POSTSCRIPT / March 7, 2006 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Now 8 of 10 'Postscript' readers support GMA!

RATIO UP: After I reported Sunday that my survey of Postscript readers initially had six out of every 10 respondents saying that President Gloria Arroyo did the right thing declaring a state of national emergency, the ratio went up to eight out of 10 approving her handling of the crisis.

I cannot offer an explanation. It could be that with the first day’s numbers being smaller, the greater number in the sample being counted on the second day may have disclosed a more accurate ratio between those who approved and disapproved of Proclamation 1017.

The survey question posed to Postscript readers was: “What do you think was the reason why President Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017?”

Thinking it would make things easier for everybody, I offered three possible reasons. It was embarrassing, but some 60 percent of respondents brushed them aside and gave their own reasons, mostly sympathetic of President Arroyo’s predicament.

Close to 30 percent, hewing close to the political opposition’s line, lambasted the President and insisted on her resignation. But they neither put forward new arguments nor offered post-Arroyo alternatives.

Some 7 percent, who for some reasons reminded me of former President Fidel V. Ramos, said President Arroyo just overreacted to the crisis. Some 2 percent said she was laying the basis or testing the waters for some still secret scenario.

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NOT OUT-TALKED: The male respondents dominated the field being 79 percent of the participants. But the comments sent by many of the women were longer and usually more emotional.

The sample remarks I am running below, however, had been cut to the bone to fit limited space.

A surprising big number of respondents (one out of three) were from abroad, notably North America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. I was pleasantly surprised to note that our compatriots abroad are well-informed and concerned about the situation in the home country.

A number bothered to say that they keep abreast by reading the PhilSTAR online edition. A few said they visit my ManilaMail.com website which has an easy-to-use archive that holds all my Postscript columns for the past seven years. Try it to believe it!

Before I get a drubbing, I hasten to point out that my modest survey is admittedly not scientific, nor professionally done. It involves only willing Postscript readers and necessarily limits the responsive readers to those who have computers and email service.

I did the survey mainly to satisfy my own curiosity. And I am just sharing here my findings. Take it or leave it.

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MORE SAMPLES: Below are more of the comments made by the respondents.

Dondi C. Lalic Jr. — Tama lang po na ideclare ang 1017. Dapat ipakita na ni President Gloria Arroyo kung sino ang “boss.” Kung parang nagpetikspetiks siya sa kanyang decision e di lalo lamang gugulo at hihina ang bansang Pilipinas. Yung mga lumang Pilipino pulitiko dapat nang manahimik at yung mga power-hungry e dapat nang tumabi upang lalong lumakas ang piso.

Angelito Lu, Corpus Christi , Texas — We believe there are threats to the seat of government and the President has the right to use her powers under the Constitution. You are fortunate the plotters did not succeed or else the country would be in a worse situation now.

Eduardo Rivera , umwafunds — If I could only be heard by the people still trying to put down GMA, I will say Let go! Our country and the Filipino people are the ones suffering, not them. Their main issue is election cheating, who did not cheat in any election?

Nidz Beltran, Paranaque — GMA had the common good of ordinary people like me in mind, who have nothing to be afraid of no matter how stringent the proclamation may be. Most Filipinos are sick and tired of reading and listening to (she listed several prominent names — fdp ) I don’t see any threat to my rights under Proclamation 1017.

Leuel P. Osena, Manila — GMA wanted breathing space from controversies, and 1017 spreads out the pressure and divides problems into manageable packets. The time spent waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision, if in case it’s unfavorable to GMA, has already provided enough window to take damage control and win. It’s like throwing spikes on the road while being pursued, keeping a safe distance, and firing back when timely. Her attackers are kept at bay picking up those spikes. GMA is teaching us new tricks on how to lead this country into the future.

HB Davis, Los Angeles — Whoever advised GMA to declare Proc 1017 exposed his/her stupidity. However, the end of the rope is always on GMA, which shows she does not know what the heck is she doing. I bet you she will use the excuse she did in last “Hello Garci” crap — the famous “lapse of judgment.”

Bobby Tordesillas, pldtdsl: (There were a number of reasons, some of which were):

  1. To justify cancelling the EDSA anniversary rites. The destabilizers thought that the best and most opportune time to gather a giant size of a rally without threat of being suppressed by the police was during the EDSA anniversary. The gov’t couldn’t just cancel the anniversary rites especially since this was the 20th anniversary and especially since a lot of non-oppositionists like FVR wanted the EDSA anniversary to be a big celebration. There had to be a big justification for cancelling the EDSA anniversary. And this I believe could only be done through the declaration of the state of emergency.
  2. To throw off balance the opposition and cause panic to them. They never expected the government to come up with this solution. They were so sure the EDSA rally would push through. Suddenly, they didn’t know what to do. And by the time they could recover, EDSA anniversary had passed away.
  3. To serve as a warning to the opposition. If in spite of the declaration of state of emergency, the destabilizers would go on with their evil plot, then the government would proceed to declare a state of martial law. Nobody then could blame them and ask, why they didn’t declare a state of emergency, if the situation was really that bad already.

Lito Diwa, Wahroonga, Australia — The purpose was to bring the issue to a head so that the impending troubles can be averted. It’s just like when there is a hurricane in the horizon. PAGASA forewarns you. You can wait for the hurricane and then declare a state of emergency or you can declare it before the storm and arrest those merchants (raising prices) taking advantage of the situation. The storm is the mob and the merchants are the professional politicians who manipulate the mob. The problem is that everyone wants to be president. Past presidents still want to be president, losing candidates want to be president by all means, senators also want to be president. Even ex-cabinet ministers think they can run the country better. We elect to the Senate people who know nothing just because they are popular. Last, but not the least, we train our soldiers to become politicians.

Consuelo Dantes, plantersbank — Proc 1017 is the government’s response to the situation. It’s about time the few but noisy politicians, religious, leftists and rightists be made accountable for their actions. The concerted efforts of this group, who are obviously after their vested interests, have managed to stall our economic development and affect the lives of millions of ordinary Filipinos like us. They want Gloria out, but they can’t present a better alternative.

Cad Cabrera Katigbak, BF Homes, Paranaque — The big difference in the Feb. 24 rally and the rallies we used to stage against the Marcos dictatorship was in the protest banners (the first line of defense). As colegialas then in SPCM, we would write our protest on posters ourselves and march bravely in the streets. In the EDSA rally last Friday, the “commercialism” of the present-day street protests is so marked. Halatang may financier. Kulang ng emotional appeal to make their cause believable. I need not comment on the likes of the motley group of leftist/rightist elements, suffice it to say that we closed our TV set when we saw them: Tama na!

Rosauro H. Suarez, Laguna — GMA overreacted, although she was really able to contain it with the proclamation. I am not against GMA, but it’s time for her to vacate the office after she has completed her six years in office next year. Anyway that is what is mandated in our Constitution. If she insists on completing nine years, only a miracle could save her, so much so that as time goes by more people would go against her.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of March 7, 2006)

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