Has GMA properly assessed her options?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-03-04
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) is notorious for reversing herself on various issues and positions. True enough, we have seen her somersault on issues too quickly and too often.

She hurriedly joined the Coalition of the Willing of US President George W. Bush and dragged us into the Iraq War misadventure. But when Angelo de la Cruz was held hostage and GMA’s political fortunes were threatened if he was killed — she immediately withdrew from the Coalition of the Willing.

From being subservient to the US she is now at the beck and call of China — enough for her to leave a husband who was then seriously ill at St. Luke’s Hospital just to be present at the ZTE contract signing.

From the LDP, she became KAMPI-Lakas CMD. The list goes on. It is only her height that has not changed.

Now that GMA is facing her most serious crisis, I wonder how she is responding to advice being offered by her inner circle. I wonder if the Palace whisperers are telling her the best options available to her and are not leading her to courses of action that happen to serve their own agenda.

The big difference between Ferdinand Marcos and GMA is that Marcos knew when to cut clean. Marcos realized that the jig was up and he stepped down before he and his family suffered the fate of other despots who were killed by their people after being overthrown. Marcos had a stronger grip on power and yet he knew when to cut clean.

GMA is tempting the fates. The protests will escalate to the point that the economy — the only good mark of her regime — will start to be affected. The tensions will worsen among the rival factions in the military and this can result in a coup or the outbreak of a civil war which I’ve warned about since February 25, 2006 (log on to my website www.chairwrecker.com and read my INQ7 column of that date).

From a situation where she can still manage a peaceful turnover of power, she is unwittingly prodding the more radical elements among her enemies to resort to violent means that will push our country towards an uncertain future. This is hardly the legacy that GMA would want to leave behind.

Once the national crisis moves from constitutional parameters to out-of-the-box alternatives, GMA will also be endangering the safety of her family as well as the safety of millions of Filipinos.

If the political opposition formally unites with that anti-GMA faction in the military — then we will encounter the worst plague that can afflict a nation, civil war.

The junior officers of the military have consistently posed threats to the GMA regime. The Oakwood Siege of 2003 was staged by junior officers. If the AFP splits between the fattened generals and the Lt. Colonels down, then we will find two political camps having their respective armed forces. It can only be ugly and bloody. We may even find ourselves the pawns of geopolitical contenders US and China.

Who will keep the peace? The PNP will likely be similarly split. Who can put the country back into one piece after the current situation deteriorates into this dreaded scenario? Such a scenario can easily result in 4 republics in the once Republic of the Philippines — the Republics of Muslim Mindanao, Christian Mindanao, Luzon and the Visayas.

In such a scenario, won’t the Communists emerge as the strongest force in the country?

To those who have the Filipino disease of deluding themselves and being in denial, this does not seem possible in the near future. They persist in keeping faith in institutions that have long been corrupted and rendered inutile.

They fool themselves by thinking that civil war has never happened and therefore won’t happen here. Just because it has not happened to you does not guarantee it won’t happen to you. That very attitude makes it more likely that it will happen to you.

But those who really study history will know that psychologically this country has long been in a state of civil war. We now have the deep divisions that make us ripe for civil war. All that each political side needs is an armed component and all hell will break loose.

Indeed, I wonder if GMA realizes where we are headed. Does anyone in her family or circle of trusted advisers discuss this scenario with her?

I also wonder if the CBCP is aware of this scenario — that it is no longer a remote possibility. Their soft position made the nation more susceptible to falling into this pit of civil war. The more frustrated and radical elements opposing the regime will be attracted towards affiliating with those groups that offer the more decisive albeit violent routes to deposing the national evil.

Are the generals who are propping up the evil in the land so bereft of any nationalism to allow this to happen? Where are their Filipino hearts? Where are their Filipino souls?

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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