Saturday, July 02, 2005

Third Force

Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, former President of the University of the Philippines, was interviewed yesterday ( July 1, 2005) during a demonstration at Makati. In the interview, he advanced the idea of a transitional revolutionary government to replace the present Arroyo administration. The same idea was offered by Ms. Maitet(?) Diokno in one of the programs in the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC). The idea behind the transitional revolutionary government, if I understood her correctly, is to end elite capture of the Philippine government. The transitional revolutionary government will not be led by the elite, and it will pave the way for a true people's democracy.

Unfortunately, Dr. Nemenzo was proposing the establishment of the transitional revolutionary government while in an anti-Arroyo demonstration with Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito of San Juan (the son of deposed President Joseph Estrada),and Rep. Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte (the daughter of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos). Both of whom, maintain that their fathers are innocent.

This fact alone would raise the irony meter, the meter explodes when we realize that Mayor Jayvee Ejercito also espouses a nine man council headed by his father should be the transitional government to replace the Arroyo administration. Other participants of the demonstration like Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati wants the widow of Presidential candidate Fernado Poe, Jr., Ms. Susan Roces, to head the next government.

So the Gloria Arroyo - cut your term short - movement, is divided into at least three groups* in the nature and composition of the subsequent government they envision after President Arroyo either resigns, step down, or is deposed. But they agree in one thing - President Arroyo and Vice-President De Castro's terms should be terminated as soon as possible and a new "transitional" government should be established.

This point might be the key to answering Vicente "Enteng" Romano's query on the "deafening silence" of Kompil 2, the organization that spearheaded the opposition against President Estrada and President Marcos as Kompil 1, "in the face of the raging issue of the supposed taped conversations involving Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo".

Since the beginning of this crisis, the language of discourse has been dominated by the opposition, once one is perceived to "oppose" the administration, one is presumed to advocate for the "transitional government" route. The voices who advocate a "constitutional/legal" process for admonishing and penalizing the President for her "lapse in judgement" are drowned in the cries of 'resignation' and 'transition government' as if these are the only options open to the country.

These voices have now found a new ally, former President Corazon Aquino has stated that
"I believe that the Constitution contains all the ways by which one may safely effect even the most difficult political changes. There is no need to step outside it. To step outside the Constitution will only expose us to greater danger than the injustice we want to correct."
Many people has interpreted this to mean that Mrs. Aquino is supporting the President. I think this means that Mrs. Aquino has witheld support to the President, that she thinks the President should be investigated and if the President did act improperly, then she should face the consequences. If that consequence is impeachment, then so be it, as long as we follow the Constitutional process.

The NASSA-CBCP has also taken this stance, in a June 30 statement they declared:
"Does the substance of the exchange merit any violation or infraction of the law? Only then should due process of the law be invoked and applied to whoever party is found guilty."
and there is of course Manila Archbishop Rosales who in a statement said
"First, let us remember that the offended cannot simply be consoled by expressions of regret. Forgiveness does not eliminate the need for justice, nor should it block the search for truth. Genuine forgiveness demands more than an apology, and those who seek forgiveness should be ready to be called to accountability.

Second, the pursuit of truth regarding the grave charges against leaders and officials should be conducted within the provisions of our Constitution and should respect the laws of the land. Any proposition that disregards our constitutional and legal systems weakens our institutions and paves the way for a graver instability that can cause more profound suffering to our people."
That they are not calling for the immediate ouster of the President does not mean they condone the "improprieties" of the President. It only means that they want the ouster of the President, if it comes to that, to follow the right process.

These calls signal the emergence of an alternative to the government's "the President has apologized, lets move on" call and the opposition's "she cheated, off with her head" approach. An alternative, that the Kompil and Civil Society groups can support without inadvertently lending support to the opposition or the government.

Hopefully, this approach will facilitate true transparency and accountability in our government and society.

*The groups in the demonstration also include the Sanlakas and the Bayan Muna contingents who also call for a revolutionary/transition government but I am not sure if their "revolutionary government's" are distinct from those of Dr. Nemenzo's. Also another group, who did not attend the demonstration, headed by a former General and Defense Secretary Fortunato Abat is also calling for their own transition government.

Update: July 6, 2005

It seems that the group of Dr. Nemenzo is called Laban ng Masa campaign, reported by the PCIJ here.


the martian said...

i agree with those in the third force pare, i.e., those advocating for a constitutional solution. that constitution was ratified by the filipino people. though it shouldn't be taken as something that is fixed and permanent by those seeking for revolutionary changes in philippine society, the constitution shouldn't be taken lightly either. it's about time that those who like to position themselves for the masa and against elite rule should also learn how to present and win over people to their ideas in an open and democratic debate. and the constitution, i think, serves that purpose: a framework for debate in society. the fact that the elite have made a mockery of our current political institutions and processes does not invalidate the constitution as an expression of the people's will. the left's current position on this issue just shows that they haven't really learned from their past or are still only too willing to sacrifice whatever lesson they got from it in the name of political expediency.

Sef said...

Nice analysis, Roy.

roy choco said...

thank you sa comments,

I am warming to the idea of a truth commission. Kung totoo yung sapantaha ko, susuportahan ng mga tao ang truth commission. Lalo na kung may recommendatory powers ang truth commission sa House for impeachment. Personally, palagay ko si Tita Cory lang ang may stature para mamuno sa truth commission na ito.