The President: I will not resign

In the British civil war, Charles I raised his banner to rally his loyal nobles to the royal cause. The President has raised her banner or standard. Her statement, in a fiery speech to the nation over the radio, can be summarized as follows (full text not yet available)

1. She did not cheat; she will never surrender; she will not resign. She rejects a Truth Commission, because the truth is staring us in the face -the “debilitating effects of the feelings of disgust and dispair in our society…”
2. She has dismissed the cabinet. She will form a new one, she’s asking the public to nominate names. She wants a new coalition.
3. She will accelerate changes to the Constitution; she wants federalism. She challenges Civil Society and all concerned sectors to rally to her to save the country.

She further said there is, in essence, a systemic failure in our country; that the middle class is voting with its feet; that the only solution must be, not an Edsa, but a change in the structures of the country. Her new cabinet will be given a “free hand” in running the government while she attends to charter change. PCIJ transcribed the speech.

This was a speech true to form, harsh, angry, blunt, the kind of speech she should have delivered instead of her speech of apology. It comes at a politically-superheated time.

Scuttlebutt today was that Secretary Purisima of Finance, upset over hearing the Palace had engineered the Supreme Court TRO, was prepared to resign over the weekend. Cooler heads prevailed. But the so-called doves in the Cabinet, apparently upset over the one step forward, two steps back approach of the President (sending her husband, but not son, and brother in law away, delaying the announcement of a cabinet revamp, etc.), were reportedly poised to resign. This would be followed by Cory Aquino and the bishops suggesting she should step down. The Palace got wind of this, and began an effort all day today to keep the cabinet members from quitting; failing that, to pre-empt them, by dismissing the cabinet. She dismissed the cabinet. On ANC Sec. Raul Gonzales just said the consensus was for the President to resign.

It was a masterstroke, throwing Civil Society into confusion, and everyone else, too. Will people gamble on allowing the President to preside over the changes that many want anyway, or, having dug in, and basically raising her standard to rally the troops, will they surround her, and protect her, and fight for her? Can she be trusted to keep her word, and is her anchoring her decision both on God’s will, and a defiant proclamation of her innocence while refusing other reasonable demands -Truth Commission, Comelec and cabinet changes- antagonize formerly supportive groups?

She has, in American terms, bet the farm. It’s go for broke, all or nothing, do or die. Question is, will the military view it as worth it to keep the peace? Will a suddenly emboldened opposition take this sitting down? Will Civil Society lick its wounds and roll over? And are the moves of the provincial leaders to rally around the President being done with a solid constituency? Will this throw a damper on things, or kindle the flames?

All I know is that this is the President I wanted to see, unafraid, sure of herself, daring and demanding, instead of the one we saw when she apologized. And again I must wonder, is it better late than never, or too little, too late?

A sign: Chiz Escudero: the President blamed the people, blamed the country, but the fault is hers and she is the problem; she cannot speak for the world; she knew the reforms required, and so why is she only initiating them now? This is a sign of desperation. The country needs a leader it can trust, and she is not that leader. Was the President’s gambit the Ramos solution?

Torn and Frayed pointed out my appeal for the center to hold, was influenced by Yates; here is the poem, with all that it may portend:

William Butler Yeats – The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity…

If you have the time, please read a long article I wrote almost ten years ago, The Long Road to Edsa I, it will be helpful to bear in mind in the coming days.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

23 thoughts on “The President: I will not resign

  1. This is the president I on’t want to see. Statemanship out the window. Hanging on to power through any means. I am more convinced than ever that someone as power hungry as this woman does not deserve the office at all. She out marcosed Marcos. She keeps pushing and she might leave malacanang feet first.

  2. i like wahat i am watching right now.
    White Queen to Black pawn4.
    three queens daw ang naglalaban. Sa dalawang chess games.4 ang queen. nakatago ang isang queen. singing?

  3. medyo nakakaawa na nga itong si GMA. anybody who reads the transcripts will immediately see how she intimately knew about election details in very small areas in southern Mindanao. GMA is a cheater because if you read the transcripts you can divine that she had every intention to do whatever it took to ensure her election victory. GMA has become another immoral politician who is hurting our country.

  4. Kapal talaga ng mukha. She will go out with guns blazing. She is dangerous. Better deal with her now and cut the losses ( snap election costs ) than wait to see that we are dealing with a real power hungry woman. I dont know about you guys but thats what I feel. I dont feel sorry sa mga napahiya na bumoto kay gloria. thats what you decided so better face the consequences.

  5. She’s almost loosing it. She has sacrificed everyone else except herself. Darn, will anybody else believe this political feign? madrama din sya. Puede pang soap opera.

    Magpapauto pa ba tayo? Puputi lang ang balahibo ng uwak di pa rin mangyayari yan mga pangako nya.She had led this country long enough to squeeze all the lifeblood it has left.

    The ultimate sacrifice for the country is for her to resign, even if she still insists she did not cheat. Wag nya ng antayin pa na bumangon ang yumaong ama nya at multuhin sya dahil sa kahihiyan na dinala nya sa pangalan ng pamilya nila.

  6. I think what she just did is go for broke so to speak. Problem is, will people buy it? Things are really spinning now.

  7. This early on, I feel, Fidel Ramos has given the President a way out, and it is the way Ferdinand Marcos chose as a way out: to bluff, and force the middle class to decide between protests it may not be able to influence, or the temporary shelter of a charter-change show. The next few days will tell if we learned our lessons from the Marcos experience or not.

  8. This Ramos is dangerous. Tying up chacha with shortening gloria’s term will mean a rushed chacha. Certain economic and security provisions favored by Ramos and the Makati Business Club will breeze through without a thorugh debate because the focus will be on getting gloria out as soon as possible. As usual the sneaky Ramos is giving us a trojan horse.

  9. I’m with the Golez statement from the interview. Her initiative is
    a bold move that she is too weakened to lead.
    Saan ang credibility nya.

    Is it tipping point time?

  10. In the tradition of Wallace Steven’s 13 ways of looking at a blackbird, allow me to exclaim a part of my poem:

    “Sa gitna ng kaguluhan ng Edsa, may isang ilaw- trapikong di gumagalaw: Pula! Lagi na lang pula! Sa ilalim nito may taong-grasang nagkakamot ng ulo’t walang pakialam.”

    Interesting times. Cat, mlq3. I love playing the King’s gambit, but looks like GMA’s playing the Queen’s gambit, huh? Sacrificing an early pawn to get a late game advantage. This time sacrificing all the pawns to remain in the game. Good political move, but will the people want a president like that – Extreme times, extreme measures?

    Sino ba ang pangulo ng mga taong-grasa? Sagot nya, gutom ako, pahinging piso. Scares me.

  11. Is Gloria just trying to prolong the inevitable? Let’s see who amongst the rats deserts the sinking ship.

  12. Badz,

    Only the captain has to go down with the ship. It’s perfectly okay for the passengers and the crew to jump ship. That’s why there are lifeboats and life preservers. It’s not only the rats who have that right.

  13. All this time, I just visit your site and read the entries here. But today, I just felt I had to write something.
    I read the transcription of the speech at the PCIJ site and having read that, I wondered what made you write: «this is the president I wanted to see, unafraid, sure of herself, daring and demanding …».
    What I saw behind those words is a woman with a stubborn and obscene determination to cling to power, a woman who is spitting at our faces.
    All those things she raised – the degeneration of our political system, the brain-drain, the need for a fundamental change in the (politcal) system, the need for reforms in our country – weren’t those the very ones we expected her to address when she took over Estrada in 2001? But what has she done since then? WHAT? I do not have any sympathy for opposition members like Escudero, but I certainly agree with the point which you said he made: «she knew the reforms required, and so why is she only initiating them now?»
    Yes, there are urgent reforms needed, but the thing is, should SHE be the one to lead us now through these changes?
    When this whole Gloriagate affair started, it seemed to me that the question the Gloria camp was implicitly raising was, «E sino ang ipapalit ninyo?» It was a question that I also asked myself. I said: Not Estrada, or anyone from the opposition, please. And for some time, I was even fearful of De Castro taking over. But I guess not anymore. Sure, I do not know if he’s competent at all. I heard rumors that he had «shady dealings» when he was still working for the Lopezes. But he was elected vice-president (okay, Legarda is still protesting this) and I’m willing to give him a chance to take on the job. Arroyo already had hers and she failed miserably.
    To tell you the truth, I was hoping she would step down on her own. But since she already said she won’t, I’m willing to join any non-violent form of protest to pressure her to resign. What were the options which Saguisag mentioned? Non-payment of taxes? Witholding OCW remittances?
    I do hope that Cory and the Catholic bishops would also ask Arroyo to resign.
    After all, she has already lost the moral ascendancy to lead this country.

  14. “All I know is that this is the President I wanted to see, unafraid, sure of herself, daring and demanding, instead of the one we saw when she apologized.”

    The threat of extinction does that to a person. Make him come alive. That’s how you know that she knows she’s done for. This is the act of a cornered beast who sees no exits.

  15. jon, please read my next entry. what i meant was, for people like myself, the speech she made last night would have worked to retain the benefit of the doubt and rally the troops; but it’s too late, now, after her previous speech which left no room for a charitable interpretation. i hope my next entry reassures you that i don’t think she deserves any credit for this performance.

  16. Jardine,
    The chess pawns are not moving by themselves. I like to see who own those fingers, the arms and the face.
    Want to guess?

    He was pretty quiet when the left, the right and the middle (center) were competing to get the credit as to who is going to make GMa stepdown.

    He was observing which options are acceptable to the people even if he already floated his model via another group.

    In marketing, a product that failed in the market can still be relaunched by changing its name.

    The world revolutionary connotes blood, authoritarism, despotism. The word is also identified with the left leaning group. Makarebolusyanoryong pakikibaka.

    Junta, even if you affix the word civilian is still a junta. Just like putting SUGAR before vinegar as its brand, it is still vinegar. With some former military
    generals as members, people would be reminded of the saying,war is too important to be left to the generals, how much more running the government even it is only transitional.

    The National Council has no umphhh especially if the product endorsers are not the “photogenic type”.

    So a new brand is adopted for a council-type
    governing body. HIGH COMMISSION. courtesy of the former President.

    The old product will not be recalled. It will be gradually phased out.

    Human behavior dictates that men when pushed to the edge where there is no option but to fight will fight.
    GMA is fighting. Who is behind her?

  17. Manolo. Remember our discussion about FVR? man, No one will dare to do this except for that GUY! No one is as bold as the dude who made Edsa 1 as what it is, his own life vest. There was a legend amongst ilocanos that FVR and Enrile (those 2 are ilocanos) are at war with Imelda about running the country. Imelda won their little war and those 2 are doomed. Thats why Edsa 1 happened.

    Why am I stressing this point? Because we have to know how capable Gloria’s handler is. The west point educated guy is good, though ugud ugud na. He an do everything. He can even turned agaisnt his cousin, why not his own countrymen?

    Gloria doesnt want to resign because if ever she do that, Her whole family are going to jail.

    Lets cut our losses now! before it is too late

  18. if she orders the resignation to her cabinet she should also tender her resignation. she is the root of the problem, the bad cabinet is just the result of her wrong policy in appointing its members.

    “birds of the same feather are the same birds”

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