Together, the $20,000 + $15,000 U.S. dinners of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are not the Illegitimate's greatest sin, or alleged sin. Those immorally expensive meals certainly cannot be worse than the alleged-but-widely-believed "Hello Garci"-styled electoral fraud of 2004, nor the NBN-ZTE attempted deal, nor the August 2008 war in Mindanao brought about by the MOA-AD that is said to have been part of Gloria's bid for term extension. At worst, the dinners just constitute the icing on the cake of a sinful presidency baked in the undemocratic urn of Edsa 2.
EDSA 2 - blunder, coup, cover-up
Edsa 2 was simply a big, seditious lie hatched by opportunists in cahoots with those frustrated by the masa vote, a Machiavellian exercise, a "People Power" power grab that disrespected the sanctity of the ballot. A few tens of thousands of emotional gullibles, along with a few conspiratorial leaders, flushed down millions of Erap votes down the constitutional toilet big time. It could even be construed as discriminatory “People Power" coup based on its success in deposing Erap and the non-success of the counter-"People Power" in unseating Gloria four months later.
A more massive crowd that was Edsa 3 tried to undo the sacrilege of the pretender "People Power," but was not allowed. A sinful cardinal categorized them as the "great unwashed" not eligible for the holy Latin privilege of “vox populi, vox dei.” Masa "People Power" was simply 'devoid of political power,' so derided a UP political professor/analyst and Arroyo puppy.
Edsa 2 not only overturned the mechanisms of democracy relating to the presidency as instituted by the 1987. It also operated outside the constitutional framework when it went about the mandated guidelines for presidential succession. Of course, the court of Chief Justice Hilario Davide, the avowed street party-goer circa 2001, later legitimized Estrada's ouster by claiming the most mysterious legal doctrine of "Constructive Resignation," thereby ruling for Arroyo's installation. History, however, will always be reminded of the foresight of a 2001 Time magazine editorial on Edsa 2:
Again, therefore, whatever curious legal construction anyone may now attempt to put on the ouster of Estrada, he was ousted by a military coup, with the connivance of the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, major business groups, and two former presidents.”
God's Purpose for Gloria
Back to the lustfully fine dinners, those nearly P2 M-worth meals fit for a royal power grabber have come to highlight the excesses of a leader brought forth by a grandiosely covered-up coup. When analyzed within the framework of a "divine plan"--which Filipinos are wont to adhere to, is it possible that God gave us the Illegitimate, a.k.a. Gloria Arrobo (says limited edition P100 bills), as a grim lesson never to repeat Edsa 2?
I recently partly concluded a months-long chat debate with a left-leaning Edsa 2 defender who bothered to engage me and who I bothered to reciprocate in my blog's Shoutbox. He finally gave in a bit, at least saying sorry for Gloria's installation and admitting that Erap wasn't given "a chance to defend himself by ousting him." The exchange made me realize that Gloria made it easier to prove the undemocratic fallacy of Edsa 2.
Had Arroyo been anything like Cory Aquino, the Edsa 2 forces would probably still be bragging about the "wisdom" of their move to unceremoniously unseat a duly elected leader. They would probably have convinced the world that even a power grab laced by a gullible mob is righteous.
Had the Arroyo presidency not suffered from the perception of being the "Most Corrupt" in history, owing to the almost endless litany of corruption scandals, the conspirators and gullibles of the fake "People Power" would still be gloating today.
If only her administration had been clean, not seemingly plunderous, and simple in lifestyle, not obviously ostentatious; the Edsa 2 coup would have been vindicated to a satisfying height. Perhaps, then, the cover-up of the Edsa 2 coup by the rich and the rapacious would have been sealed tight.
The excesses and misuse of power by the Edsa 2 President simply made it crystal-clearer for Filipinos that whenever due process of impeachment justice is denied a duly elected leader, the process of impeachment will thereafter be railroaded to deny the people the right to unseat a corrupt incumbent. Just perhaps, the Creator is telling us through Gloria that if the media is allowed to be used to demonize a popularly elected President, that same media will be used to perpetuate a mandate-less administration.
Gloria Arroyo could possible be God's way of drilling down on the fallacy of Edsa 2. Her "Hello Garci" episode could be a grim reminder that when the people's electoral will is subverted through the ouster of a President who held the numbers, the ballot becomes stripped of its sanctity and big-time cheating becomes fair game.
The realm of the divine is perhaps teaching our people that that the short-circuiting of the Constitution by any cult movement against a man popular with the masses deserves a punitive lesson like Gloria. "Lies," the heavens could be saying, "breed more lies and more sins."
Gloria and Erap both profess some divine providence: the power grabber claims "God put me here" while the ousted swears to some purpose from above. Who knows? What is clear is that Gloria's 'arrobobastic' presidency made it easier for the Filipinos and the world to see that "People Power II" was undemocratic and immoral. Sorry to the adamantly unapologetic Edsa 2 people, but your own choice made sure that you won't get away with it unscathed.
References at: SOBRIETY FOR THE PHILIPPINES
SOURCE: Philippine Commentary