups are continuously being postponed because the plotters cannot recruit a critical mass of military officers to carry it out; and c) there is no public outcry from among the middle class in support of such an enterprise.
Individually, the Magdalo officers may be motivated by the purest and the most patriotic of intentions to bring about substantive changes and reforms in the Philippine military and in Philippine society as a whole. But they need to think through the implications of what they are trying to achieve and the direct beneficiaries of their course of action.
Gail Ilagan also takes a skeptical look at the military.