Sunday, February 26, 2006

State of Emergency 2

It was a typical Sunday for me until we got home and found out that a battalion of marines have holed up in Fort Bonifacio to protest the relief of their Commandant, Major General Renato Miranda, from his post.

The leader of the Marines, Col. Ariel Querubin called for people to converge on Fort Bonifacio to help them in their protest. At about 9:00 p.m. Congresswoman Imee Marcos, Former Vice President Guingona, Senators Magsaysay and Biazon were near or inside the Fort. Former President Aquino was interviewed as saying she will be going there to pray for a peaceful resolution of the stand-off. With her are former Cabinet members Dinky Soliman and Butch Abad.

The Chief of Staff, General Generoso Senga proceeded to Army Headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo. There seems to be no attempt by each side to militarily take over, either camp. It seems to me that the people at Fort Bonifacio and those converging there are trying to re-create the EDSA 1 experience when people initially protected General Ramos and Defense Secretary Enrile which eventually toppled President Marcos.

I think that at this point, both sides are trying to garner support from as many Military units as they can. The result of this exercise can determine the fate of the Philippines. The mass of people outside Fort Bonifacio can still be the decideing factor to this crisis.

But before anything else I want to state my position here. I do not favor any extra-constitutional means to relieve President Arroyo of her position. If this "protest" succeeds in unseating the President, the military will have become the deciding force in unseating 3 Philippine Presidents within 20 years, and the only president they did not attempt* to unseat was a former general himself.

The Philppines does not need that, what we need is to depoliticise the Armed Forces, not to make them more political. We need the Armed Forces to acknowledge Civilian supremacy. This is the only way we can have a stable democracy.

It seems some people are blinded by their desire to unseat President Arroyo that they are willing to play with fire, to jeopardize Philippine democracy to get rid of somebody they do not like. And yes, I am including President Aquino, who I respect so much and Butch Abad, who I once wrote about as one of the honest politicians in the country.

We must learn from the Erap experience, ridding ourselves of a corrupt President through estra-constitutional means may be a good thing in the short run, but it screws up our country in the long run.

Besides, I really can't see myself "fighting for democracy" alongside Imee Marcos, it feels sacrilegious.


The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the police prevented President Aquino from going to Fort Bonifacio

* The original sentence reads "and the only president they did not unseat was a former general himself." Which is factually wrong because the military also failed to unseat President Aquino.

No comments: