Saturday, December 6, 2008

Shame on us

The ambassador of Thailand could not contain his feelings at the affront coming from a pipsqueak in the stinking palace. Malacanang’s deputy spokesperson insinuated that the political turbulence in Thailand showed a lack of political maturity.

What was happening in Bangkok at the time of his improper statements, capped by the “capture” of the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports by protesting “people power”, would not materialize in the Philippines, he averred, “because our people have reached a high degree of political maturity whereby our people respect due process and the rule of law”.

Which, if the GMA spokesperson used some brain and sensibility before he opened his mouth, implied quite clearly that the “high degree of political maturity” was lacking among the Thais. There is no way he could wiggle himself out from such a politically incorrect statement. When you claim political maturity for people who have yet to summon the courage to do what some others have, then you condemn the other people as politically immature. But are they?

Ambassador Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya stressed that “the protests in Thailand show that Thais are free to exercise their political rights”. And he is right. For GMA’s spokesperson to flaunt the inaction of our people against far greater political crimes as “maturity” insults not only the Thais, but more so, the Filipino people themselves. Shame on us that we can abide with such bad governance. Shame on us that we can tolerate the cheating, and the lying and the stealing. Shame on us that we can yet endure all the abuses, from extrajudicial killings to corruption most gross.

This guy named Golez (with apologies to Roilo) must be given a briefing by the Department of Foreign Affairs on the basic principle of non-interference among Asean members. Who is he to judge the political actions of a free people, with a proud history of not having been colonized by any foreign power?

Senator Dick Gordon’s pronouncements on the political developments in Thailand were actually inoffensive. He took pride that as a people, we began the practice of peaceful “people power” through Edsa I and II. The inveterate cheerleader seemed to say “ginaya n’yo lang sa amin iyan”. In truth, modern history traces the phenomenon to the great Mahatma Gandhi. But just as the recent carnage in Mumbai reflects a sad departure from the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence, the fact that we who popularized people power are now most reluctant to use the same against the worst president, bar none, is cause for shame, and certainly not the kind of pride that Golez preens about.

That the Thais were able to change their government after a week of people power demonstrations, with their high tribunal (Constitutional Court) declaring the de facto prime minister and his political party as “illegitimate” due to electoral fraud, makes it doubly shameful for us. We have all heard the indecent conversations between our president and an election commissioner conspiring to manipulate the voting results. We have witnessed how our representatives thrashed an impeachment complaint on what ought to have been a clear betrayal of public trust, not once, but thrice over, in obeisance to the executive. We have witnessed how bags full of cash were distributed right in the seat of power. And many more transgressions of law as well as decency. Yet we have chosen to close our eyes. We have chosen to “forgive and forget” in favour of “moving on”. The Thais weighed in against corruption, following a model for political action that we displayed so proudly in 1986. They learned. We forget our own lesson.

In fairness, Gordon warns that what happened in Thailand might yet be replicated here, especially now that the leadership seems hell bent on changing the charter to suit its own selfish political objectives. If it does, we redeem ourselves, even if late. If we persist on the kind of cowardice that dolts like Anthony Golez describe as “political maturity”, then indeed we deserve the arrogance with which our leaders insult us.

* * *

Someone called dennis magsaca or whatever group uses such a name as front, has been circulating a highly imaginative production number on the youtube, complete with a “Mission Impossible” theme for background music, about so-called “destabilizers”. It claims that certain people are launching a campaign called “Stop Now Arroyo’s Plunder” or “SNAP” in order to “empty the presidency by March 2009…with anti-administration propaganda, tarnishing Gloria’s credence, discrediting her and throwing in her face all sorts of accusations particularly graft and corruption”.

Hello? Discredit the discredited? This is funny.

The yarn names Atty. Harry Roque as pointman, with Erap’s Linggoy Alcuaz, Bayan’s Carol Araullo, Black and White’s Leah Navarro, and a certain Atty. Bayani Quinones, in launching a nationwide signature campaign to force GMA to step down, by March, ha, ha, ha. Do your arithmetic. Just count the number of signatures needed, and go figure, if that is possible.

But the yarn does not stop there. It mentions me as the treasurer, and I am supposed to be awash with cash, thanks to Ping Lacson’s contacts in “Binondo”. And who are my disbursing officers? Why, Dinky Soliman of all people. Never mind Alain del Pascua, who does work for me and Senator Lacson, but Dinky? Sana totoo. Why, nagchi-chip in pa nga kaming lahat para sa merienda ng FSGO meetings. Hah!

To make the tale seem credible, they mention more names, like a certain Johnny Chang and a Harry Lintang, who allegedly donated 10 million to fund Project SNAP. Allegedly, both are Lacson supporters. I know no Harry Lintang, and the only Johnny Chang I know happens to be an alalay of former President Erap, ever-faithful, ever-true.

I have a fairly good idea of the progenitor of this drivel peddled in the net, but I will not mention him and them. Baka kumita pa lalo sa mga naloloko nila with their “special ops ek-ek”.

Be that as it may, I have never been coy about my desire to see this government fall. I pray each night before I go to sleep, and always in my prayers there is a special mention about the Lord ending this nightmare that all of us endure. I am sorry that He has not answered my prayers yet, but I keep praying nonetheless.

If that is destabilization, and my nasty columns are destabilizing, I am very proud of it. Destabilizing this abominable government is an act of patriotism. Truly.