Whatever the answers, the national interest remains the same: The crisis must be resolved through constitutional means.
Meaning, avoid using "people power" to oust Gloria. But that was not PDI's position back in it's January 21, 2001 Editorial when the hated Erap was president.
Triumph of the people
FOR THE SECOND time in 15 years, Filipinos unleashed people power to force the resignation of their President in a bloodless and legal transfer of power from Joseph Ejercito Estrada to Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Ms Macapagal was sworn into office yesterday before more than a million people, who had gone to the streets to demand Estrada’s resignation, at historic Edsa where in February 1986, millions of Filipinos braved tanks to topple the 14-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The Filipinos did it again after five days of people power demonstrations in protest triggered by the Senate’s vote not to disclose evidence in Estrada’s impeachment trial.
What was remarkable with People Power 2, which former President Fidel Ramos described as a reprise of the 1986 Edsa Revolution "done better," was that the Filipinos demonstrated that they can change disgraced leaders with pressure from the streets within constitutional and legal methods, and without shedding blood.
Fears that People Power 2 would turn violent, given President Estrada’s belligerent statements that he would never resign, did not materialize, repeating the non-violent transfer of power in 1986 after Marcos resigned. The power handover yesterday, ending the country’s political crisis, demonstrated the strength and resilience of the country’s democratic institutions and traditions.
With the transfer of power, Estrada goes down in the archives as the shortest-serving president (31 months) in the post-war history of the Republic, as well as the first Filipino president to be impeached.
It is historically significant that Ms Macapagal took her oath as a constitutional successor before Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., with the blessings of Jaime Cardinal Sin, in the presence of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes, leaders of Congress and the leaders of civil society forces which were the dynamo of the second People Power upheaval. The presence of two key players in Edsa 1--former President Corazon Aquino and former President Fidel Ramos--forged the historical link between the two people-driven uprising in the streets to replace leaders who had lost their mandate. At the new President’s swearing in, the leaders of the key Philippine political and social institutions, including the State and the Church, closed ranks to give the new government constitutional and moral legitimacy.
The constitutional and non-violent succession of President Macapagal was facilitated by the decisive withdrawal by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police of their support for Estrada and their swift transfer of loyalty to his constitutional successor. This breakaway repeated the military defection from Marcos in 1986 and, in this crisis, it knocked down the main pillar of support for Estrada, ignited the resignations of most of the members of his Cabinet and precipitated the collapse of his government.
It is a reflection of the strength of the Filipino democratic culture that the military did not take advantage of the crisis to seize power, preferring to mediate the resignation of Estrada and the transition to the next government. In Edsa 2, the military took a lower profile than in Edsa 1, when it sent tanks to the streets. While giving credit to the role of military defection in making Estrada realize that his time was up, it was people power itself massed in the streets that was the most decisive factor in the resignation of Estrada. Without the critical mass that thronged the streets in outrage over the scuttling of the impeachment trial by the Senate’s 11-10 vote denying access to vital evidence, the outcome of the crisis would have not been democratic and constitutional.
In the resolution of this crisis, the people, again asserting their sovereign right to withdraw their electoral mandate that had been betrayed by Estrada, brought about a change in leadership, while obeying the Constitution and making democracy work. The people acted to save a democracy that was subverted by an unworthy and corrupt leadership in an upheaval ignited by a spontaneous explosion of rage.
Edsa 2 had no galvanizing leadership unlike Edsa 1. It was the people themselves who went to the streets, driven by outrage, rather than responding to the call of charismatic leadership. Edsa 2 was a triumph of civil society. It was crisis and an upheaval which the Filipinos resolved themselves for the first time without foreign intervention. That should help us regain our national pride and dignity.
Read the whole Jan 21, 2001 Editorial and compare it to the hypocritical, wimpy and evasive PDI editorial today and tell me that you didn't Laugh Your Ass Out (LMAO) at the hypocrisy and duplicity of PDI's editors.
(But at least they now recognize the importance of following the "rule of law" and adhering to the Consitution for Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. That's an improvement and at least counts for SOMETHING, hindi ba?)