Saturday, February 25, 2006

Clear and Present Danger

President Arroyo and her minions evidently thought there was such thing yesterday, when she put the entire nation under a state of emergency with Proclamation No. 1017. It was her response to the rumors of coup attempt which have been circulating since god-knows-when and which were eventually "confirmed" and "successfully foiled" by the Armed Forces. Wasn't she contradicting herself? Where the heck was clear and present danger when she herself said "napigil na ng pamahalaan itong iligal na pagkilos"? And who were making those illegal actions anyway? House Speaker Jose de Venecia, in an attempt to enlighten us on the matter, claimed that the Rightists were teaming up with the Leftists to destabilize the government. That's a pretty sweeping statement, but I'm glad there exist only two sides. Suppose there were Uppers and Downers? It wouldn't matter. They'd all be ganging up on GMA anyway.
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Actions do speak louder than words. So the Commander-In-Chief, probably thinking , "I'm dead serious and you better know it," deployed entire battalions of crowd disturbance management units to disturb the crowd, I mean, to police the ranks of the groups scheduled to assemble and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first EDSA Revolution. All mass actions, including those earlier granted with permits, were declared illegal. There were warrantless arrests and violent dispersals. Isn't it ironic that an event commemorating the restoration of democracy was met with thoroughly undemocratic schemes? OK, let's just pretend that EDSA I didn't happen. It's still Marcos up there, who probably had sex change and grew a mole. It is easier to take things that way, than to know that People Power really took place, and it's been twenty years, and nothing has changed.
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I don't know, but I think the clearer and more pressing danger we are suffering from is not another coup de etat but a really bad case of historical amnesia.

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