A round of raising the ante

Bishop Cruz: Lack of credibility Arroyo’s biggest setback – INQ7.net contains a planned mass action that provides the opportunity for bigger things:

Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez had warned that the situation was now ripe for another people’s revolt or a military uprising against the President.And the signs are everywhere, Archbishop Cruz said yesterday.Apart from the fresh talk of destabilization and amid the rising costs of basic commodities, protest actions are set on Independence Day and thereafter, he pointed out.Iñiguez and other senior Church leaders belonging to the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME) will lead a “national day of mourning” on June 11 to urge Ms Arroyo to reassess her “foreign-debt-dependent” economic policy.The KME is demanding debt repudiation, not the imposition of new tax measures, to jump-start the economy.

The planned day of national mourning has been talked about for some weeks now. But the nervousness level of the authorities has risen. It doesn’t help that rumors have begun to spawn on the ‘net and mainstream media. Or that, after today’s senate hearing, even the administration says this is serious. The President remains defiant. But her writ is being defied. While Inq7.net has prudently refrained from posting more recordings, the PCIJ raises the ante by posting more audio files and transcripts. The opposition is hopeful. There’s the possibility of total regime change, as demanded by Senator Pimentel.

The game plan, for now, then, is clear: continue to raise the heat by putting pressure on the administration on two fronts: on jueteng accusations, and on accusations on conspiring to cheat in the past elections. Then, with at least some bishops calling for a national day of mourning, use the event as the beginning of a staging ground for weekend protests coinciding with a time when people’s patriotism and idealism is at peak level, independence day. Even if nothing in the nature of a coup takes place, either a large turnout or frantic efforts to prevent a large turnout could then shake confidence in the stability of the government (much as anti Estrada forces were heartened by protests at Edsa, then humbled by the more massive turnout for the national day of prayer at which Estrada turned up, which led both sides to knuckle down for a drawn-out fight).

Who was it who said every war is fought on the basis of lessons learned in the last one? Then politics, which is like war, is being fought on the basis of the last few fights.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

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