• Can we speed up the healing process?


    At the National Transformation Council assembly in Lipa last Thursday, representatives of organized labor, farmers, fisherfolk, and urban poor called on President B. S. Aquino 3rd and his administration to step down. Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa reiterated his well-known position, and Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao reconfirmed the moral validity of the mounting call.

    The same day, at a press conference hosted by Solidarity for Sovereignty (S4S) at Club Filipino in Greenhills, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz made the same pitch, suggesting that future presidents go through a thorough psychological test to qualify for the office, while a retired military officer called on the military and the police to withdraw their support for their president and commander-in-chief.

    The next day students in several Manila universities walked out of their classes to press for the same thing. They were stopped by Aquino’s troops.

    Does all this presage a replay of the famous First Quarter Storm and everything else that followed it? It may be too early to say. But whatever it is, our nation has been deeply wounded by the Mamasapano carnage, and we need the nation to be healed. How do we bring this about? This is the question for us now.

    Feeding the nation on a cornucopia of lies, as the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano police operation called Oplan Exodus has done, will not do it.

    Staging a palace coup or emergency rule to shore up PNoy’s hold on Malacanang, as some Palace advisers seem to advocate, will not do it.

    Trying to bamboozle everyone with the prospect of yet another fraudulent presidential election, where Vice President Jejomar Binay, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and who knows who else, could burn their billions and put us once more at the mercy of Smartmatic’s precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, will not do it.

    Treating the Filipino masses to an “E.R.” movie on the fallen Special Action Force 44 commandos, which my daughter Gabbie Tatad writes about in last Saturday’s issue of Philippine Star SUPREME, will not do it.

    The only thing that can do it is an immediate reprieve from Aquino and his regime. We need a break, some breathing space from the lunacy of it all. This is what everyone is asking for.

    The people did not ask for it when Aquino corrupted the members of Congress by bribing them with the people’s money in order to put the State in control of the reproductive lives of Filipinos, and to impeach and remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in order to remove a judicial obstacle to his planned dictatorship.

    The people did not ask for it when Aquino used Corona’s impeachment to intimidate and shake up the judiciary and take effective control of Congress, notably its power of the purse, its exclusive power to impeach, and every major legislation that called for a division of the House.

    The people did not ask for it when Aquino siphoned off hundreds of billions of pesos from projects authorized by Congress in the General Appropriations Act and transferred them to his own projects under his so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program, without the approval of Congress.

    The people did not ask for it, even after the Supreme Court declared the DAP and the earlier Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional and directed the Executive Department to prosecute with reasonable dispatch all those who were involved in their manipulation and misuse.

    The people did not ask for it when Congress enacted the 2015 P2.6 trillion budget, and restored and legalized all the discretionary lump-sum items previously voided by the Court, and redefined “savings” in order to circumvent the ruling of the Court and allow Aquino to declare as “savings” any amount in the budget anytime he wants to.

    That is how patient (let us not say, undiscerning) our people have been with respect to the Aquino regime.

    Since August of last year, when the NTC first called on Aquino to step down because of his numerous unpunished crimes against the Constitution, it seemed so “unmusical” to be making that call. No one else seemed to care.

    To the rank and file, the rabble in the street, these crimes did not seem to matter. The intellectual community (assuming we have one) remained unheard. The opposition did not exist, not even as a joke. The highest deliberative body called the Senate lay dead as a doornail. And outside of those involved in the NTC, our moral and spiritual leaders could not see the full extent of the devastation of the Constitution, which was a clear symptom of the grave moral disorder that afflicted the Church and the nation.

    The NTC seemed to stand alone.

    And then Mamasapano happened. The death of 44 police commandos in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with whom Aquino had a peace agreement and a standing ceasefire, while on a lawful mission to extract two international terrorists from the area, roused the nation from its deep slumber.

    Aquino was in Zamboanga City monitoring the entire operation when the SAF 44 were killed, after having been denied reinforcement. He could have ordered the reinforcement, but didn’t. To the contrary, the undenied report, totally undiscussed at the Senate hearings but repeated many times in this space, was that Aquino himself ordered the reinforcement to stand down.

    Many from the ranks of the families of the fallen 44 have denounced this as treason.

    Suddenly it became clear to all and sundry that Aquino had become a grave danger to the nation, and that we must immediately be rid of him for our own survival. Various groups have since come out from across the broad political spectrum calling for the same thing. They want the entire Aquino administration out, and they want a multisectoral council, rather than a single political leader, to run a caretaker government, whose primary task will not be to succeed Aquino, but rather to fix the broken constitutional system, notably the thoroughly corrupted electoral system, in order to normalize the political order.

    This was the original NTC formulation, endorsed and adopted by the various groups in support of regime and system change.

    Malacanang’s reaction was to suppress all street marches, including those in celebration of the 29th anniversary of EDSA-I, and to threaten members of the NTC with criminal prosecution for airing their demand. This was reminiscent of Himmler, Hitler’s defense minister, instinctively drawing his revolver every time somebody tried to reason with him.

    Some attack dogs have been unleashed in the commercial and social media in an attempt to discredit the NTC by subjecting to all sorts of argumentum ad hominem some of its known members whose views about the human person, society, government, God and morality, etc. they cannot live with. Aquino’s Dobermans attack them not by accusing them of any specific crimes, but by branding them with certain ideological labels that appeal to certain long discredited prejudices. It is a most disingenuous way of avoiding an honest and principled debate on transformational change.

    What the NTC is offering is an idea of change, apparently beyond the grasp of most. It is based on a worldview that places God at the center of the universe and all human exertions and activities, without however advocating a confessional state. The NTC believes with Aquinas and the other esteemed Christian philosophers that civil government is but a human participation in the divine governance of the universe. Thus, government must first be accountable to God before it could exercise genuine authority over the polis.

    This is not to slide into theocracy, for we remain a secular state. But it serves to reaffirm that we stand as a Republic under God, according to the moral law and the first words of all our Constitutions, from 1935 to the present.

    A colleague on this page seems to worry about the competence of the bishops to run the transitional government. That worry is misplaced. The Catholic and Protestant bishops and pastors and the Muslim ulama, who form the moral and spiritual leadership of the NTC, will not participate in government, except to provide moral and spiritual guidance to those who will exercise specific technical duties.

    Why can’t we elect them now? Because we have not fixed the electoral system, which has been thoroughly corrupted. Why can’t we follow the constitutional succession process instead of improvising with a caretaker government? Because the 2010 and 2013 elections were both illegitimate and fraudulent, and could not have produced legitimate de jure governments. The line of constitutional succession has been effectively disabled.

    Why should we listen at all to the NTC? Because although its members may not be the wisest of men or the most worthy, what they are saying is the only thing that makes sense. And their proposal may be the only one that will work. For it is based on love rather than hate, which is the first and last thing we need to bring about the healing process.



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    1. Transparency in Govt on

      Tatad missed the whole point once again. No, it’s not the Mamasapano incident that’s bothering the nation. It’s the massive corruption that pervades the government system. President Aquino is fighting this corruption. This is THE BIGGEST, THE BEST step that a president could take for our country.

      NTC is nothing but garbage!

      Who among the previous presidents had taken a stance against corruption? Who? Who among them punished the plunderers? NONE.

      This article by Tatad is a pack of lies, written to deceive us Filipino People! He has missed the boat.

    2. I am amazed that none of you took notice that God’s hand is behind all of these (unlike what happened during the fake EDSA revolution) making our young SAF 44 reluctant saints and heroes (rest assured that they are now with the Queen of Heavens). If not for what happened, the usually undiscerning Pinoys (afflicted by the yellow virus) will not be totally aware of what tis BBL can do to this nation and thus creates a domino effect on all the sins committed by this PCOS created government. NTC should convince the likes of Lacson & Miriam and ask them to set aside their differences (like how the muslims do during pintakasi) and head the council.

    3. Aquino ordered the reinforcement to stand down? Did he say that while infront of his play station, doing “play do” or within a hearing distance of Gazmin, Roxas, Catapang and Espina?

      If the latter, mahina ang loob nina Catapang and Espina, or mababa or wala silang sense of nationalism. Mas mahalaga ang presumed power, lump sum and pension upon retirement. Otherwise, upon hearing Aquino issuing such an ordet, they could have arrested and shackled him. And to hell with what others say.

      So disgusting.

    4. victor b. prieto on

      pls name once and for all the men or women that comprise the “council”.

    5. how can we commence the healing process if the real cancer is still in our system?
      why we still allow the nutty dictator to continue is a slap to common sense.
      the NTC needs critical mass and a vital key is ‘coordination’ among students, farmers, soldiers, cops, trade unions and the 12million jobless.

    6. Amnata Pundit on

      Your last two questions are at the heart of my objections to the goals and means of the NTC. You guys know the problem is the election cheating machines of Comelec so, first things first, why don’t you focus on that problem and haul your multitude to Intramuros to OCCUPY COMELEC, bring the entire SAF brigade with you? Since these churchmen are already treading outside the constitution, why not that path instead of your current one? Is it because these yellow churchmen are afraid the people will elect a contra-yellow president? Are these churchmen secretly working to preserve the current regime of policies that support the Globalization Agenda of the West including that infernal BBL so that all they are after is the dumping of this now hugely unpopular president and replacing him with another yellow puppet? Remember that these churchmen gave us Cory whom you passionately opposed. Then they gave us GMA whose government you also judged as disgusting, now we have this demented president who was also supported by these same totally UNDISCERNING clerics that you are now helping. Who are they going to endorse next, the ANTI-CHRIST? Based on the clerics’ centuries-long record in this country, and as long as the future is still murky, I will stick to this demented one until the military comes in again but this time ON THE SIDE OF THE PEOPLE, so help me God.

    7. Gloria M. Kuizon on

      A lot of people who could actually be members of the Yellow Army but some may be sincerely expression their views based on ignorance about what the NTC wants to happen should pay attention to this paragraph in Mr. Tatad’c column:

      “A colleague on this page seems to worry about the competence of the bishops to run the transitional government. That worry is misplaced. The Catholic and Protestant bishops and pastors and the Muslim ulama, who form the moral and spiritual leadership of the NTC, will not participate in government, except to provide moral and spiritual guidance to those who will exercise specific technical duties.

      • Getting rid of President Aquino is already participating in politics. How can the NTC assure the people that they will not be participants in politics. Choosing for a replacement of Aquino is participating in politics.
        The solution to the many political problems of the Philippines is not the electing of the most qualified candidates but disqualifying from voting the bakya crowd who elect the most unqualified candidates because of their popularity in the non political field.

        In the first place, why was Pinoy elected into office? The sudden death of his mother got to the heart of the bakya crowd who elected Pinoy president in spite of the many more qualified candidates than him. But then again if Aquino did not make it to the presidency, the plunderer ex president Erap, would have been the president now, again because of the support from the bakya crowd. In other words live with whoever you have elected to office including who I think is the best president this country ever have, Pinoy.

      • a genius corrupt politician can do greater harm than an honest and incompetent one. Pnoy so far is the best president this country ever have. Just imagine, not even during the presidency of Ramos who is a retired general did our armed forces ever have brand new and modern helicopters, not to mention new pistols for our policemen and new assault rifles for the army. Right today even in the most remote roads to the municipalities of our province, concreting of roads, never done in previous administrations, are going on So, between geniuses with corrupt minds and demented honest Pnoy, kay Pnoy pa rin kaming
        silent majority.

    8. How does this NTC works?

      Kindly publish its blueprint so the public may know it in detail, otherwise one can simply argue at least theoretically that this thing does not work at all.

    9. Hindi ko alam,kung ang tingin ng NTC,sa pilipinas ngayon ay katulad ng Syria,libya at Iraq kalala ang sitwasyon!
      Pasensya at paghihintay ng ilang buwan ay mas mabuti sa akin.
      Kung sa marami ay kailangan na at ang mga NTC ay karapatdapat pagtiwalaan,sabi nga buntot mo hatak mo sungay mo sunong mo!

    10. Palapit na palapit na ang eleksiyon-2016. Hindi lang iyon….mas malapit iyong panahon na ang mga nag-nanais na maging Presidente-Pilipinas ay ipi-prisinta nila ang kanilang pangalan. Ma-a-aring mag-hihiwalay ang National-Transpo-Council dahil ang iba sa kanila ay gustong maging Presidente. Iyong iba naman, iba-iba ang kanilang paboritong kandidato for Presidente. Makikita natin kung sino ang malapit kay Bise Binay…. kung sino ang bumibisita sa Hacienda. Kung ano-ano ang kanilang ini-isip para sa Mindanao at para din sa Spratlys.

    11. The one and ONLY SOLUTION is for PNoy to resign to end his regime. Let the people thru the NTC take over as caretaker of government, invite and include non-political and neutral individuals from various sectors in government but not to include any politician and immediately draw out a new system of governance, parliamentary, federal, or better options to be drawn into the Constitution. It is also very important to revemp the corrupted Comelec change how we elect our government officials to stop tradpols, political butterflies and dynasty families from controlling government management.

    12. sonny dela cruz on

      You’ve said it all. That means anything in the book will not work to remove the President Aquino from Malacanan. What it means is, the Philippines right now is under the Dictatorship of Pres. Aquino, so forget the 2016 presidential election. What he is saying and the people around him that he is going to step down comes 2016 is just a ploy. He already control the congress, the judiciary, the military and the people. This is one way how to become a dictator to be written in the new book “BRIBE THEM” to be successful.

    13. It’s time to have another exit plan for the entire Aquino Government to step down and if they want the legitimate way, than people should not vote for any of their candidates in the next election. We should not allow BS Aquino regime of Intimidation be tolerated anymore. There is a long list of BS Aquino Intimidating appointees that are awarded more in higher positions because they do such a good job of Intimidation. Creating this kind of atmosphere is dangerous in government!

      Must guard and advice the Filipino people Not to Vote for the those Senators and Congressman who are serving like puppets to the Aquino regime.
      We can bring the whole house down , senators and congressman who are incompetent and does not work for the good welfare of the Filipino people. NTC must rally to make sure every single Vote of the people that believes in Justice and Real Peace must be counted come election day .
      The few months for this Aquino regime must be used to prepare for the Countdown for the Change we need in our government and Country. The Strong Will of the Filipino People must prevail !
      We can garner strength and find the Right people that can Lead our country from the Private Sector and not politicians. We need a President that can Unite this Nation with Genuine Love for his Countrymen.

      Let us Stop BS Aquino and his politicians from doing a “whitewash”. Yes, I say indeed a “hogwash” too.

    14. AMEN. I put my “Nihil Obstat” to this eloquent piece. It echoes all the sentiments of every God-fearing citizen who believes that all authority must come from God.Even Ronald Reagan once said that : “A nation that refuses to live under God, must be prepared to be a nation gone under.”

      The central point of the bishops repugnance to the Abnoy is that (1.) He never had a mandate to lead, due to the fact that he was never illegitimately elected. At the moment, his status is that he is a mere squatter in Malacanang.
      (2) Not having a lawful mandate, it follows that he has no moral authority to lead.
      (3) His lack of moral authority is coupled with his own mental derangement or psychotic tendencies . Archbishop Cruz is right – from now on, let us subject every presidential wannabe to a psychiatric test. The country has been much traumatized with this mentally deranged Abnoy.
      (4) The combination of these 2 flaws is most dangerous to the country and people. A proof of this is the way he handles critical events. He laughed madly during the Luneta hostage incident. He laughed madly during his confrontation with the generals making the generals come to the conclusion that indeed, their Commander-in-Chief is a certified mad man. He laughed madly when he was addressing the widows and even derided and insulted them with his remark “what do you want me to do? Fingerprint all the MILF?” When all the while the widows were simply asking for justice.

      The inevitable conclusion therefore seems to be to call for the STEPPING DOWN of this Abnoy. The country is in mortal danger with him still lurking around.