Friday, November 11, 2005

The Opposition In Full Retreat

eople have seriously underestimated President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She knows all the tricks of her enemies, because they were once close friends and co-conspirators in the last coup d'etat that installed her in power. She's pressing the counteroffensive because she can--what with that harebrained idea of a People's Court now being hung around the necks of the Middle Forces, the Critical Press and the Organized Left. Of these three only ONE will suffer the wrath of a woman President scorned, and LIKE it--guess who?

The Left uses allies, fronts, and faces, because they themselves DENY their true beliefs and identity to others.They use these fronts and faces to pursue various causes, but mainly so the antagonists destroy each other. It is those fronts and faces that then collide with the enemy. The Critical Press, the "Middle Forces", are the ones that will bear the full force of the President's fury. The Left is the ultimate sabungero. They want GMA to survive because they need her as they once needed Marcos. That is why they drove the Impeachment Bus into that ditch called a People's Court.

As for any attempt to make this a case of the big bad President trampling on press freedom, good luck. Upper Management is already reigning in the "militant journalists" who are spoiling for a fight with the President. Look at this Top Story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer for example. The breathless lead paragraph hyperventilates,
IN WHAT one journalist group called a "declaration of war against the media," President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo unleashed her fury anew against the Philippine press for its "bad boy" image and for allowing itself to be used as “pawns in political games” of destabilization.
But look at what the Desk put for a headline: ARROYO CHIDES MEDIA.


Meanwhile in the blogosphere, we write blogs, make wild comments and publish podcasts for each other. (Cool, but Pod-ownership is somewhat limited to the eliterati for now.) Meanwhile the Palace dominates the Amplitude Modulated demagagosphere that is connected to every jeepney, shanty and carinderia in every barangay of the Archipelago.

The Opposition is now in full retreat because this is precisely where the Left wants the anti-GMA struggle to be: just where their persecution complex can go into really nonlinear mode. The Middle Forces all have Stalin-mustachess painted on their faces from sitting as "judges", "lawyers" and "witnesses" in the "Presidium" of the "Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability".

But if the Religion of Resentment has successfully led everyone over the cliff of heedlessness into a sea of embarrassment, the sky over the Palace has a dark cloud on the horizon...


eparation of Church and State is bound to be a hot topic in Manila again as the Catholic Church and the Strong State seem headed for a major confrontation over Gloriagate. The 185-member Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has just selected and installed a new leader in Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo of Jaro, Iloilo, and an all new governing Permanent Council that can act on behalf of the Plenary. There are signs of a major shift in the attitude of the Church towards the President since July 10, when they issued a pastoral statement widely viewed as having "saved" the President by "not" calling upon her to resign. But, as Fr. Agustin Opalalic, the CBCP's canon law adviser told Pinky Webb on ANC/TV today, even that statement had conditions attached to the "veto" the Bishops delivered against her ouster in July, when President Corazon Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon and the President's entire economic team withdrew their support for her. Further asked if he thought those conditions had been met by the President since July, Fr. Opalalic said the President's handling of the crisis "has not produced a peaceful situation." [broadly smiling].

Meanwhile, Newsbreak interviews the new CBCP head, Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo here. The Palace has got to be worried about the answers that he gave. Especially this one:
Q:Do you think President Arroyo can still effectively govern after the Gloriagate scandal?
A: Because of the accusations that have been raised about the presidency of Mrs. Arroyo, both sides of the divide have to prove their positions. The anti-GMA forces have to offer a credible and viable alternative that can be accepted by the people. The pro-GMA groups and the President have to prove the truth of their claim.
The Church is often accused of doing a Pontius Pilate, but look at how Archbishop Lagdameo puts it: the anti-GMA forces have to find an alternative to GMA, while the pro-GMA forces have to prove the truth of their claim. That sounds like he discerns the President to be guilty of the accusations against her in Gloriagate. There is thus an implied threat that unless the President proves herself innocent, the Church will back any viable alternative that the Opposition comes up with.

Meanwhile the CBCP's outgoing leader, Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, has a blog where he says things like,
"This is the second most important point in the [July 10] Statement: that political issues and affairs are the responsibility of the lay people, not of the bishops."
Compare this with Archbishop Lagdameo's statement to Newsbreak:
"As guides, the bishops cannot be silent in the face of immorality that seriously infects politics. They advocate and follow the active nonviolence of the Gospel when it comes to involvement in politics."
Hmmm, it's taken them sometime to get here, but I guess, like the People, the Bishops aren't stupid. They see what happened here with the impeachment. I hope they will have the courage to DO what is right and not just PREACH it.

Among the organized groups and institutions, the Catholic Church is practically the only one left with any shred of credibility on Gloriagate.


Please check out Punzi's Blog Lecture on Separation of Church and State.


Trosp said...

From what I'm seeing, the oppositions have accused her, so the burden of proof is on them.

Rizalist said...

But of course! and eventually that evidence will reach a critical mass and the stonewall will fall..