Lest I be accused of avoiding the real world by writing about TV shows while events start to unfold which may or may not plunge our nation into chaos , I suppose I should put my two cents into the matter. For those who read this text in the future at a time when all these links are broken, the current President of the Phillipines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a state of national emergency today, claiming that a broad alliance encompassing traditional oppostion groups and the far left and the far right are trying to bring her down. Ironically, she did this on the 20th anniversary of the People Power revolution.
Now, I can’t pretend to be smart enough to realize the legal implications of today’s events, nor can I provide some detailed analysis of how we keep doing this sort of thing to ourselves over and over again, nor am I old enough to note any eerie similarities with the events during Marcos’ time.
What I do know is that whoever advised the President to proclaim a state of emergency at this stage is either an idiot, or an agent of the political opposition out to take her down. I would like to think that any Philippine President, especially one undergoing questions of her legitimacy, would stay away from anything that would show people that she really was the monster they all claimed she was. A threat of curtailing our democractic freedoms in order to handle a “coup” that is not even visible to the people (much less a clear and present danger) can only be construed as an attempt to desperately hold on to power.
Yesterday, I was informed through the usual SMS channels that there might be some sort of trouble during the next couple of days. I shrugged it all off, knowing full well that no matter how many warm bodies the opposition manage to pay off to join their rallies, nothing would happen until they presented a viable alternative to the people, an alternative so blindingly obvious people would have to be idiots not to want it. All GMA had to do was weather the storm, same way she did the whole impeachment fiasco, and she would survive. She just had to avoid “biting” at all the forces taunting her, avoid doing anything patently stupid such as declaring martial law.
Well, it wasn’t martial law, but it was still stupid. And just the sort of mistake her opponents have been waiting for. But will they be able to capitalize on it?