Who will fight and die for GMA?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-11-24
Some of our media would occasionally peddle lies, baseless speculations and half-truths. If that’s not enough, some of our media are also known to report imagined threats to national security.

Our media are also very quick to fault an administration for failing to attract investors that will bring jobs and improve the economy. They’re oblivious to the fact that their substandard and irresponsible brand of reporting created the negative image of our country that frightens investors.

After Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was served an arrest warrant last Friday for electoral sabotage, you will wonder why the subsequent discussion focused on no unrest noticed in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). Discussion on ‘no unrest noticed in the AFP’ would have been logical if there were any previous signs of suspicious troop movements in the military that would favor GMA’s cause.

On the contrary, the AFP had issued a statement that in the current row between the Executive and the Supreme Court (SC) – perhaps better identified as the pro-GMA Justices of the SC – that the soldiers and officers will only follow the chain of command. That means that the AFP will only follow orders from President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy). Taken in this sequence of events, a discussion on ‘no unrest noted in the AFP’ cannot be considered as news worthy.

The often-misleading media, together with the over-entertained and under informed Filipinos, give life to these imagined threats to national security by pandering to the shysters working for GMA. When a GMA lawyer stated that arresting the former president would trigger wide scale political and civil unrest – this is consumed sans any analysis or verification if there are indicators to justify such consequences.

Totally overlooked were the following factors: 

1. An overwhelming majority of Filipinos believe that GMA has to account for many transgressions. This is seen in the many postings on social media and responses to several tri-media polls and discussions. Anywhere from 70 percent to as much as 90 percent, depending on the media poll, want to see GMA tried in court.

2. The negative public perception of GMA naturally rubs off on the 8 SC Justices led by Chief Justice Rene Corona who granted her a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) to travel. It is wrong to say that people are against the SC. They are in disagreement with the 8 Justices who seem to be protecting her.
3. Perceived as prosecuting the unpopular GMA is the highly trusted P-Noy administration. People might support coups that are perceived as fighting evil, not protecting it.

4. Assuming that GMA or her husband Mike Arroyo could buy some AFP officers to instigate a coup, these officers will eventually have to reckon with the reality that the Filipino people will not allow them to oust a legitimately elected president like P-Noy in order to protect a largely perceived illegitimate president like GMA. Not only that, the international community will not recognize the new government if by some miracle the coup succeeds.

5. The US stopped GMA from implementing PP (Presidential Proclamation) 1017 where she tried to protect herself from a perceived coup by imposing emergency rule. The US has all the reasons to support P-Noy and even going to the extent of active involvement if that is what is needed to thwart a coup against P-Noy. How many AFP officers do you think are willing to go against a US-backed P-Noy?

6. There are no big issues the soldiers have with P-Noy. Like most Filipinos, they see their Commander-in Chief as honest, sincere and dedicated to the goal of moving our country forward. The so-called AFP demoralization after the Basilan encounter was a media creation. You don’t hear about it anymore because there was simply nothing to it in the first place.

Removing P-Noy from the political equation via a coup is only one part of the problem for the GMA camp. If they manage to oust P-Noy, they’ll have to deal with the Constitutional successor – Vice President (VP) Jojo Binay. There is no way that the VP will agree to work with a coup against P-Noy, especially a coup that was engineered to get GMA off the hook. That would be tantamount to political suicide for VP Binay and putting his name in the worst possible light in history.

In 2000, it was easy for then VP, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to abandon President Joseph “Erap” Estrada when the juetengate scandal was exposed and Congress subsequently impeached Erap. GMA is an opportunist and she saw the personal benefit to be gained from Erap’s ouster. VP Binay has far more virtues and good sense and will remain loyal to P-Noy. Not only that, there is no real big issue against P-Noy to justify removal from office. 

On the other hand, once a case for plotting or actually attempting to launch a coup is established against GMA or her family members – that would also open a lot options for P-Noy. P-Noy can adopt pre-emptive measures and even enforce emergency rule. P-Noy will have the people’s support because the prospect of GMA returning to power is simply not acceptable to easily 70 percent of Filipinos.

* * *

  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

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo