Monday, February 25, 2008

Keep the pressure on Arroyo

Sa itinatakbo ng mga pangyayari, sa huling mga pahayag ni Ate Glo na kesyo "siya raw ang duly elected president ng bansa, siya ang pangulo, siya ang masusunod, may kapangyarihan at ito'y tatagal pa raw hanggang 2010" at ang ikinikilos ng kanyang matataas na pinuno ng kasundaluhan at kapulisan na halos ang may hawak ng command sa lahat, nasusunod at partner in crime ni Ate Glo, bilang pagpapatindi ng panawagang "peaceful at non-violent communal action," ang tanong ng mamamayan, kung 'di agarang magbibitiw sa kapangyarihan si Ate Glo sa poder, tulad nung sinabi ni Bishop Yniguez, isusunod na ba ang CIVIL DIS-OBEDIENCE campaign? - Doy

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, left, Catholic nun Sister Mary John Mananzan, right, and Rodolfo Lozada Jr., center, a star witness in the Senate corruption probe; LeqM5hhNMGCg3tLa5qc6xrmK9l8pB3HnAD8V1SIF00)

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 14:42:00 02/25/2008

Because it is easier to imagine it, corruption has taken center stage in the public’s appreciation of the current national crisis. Against the backdrop of mass poverty, the quantities are truly mind-boggling: $130 million in kickbacks for a government project worth $329 million, a bribe offer of P200 million for a single signature, cash gifts of half a million pesos each for politicians who attend a breakfast or lunch meeting with a President facing impeachment, and many more.

It would be a mistake, however, to think this is just about corruption. This is, more importantly, about the long-term damage to a nation’s social institutions. Far from being a neutral arbiter of disputes and a source of normative stability, the justice system has become a weapon to intimidate those who stand up to power. Far from being a pillar of public security, the military and the police have become the private army of a gangster regime. Instead of serving as an objective referee in electoral contests, the Commission on Elections has become a haven for fixers. Instead of serving as the steady backbone of public service, the government bureaucracy has been turned into a halfway house for political lackeys, misfits and the corrupt. Instead of serving as a check on presidential power, the House of Representatives has become its hired cheering squad.

The erosion of these institutions, no doubt, has been going on for a long time. But their destruction in the last seven years under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency has been the most comprehensive since 1986.

The damage is not confined to government; it has fanned out like a shock wave from the epicenter to the periphery. We have thus far only seen the debris of government institutions that have lost their standing in the public esteem. Now we are seeing how the tension is passed on and threatens other institutions. This happens when issues that are left unresolved by the institutions of law, politics and government spill over to other spheres of society. This is the collateral damage that can be created by a runaway crisis – the importation of an unresolved political-legal dysfunction into our churches, schools, editorial rooms, board rooms and homes. If we don’t handle it well, we could all end up collecting debris to build a bonfire of institutions.

All of us must contribute to the shaping of the public consciousness, whether as individuals or as communities, but we can only speak for ourselves. We must take care we don’t destroy the institutions to which we belong, for that will only mean we are no different from those who have abused the institutions of government. In self-defense, we must keep the pressure on the Arroyo regime until it releases its grip on our government. At the same time, we must continue to admonish the custodians of our Constitution to do their work faithfully and urgently, and thus spare the rest of the country from the continuing nightmare of a destructive presidency. – Randy David, Inquirer

ZTE advanced $41M to ‘greedy group’--witness;
AFP denies reports of planned withdrawal of support;

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