Some people tell us, "Why don't you just let GMA finish her term? Instead of
advocating impeachment, which is very disruptive, why don't you just prepare
for 2010 and field a candidate who will support your agenda?"
On the surface, this looks like a sober and reasonable request coming from
people who are not necessarily rabid GMA fans.
How quickly we forget. Only a few months ago, the GMA administration –
using the resources of the DILG, launched a very expensive people's
initiative to revise the charter. And when the Supreme Court declared the
exercise a bogus, GMA marshalled her allies in Congress to push for a
constituent assembly (ConAss).
Had they succeeded in either mode of charter change, we will not have an
election this May, the Senate will be abolished, the current Congress will
be transformed into a rubber-stamp parliament not much different from the
Batasang Pambansa of Marcos during the martial law years, and the charter
will be amended to allow GMA to rule beyond 2010 either as president or
Now, what makes you think they have abandoned their plans? Should they get
enough seats in the next Congress, you can be sure that twiddling with the
charter will be high on the agenda. Already, they are looking at October
2007 as the target date of transforming to a unicameral-presiden tial
government. And that's only the start.
The pattern is clear. First, there were CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 – all
intended to suppress the truth, muzzling any legitimate inquiry into the
Garci scandal and fertilizer scam. Then, there were the GMA-funded People's
initiative and the shameless ConAss attempt by GMA lackeys in Congress. This
time, the goal was to pre-empt any further impeachment and entrench
themselves (GMA and her allies) in power by amending the charter.
Except for ConAss - which was withdrawn before it could be challenged, all
of these were subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
I'm sure GMA has enough advisers to point out the glaring legal infirmities
of her Executive Orders and charter change initiatives. She proceeded just
the same, asserting validity of her orders until rebuffed by the Supreme
Court. It exposed GMA's dictatorial bent and true character. She will do
anything, including making a mockery of the law, just to stay in power.
The lack of outrage from a jaded and cynical citizenry has emboldened the
GMA regime to be more brazen and punitive in dealing with political
FG Mike Arroyo filed over 40 libel cases against critics and journalists –
one for the record books. Meanwhile, decades-old charges are resurrected and
used as basis to arrest party list representatives linked with militant
groups. In the countryside, human rights are routinely violated – curfew is
imposed, citizens without cedulas accosted and even arrested, residences are
searched without warrants, and some people would simply disappear without
any trace. More recently, army contingents were deployed in densely
populated urban poor areas to "dissuade" residents from voting for militant
party list groups. And GMA would even publicly commend the officers of these
units for a "job well done."
Not since the dark years of martial law have we seen militarization and a
reign of terror and intimidation of such scale. And you still wonder why
over 800 incidents of extrajudicial killings and disappearances remain
And, where there is growing political tyranny, crony capitalism is not very
far behind. Large government contracts, smuggling, and gambling operations –
legal or otherwise, are becoming the exclusive domain of people close to the
palace. Do you still wonder why we are now the most corrupt economy in Asia
It's déjà vu – the 70s all over again. The scripts are eerily similar. Only
the terminologies have changed – from New Society to Strong Republic, from
communists to terrorists, from KBL to Kampi. Marcos, at least, had the
decency to declare martial law. GMA does not even bother.
Is there hope for our country? More importantly, is there anything we can do
to change the situation?
Fortunately, there is one window of opportunity left for us to derail the
GMA blueprint to stay beyond 2010: the May 2007 elections.
We need to elect to the next Congress at least 79 men and women of moral
courage who will block the anticipated self-serving charter change of GMA.
These same men and women can exact accountability from GMA for the unabated
corruption and extrajudicial killings through congressional inquiries and
initiation of an impeachment complaint. This will also put closure to
longstanding issues like the Garci scandal and the fertilizer scam which
have haunted this administration. Maybe then, we can all move forward.
It's not easy. And we need to get organized.
The Black and White Movement launched its Black List-White List campaign for
this purpose. We selected 100 Congressional Districts and party list groups
where we will vote and actively campaign FOR candidates in the White List
and campaign AGAINST those in the Black List. It also includes annotations
why candidates were included in the list.
The details are published at
www.BlacknWhite- Movement. com.
How can you be involved?
1. Help us promote this campaign. Forward this email to friends,
relatives, and colleagues. Post it in your favorite blogs and egroups.
2. Vote for the whitelisted candidate in your district, if there is
3. Campaign for whitelisted candidates, and against blacklisted ones
within your sphere of influence. If you're reading this via email, you're
probably much better off than the average Filipino, and you have influence
over people in your workplace, at home (relatives, house help, and their
families), and in your community. Create your own sample ballot and
distribute to people you can influence. You'd be surprised how many people
are just waiting for endorsements and instructions from people they trust
4. Be involved in the poll watch. There will be cheating, true. But
vigilance from more people can certainly reduce its effect.
Each of us will have to do our share. Sitting idly by is no longer an
Remember - this election is not a choice between the status quo and a
destabilizing impeachment espoused by the opposition, as GMA would like you
to believe. It is a choice between perpetuating the GMA regime on the one
hand, and the restoration and rehabilitation of our democratic institutions
on the other.
Together, we may yet secure a better future for our children.