4 fallacies that will get us nowhere
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-02-28
In the aftermath of Jun Lozada’s revelations, we’ve seen many fallacies cropping up and this is all because media did not even have the sense to filter out the inanities.

Suddenly, “political analysts” were allowed to give their two cents worth although their so-called analyses hardly made sense and were not even worth two cents.

Never mind who they are. For now, let’s not zoom in on the guilty. What is important now is to expose all these convoluted reasoning going around so that we can all see things from the proper perspective and be so guided.

Fallacy #1: ‘Slow burn’

Many of those who have been interviewed in media opine that our situation will resolve in a slow burn process — much the same way that it took the nation three years after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino (August 21, 1983) to finally remove Marcos (February 25, 1986). This stupid notion had not even bothered to consider the givens then versus the givens now.

There were three realities existing during the Marcos dictatorship that effectively delayed and inhibited mass action. These realities were the absence of a previous experience with People Power, the powerful Marcos media monopoly and the less evolved state of information technology.

1. People Power — We had thought then that the only options available were either elections or bloody revolution which the Leftists espoused. Who would have thought then that Filipinos would actually be able to mount the world’s first peaceful People Power revolt? Look at how our experience with People Power in 1986 made it easier and faster for us to oust Joseph Estrada in 2001. It took only four months to oust Estrada starting from the day Chavit Singson exploded the Juetengate bombshell.

2. Media Monopoly — Marcos controlled all TV stations and newspapers then and easily 90% of radio stations. The only exceptions were the Philippine Daily Inquirer which operated during the Snap Election campaign and the Mosquito Press (called mosquito because of their small circulation) that dared to publish the true state of the nation. Electronic media today is not only extensive and free — it can easily cover the remotest region in the country instantaneously.

3. Information technology — In the 1980’s we had to make do with the beeper and the fax. Today, information technology makes it possible for news to travel around the world in nano-seconds and in multimedia format. Any citizen can express opinions and criticisms on the web and can react to the news. When Estrada’s time had come, people could already mobilize through mobile phones, emails and the Internet.

Fallacy #2: ‘No basis yet to remove Gloria’

The Palace paid hacks and mouthpieces keep peddling the fallacy that there is yet no legal basis to remove Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). They’re conveniently forgetting that a public official serves at the pleasure of the people.

In fact, any elected public official can be removed from office for LACK OF CONFIDENCE and LOSS OF THE MORAL HIGH GROUND with which to be able to govern effectively.

This removal from office does not require the Court of Law to determine if GMA is guilty or not guilty. The Court of Public Opinion has the real say in such an issue. Elections are the formal means for obtaining public opinion. With no election in sight, People Power is always an alternative.

If we followed this fallacy in 1986, we would have gotten nowhere and a Marcos will likely still be ruling us. Marcos was convicted only in the Court of Public Opinion. No court then could be relied upon to provide a fair trial as Marcos had the courts under his thumb.

Even after EDSA, no court was able to convict any of the Marcoses, for that matter. But we knew that enough was enough and we found our courage and our unity to be able to oust Marcos and restore democracy.

GMA has given us more than enough reasons to remove her from office for LOSS OF CONFIDENCE and the LOSS OF THE MORAL HIGH GROUND.

Fallacy#3: ‘People Power makes us a weak democracy’

Again, GMA’s paid hacks and official mouthpieces are trying to force-feed us the line that People Power is a backward democracy’s way of resolving political issues. That is another Arroyo regime self-serving lie.

The mature democracies of Western Europe are guided by the judgment of public opinion and their leaders will immediately step down when the polls reflect a confidence crisis. They do not even wait for People Power to be mounted to prove that they have lost the confidence of their citizens.

Democracy is People Power. Power resides in the people. The inability to use People Power whenever this is necessary is a symptom of a weak democracy.

Fallacy#4: ‘No viable alternative’

This is the biggest self-serving lie of the Arroyo regime. We are a great nation but we are badly led. There is a wealth of alternatives to replace GMA — Tony Meloto, Manny Pangilinan, Dick Gordon, Sonny Belmonte, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas and Jesse Robredo. Try them for starters.

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