Afraid of People Power

MANILA
Without a doubt, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is afraid of a new “People Power” that would yank her out of the corridors of power and restore true democracy in this country, once more!
This is the real reason she warned against such an uprising by Filipinos, similar to the first one that threw out the dictatorship through non-violent means and replaced it with a constitutional government.
“The world,” Arroyo intoned arrogantly, “will not forgive an EDSA 3 (referring to that first one and the second that, alas, mistakenly installed her in power for eight lawless years now!), but will condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable.”
She’s wrong, absolutely wrong. On the contrary, the democratic world will unhesitatingly applaud when and if the Filipino people clearly demonstrate that they want to restore an honest-to-goodness democracy back in this country.
That is to say, just like the first one, through non-violent civic resistance that was the pivotal force that backed those idealistic officers and soldiers who started the revolt to put an end to the oppressive ruler’s regime in the mid-80s.
Concerned Filipinos did it then, and they can do it once more, this time even without the support of a military establishment that has been corrupted by an illegitimate presidency since 2001 to this day.
Yes, they can. They can do it through united civic groups, like the “moral renewal force” now in the making by no less than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Reynato Puno, which along with other groups should build a movement that instigates non-violent strikes, boycotts, mass protests, and civic disobedience.
It is most urgent, even at this late hour with the presidential elections looming ahead, that such a movement, composed of civic groups united by the noble goal of restoring the democracy that has been mangled by eight years of lawless rule, be launched before the powers-that-be can succeed in their scheme to overhaul the Constitution and perpetuate Gloria Arroyo in power well beyond 2010.
Through such a united movement the majority of Filipinos would be able to express their desire to regain all their rights denied them for over eight long years, particularly to fight for their right to choose the leader they want, not a fake one that they abhor, and to do it all through non-violent action.
Non-violent action, as one civil rights activist once said, is “fighting back, but fighting back with other weapons” in dislodging a seemingly unmovable oppressive ruler. What he meant was the use of civic resistance as “a force for change” to pick a leader who will govern with the consent of all the people.
To achieve such a noble goal through a non-violent struggle, the various concerned civic groups or organizations need an engine of strategy called Unity. The movement for change cannot succeed if there’s only one, like Puno’s “moral renewal force.” It must encompass a wide spectrum of political groups and social communities, and other sectors in academe, labor, farmers and fishers, and the unfettered media, and operate with a consensus about their goals and methods.
This evolving movement is what Gloria and her political minions, frenetic image makers and mealy-mouthpieces are really afraid of a united civic movement that can genuinely represent the aspirations of the Filipino people.
And so, if I may say it again, it’s only through a united civic action that we can end up with a lasting democracy!

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