My column for today is Dark victory. In their blogs, Philippine Politics 04 and [email protected] strongly disagree with me, and are more inclined to echo the views of Conrado de Quiros.
Placeholder points out why Zubiri attributes everything to Mama Mary (only Divine intervention can explain things). While Ricky Carandang points to what he says was a “loyalty vote” in the Supreme Court.
My entry, The wisdom of crowds, will explain the basis for my column clearly enough. This is the lesson of the past few years, and those who would go far simply have to recognize that in some ways, they have gone too far, and in other respects, not gone far enough, and in others, having gone as far as a certain point, it’s the leadership that’s retreating from the line drawn by the public.
People Power as a means of regime change, as well as variations thereof (transitional governments, etc.) I do believe, were roundly rejected by the people, though they did -and continue to- roundly reject the President’s legitimacy. What the public did accept were two options. First, the option of the President resigning. but since the public also left resignation as a decision for the President to make, and the public, ironically, wouldn’t forcibly demand it, and institutions or groups were fatally divided and thus unable to fully exercise influence, nothing happened.
The second was the option of her being impeached -but again, without arming impeachment with People Power, the only effective veto on party loyalty. So party loyalty won out. The public, in both cases, never ceased disliking the President, but reserved its dislike for a more predictable arena: elections. That is as far as the public would go; but when it did go that far, rejecting the President’s senatorial slate: well, it’s the senatorial slate voted into office that has retreated from the field of battle by forming a new majority.
Now, unless the public takes it upon itself to boo and hiss Miguel Zubiri every chance he appears in public, then we will have, as I said, what we will have: and that’s Zubiri in the senate until and unless Pimentel’s protest bears fruit. But he (Pimentel) had a chance to prevent that from happening; the first chance was the real chance; the second chance was like praying for a miracle -a Hail Mary pass, in sports- but the momentum had been lost.
And since the battle lines in the Senate have become hopelessly muddled, well, each member of that chamber will have to be lobbied with, by the public, all over again. An appeal to the ambition of an unelected senator is as valid, at this point, as appeals to the principles of indubitably-elected senators -which have failed.
Over the past two years, the Supreme Court has allowed people to be “saved by the bell,” so to speak. But as its vote on the 2nd attempt by Pimentel to ask for judicial relief proved, one shouldn’t expect to be “saved by the bell” all the time. And it only takes one failure to permanently screw things up.
The warning in plain sight, I think, is that if it’s the Supreme Court that’s served as a brake on where things have been grimly going since 2005, our luck can run out at any time. We can create new luck by trying to make the best of the people that are there, or we can simply keep drawing the line, which would then reach the point where it accelerates, instead of delaying, the inevitable.
Cause-and-effect. Pimentel blows up his appeal; the opposition morphs into a new majority; Charter Change not only becomes inevitable, but now, probably successful. Without Pimentel there, one public figure traumatized by supporting Cha-Cha the last time around -Zubiri- might still be inclined to vote against it, or support an institutional position for the Senate. Of course, it would have made more sense to write him off -if the Opposition bloc could be counted on. But can it? And if not…
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