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Kris-Crossing Mindanao
People power parodies

By Antonio J. Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:03:00 03/10/2008

Filed Under: Edsa 1, NBN deal

MANILA, Philippines - Great expectations trailed the People Power revolution of 1986 that brought down 20 years of Marcos tyranny, just as great expectations followed Edsa II after the bacchanalian jokester of a presidency under the nocturnally imbibing Joseph Estrada.

But they all became thwarted expectations. Cory Aquino bungled the presidency with her own Kamag-anak Inc. and the Mendiola Massacre. Like her, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bungled the presidency with what is turning out to be one of the most inept governments we have ever had.

In our resilience, we still hold on to those great expectations. That partly explains the incessant suggestions from the rabid among us for another people power revolution. We should know better, however, that after 22 years of Edsa I, these calls have become seasonal. This is no perfect time for a third people power simply because it is no time for great expectations to be met. We may be sick to the core of GMA and eager to overcome the thwarted expectations. And yet, a fight to the streets it will not be.

It will not be because our great expectations cannot be met by a Cory Aquino who calls for Arroyo?s resignation when she herself did not resign despite nine coup attempts against her. (She remains the record holder!) Aquino is not the puritan that she touts herself to be if she continues to be tailed by Jejomar Binay who is widely believed to have amassed both wealth and power. But Aquino?s Rambotito has become a petty tyrant and a dynast who also dreams of?God forbid?the presidency.

Street-marching man of the cloth Teodoro Bacani has also called on Arroyo to resign even though we all know that he was the subject of a sexual harassment case by his own secretary. Talk about finger-pointing.

Close your eyes and listen to Oscar Cruz chatter and chances are you will never know that the man you are listening to is an archbishop. There is no thin line between prophesying and loquaciousness but in these days of finger-pointing, there is.

People power can never be instigated by a ?whistle-blower? like Joey de Venecia who should have been investigated in the first place for asking a bidding process to be favorable to him, the son of a high government official who lives high himself in the enclaves of Dasmariñas Village. A rich spoiled brat will be an unlikely Pied Piper in Edsa.

How can there be people power if after bringing down Arroyo from Malacañang, Estrada wants to take over and serve his last unseated years in office? Well, thank you, bright boy Adel Tamano, for effectively driving us away from the streets with the silly idiocies of your Joseph Estrada.

I am glad that during Jun Lozada?s expensive drive from the airport, he recalled Bubby Dacer and started fearing for his life. That is precisely one reason why people power can never be had if we continue to have Panfilo Lacson in the Senate who is believed to be accountable for Dacer?s abduction and murder. We are not finished with you yet, Mr. Senator.

At one time I heard friends from other places express admiration for Teofisto Guingona, aging and soaking wet from the water cannons. Well, I don?t share their enthusiasm. I live in northern Mindanao where over the last few years the Manila-residing Guingonas have tried to build their own political turf. And you know what? During election time, be sure to stand along the path of wife Ruthie Guingona (mayor of Gingoog City) and son Tootsie Guingona (congressman of the second district of Bukidnon). They are known to hand out largesse for your votes. Even the soaking of the water cannon cannot cleanse the corruption of traditional politics.

And Lozada? He seems to be enjoying every minute of stardom. He should not. That is not what heroism is all about. Especially if there is a second family to feed. Plus some accountability for nepotism while in office. There is no such thing as permissible corruption, Mr. Lozada. Corruption is corruption, whether by you or by GMA. Accuse her, but subject yourself to the same standards.

The means by which we fight this great moral crisis?and a possibly guilty Gloria Arroyo, Mike Arroyo, Benjamin Abalos and Romulo Neri?are all wrong. The people in the front lines are as dubious and tainted as the people we are accusing. People power to unseat one corrupt president, maybe yes, but not people power front-lined by politicos of the same corrupt resumés. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

At best, what we will have will be a parody of people power. People Power I, II, III, IV, it does not matter. It will all amount to People Power zero. The real revolution has not taken place yet.

Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales is right. All we have is just a fixation with 1986 and Edsa. We have not learned yet how to harness the real people power.

Let there be a thousand Jun Lozadas and a thousand Joey de Venecias. Even so, there will be no people power. The stakes are all wrong.

We are not playing our cards right. But Gloria must be singing hallelujahs by now.

* * *

Comments to monta@cu-cdo.edu.ph

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