POSTSCRIPT / July 21, 2005 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

Share This

Middle Class coming out in droves to keep GMA

UNFAIR TO CORY: All of us are free to give our opinion about President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s staying on or resigning the presidency.

So why is former President Cory Aquino being faulted and her family being dragged to the gutter for merely suggesting that Ms Arroyo resign? What is wrong with her giving her opinion on a question of paramount interest?

Answer: Some GMA partisans are afraid they might be washed away with their patroness’ resignation. So they try (in vain) embarrassing Cory Aquino into retreating from her position that it is to the nation’s interest that the President makes the “supreme sacrifice” now.

Finding Cory firm in her conviction, GMA partisans have gone to the extent of throwing mud, raking up irrelevant personal matters that do not have anything to do with the central issue of Ms Arroyo’s staying on as president.

* * *

WE JUST USED CORY: It is not fair, in hindsight, to criticize Cory Aquino for failing to perform an economic miracle and reform Philippine politics during her one-term stint as president. As they say, she never promised us a rose garden.

Even her husband Ninoy Aquino predicted after assessing martial rule that whoever succeeded Mr. Marcos would be a failure. The political seer never imagined that his wife would be it.

The truth is that we just used Cory the housewife to kick out the dictator. Had it not been Cory but Doy Laurel who ran against Mr. Marcos in the 1986 election, the dictator would have scored a trademark landslide victory and continued his bloody reign through his surrogates.

Cory made possible the difficult, yet peaceful, transition between the dictatorship and democracy. And, note this, after the job was done, she bowed out without anybody having to tell her to quit.

* * *

GMA LEADING: The turnout in our survey of POSTSCRIPT readers shows an increasing number of members of the middle class coming out to register their opinion that President Arroyo must not give in to the demand for her to resign.

Middle class support for GMA can be gleaned directly from the upsurge in email responses saying that she should stay on, or indirectly through readers choosing survey Option #5 (NOTA, or None of the Above options that would mean her resignation or removal).

After I reported last Tuesday that respondents who want GMA to stay dominated the POSTSCRIPT survey (41 percent), reader Rocky B. Ocampo wrote us:

“I am not sure how 41 percent of respondents can vote for GMA to stay as president. Is common sense, fair play and justice lost among these people? There is no other conclusion to be gleaned from the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes except that she cheated. A president who stole the elections cannot remain president just as a thief can not keep the goods that he stole.”

I explained: “Those who want GMA to stay do not necessarily like her. There are some respondents who just do not want the options being proposed by those who want GMA to resign. Some others who do not want her removed at this point simply are scared of the chaotic aftermath of her suddenly being ousted or her resigning. This negative vote for keeping GMA is gleaned from a reading of their reasons for choosing NOTA (none of the above). Note also that the respondents do not represent a cross section of the population. For one, I doubt if there are respondents coming from the lower levels (C, D, E) because those who are able to react immediately to the survey question are those with email capability, like you. (But I have received some responses by messenger, text SMS and snail mail.)”

* * *

SURVEY ONGOING: We are still accepting at responses to our survey. Please append a 50-word explanation for your choice from these options being pushed by various groups asking for the resignation of President Arroyo:

Option #1: President Arroyo resigns. Vice President Noli de Castro becomes president.

Option #2: Both Ms Arroyo and Mr. De Castro resign or are removed. The Senate President shall act as president until the replacement president and vice president are chosen in special elections.

Option #3: All elective posts from the president down to local executives are declared vacant. A transition president backed by a council takes over what would be an authoritarian setup while a new Constitution is being written.

Option #4: A junta dominated by military types grabs power. The junta lays down all the pertinent rules until it decides that the nation is ready for a return to civilian rule.

Option #5: NOTA — None of the Above. This could mean keeping the status quo (which will have President Arroyo staying on) or settling for your Option #6 below.

Option #6: Your own Option or suggestion.

* * *

MORE RESPONSES: Here are more samples of respondents’ comments:

Serapia Gomez, NOTA. We are the silent majority. We have never been interviewed by the media nor asked in any survey. We believe GMA is our legitimate president. We do not ask her to resign nor be impeached. She has been accused but not proven guilty. We do not trust the tapes and especially the people behind them. Let’s get on with our lives. Let’s hope this destabilization will end soon.

Enrico Navea, Option #6. I believe that GMA should be tried in an impeachment court and if found guilty, Noli de Castro, being next in line, should become the president. We have to help him and unite, not for Noli but for our country.

Amando C. Dayrit, Option #1. This is the constitutional or proper way. We must now demand the highest standard from the president especially in terms of values and morals. Else we kick him/her out constitutionally or otherwise. It is time we made our presidents serve our needs instead of their personal, vested and selfish interests.

Pastor Nes, … NOTA! I don’t like GMA, but she has to continue serving until her time because any disruption or change of leadership at this point would be dangerous for the nation. Almost all of us in the Philippine diaspora love our country, hoping and praying that someday we will be settled back in our homeland. If there’s somebody to offer the “supreme sacrifice,” it would be all of us, including the oppositions and the opportunists.

Bong Cruz, : NOTA: Let us have a civil war.Para lahat tayo pantay pantay. xxx

Carlo M. Marco, New Econ Line: Option #4. All of us need to be disciplined and disciplined hard. Politicians have their own selfish agenda and all are clowns disguised as patriots. All involved pols should be hanged and quartered, because they set a bad example to the Filipino youth.

Juan Deiparine, Toril, Davao City: Option #1. Transition would be more seamless. Regarding doubts about Kabayan’s abilities, give the poor fellow a chance. If he has good advisers and Cabinet officials, he can do the job. And I hope he is discerning enough to avoid the pitfalls of Erap and GMA. Option #6: Noli de Castro as president (titular head like the Queen and King of England would attend parties, openings, ceremonial duties) will appoint a vice president with management expertise to act as president/prime minister. The vice president will govern and be in charge of running the bureaucracy.

Lucy Turner, Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Brisbane: Option #3. Steady recovery from political crisis and quick transition to political stability and normalcy as well as economic stability and recovery. Lessen if not eradicate graft and corruption. Council can work free from political and military intervention).

Nerio P. Camposano, Pili, Camarines Sur: Option #6. Have the Senate President act as president backed by a council composed of neither the two camps but of representatives from the academe, NGOs, etc. It may also include former Senator Salonga. A representative from the administration or opposition will “spoil the broth.”

Resty Recto, Option #3. We have to start without the trapos influencing the next government. Trapos will try to use the Constitution and rule of law to maintain the status quo and regain power. We need new leaders. I believe in the observation of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew that we need an authoritarian government.

Erineo Cabahug, Nell Avenue, Bronx, NY: Option #1. De Castro has been unfairly pre-judged. His credentials are superior to Joseph Estrada’s. He has a college degree and has earned his spurs as a broadcaster. Gloria Arroyo had impeccable credentials. Where did that get us? The VP deserves a chance.

* * *

(First published in the Philippine STAR of July 21, 2005)

Share your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published.