This is the question being asked on both sides of the “Aquino, step down” debate.
Since August 27 when the first assembly convened in Lipa by the National Transformation Council called on President B. S. Aquino 3rd to step down, many have been wondering how they could ever make this particular omelet without breaking any eggs.
This is a power game, and it is not enough to show that Aquino has destroyed the Constitution and the moral order. He has to be pushed physically in order to give up the power he has so thoroughly misused.
But the Council does not believe in using violent means to force him out. Military intervention is not an option, unless the Armed Forces of the Philippines acts as one to carry out its duty as “protector of the people and the State.” This makes the problem even bigger.
And yet, five NTC-convened assemblies and five mutually reinforcing declarations after Lipa city, it has become clear that only an irresistible physical force could make PNoy step down. And so far this is what the assemblies convened by the Council have done:
In Cebu on Oct. 1, the assembly called on the Council to pursue all lawful means to compel Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time, and to immediately organize an alternative government.
In Butuan on Nov. 11, the assembly noted the increasingly severe deterioration of the moral, social and political fabric of the nation and called on the Council to speed up its effort to compel Aquino to relinquish his position so that the earnest work of national transformation could begin.
In Angeles on Dec. 3, the assembly adopted as its own all the previous declarations, and called for a stepped-up campaign for regime and systems change.
In Davao on Dec. 5, the assembly declared that “the time to compel Aquino to step down is now, and that the Council should then embark upon a nationwide mobilization effort to transform its vision into a reality.”
In Davao, before some 4,000 delegates from all over Mindanao, a call to action was made by NTC member Norberto Gonzales, former defense secretary and national security adviser. For the first time, we heard a proposal for the use of “people power.” Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles quickly qualified this to mean “prayer power.”
And in the city of General Santos yesterday (Dec. 16), the assembly declared that the “Rubicon” has been crossed, the NTC must now involve the general population in its campaign for regime and systems change. It was a ringing endorsement of people power.
Prior to the Angeles assembly, former Congressman Jose Cojuangco Jr. of Tarlac, the youngest brother of the late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, and PNoy’s uncle, personally called on Aquino to step down, echoing the position of the Council, of which he does not claim to be a member.
This apparently triggered some kind of “turbulence” within the Cojuangco clan. But it was dutifully suppressed by the conscript media, and there was no official Palace reaction to it, aside from a visibly heightened intelligence monitoring of the Council and some of its known members.
Aquino himself seemed unperturbed, confident that these were but a few political “romantics” who still invoked “high principles” in the face of today’s dog-eat-dog politics, against the “14 million or so votes” he got from the rigged precinct count optical scan machine in the 2010 elections.
And last week, Malacañang announced the “results” of an alleged survey conducted by one of the more notorious propaganda pollsters, showing a reported uptick in Aquino’s “approval and trust ratings.” As usual, the conscript media never bothered to ask the fraudsters the following questions: who commissioned the alleged survey, why was it conducted (assuming it was, in fact, conducted), who paid for it, what questions were asked, in what manner or sequence were they asked, who, how many, and from what parts of the archipelago were asked, what was the margin of error used, and so on and so forth.
The thoroughly unexamined “survey”was screamed as a banner headline in the print propaganda media, then regurgitated by radio and television, and text messaging. But there was no visible explanation for it. There is obviously none.
Given the continuing crimes of the presidency, there is every reason for Aquino’s ratings to plunge to the very depths of the ocean floor, in an honest poll. He has serially and with utter disdain violated not only the Constitution but also the basic norms of the moral order.
These crimes have caused great suffering among our people. Only the Forbes magazine-listed dollar billionaires and their cronies who are making so much money while the rest of the nation sinks in unspeakable poverty and squalor seem “happy” that he is still there.
In complete defiance of the Supreme Court, which struck down the pork-barrel system as unconstitutional and ordered the prosecution of all those involved in the manipulation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, Aquino had Congress pass his P2.6 trillion spending bill, with P1.3 trillion in presidential pork, while claiming to have junked the pork-barrel system altogether.
The term “savings” was also redefined to allow Aquino to play around with the budget anytime, at will. This is a naked attempt by legal subterfuge to erase the crime which Aquino committed when he illegally transferred appropriations from projects created by Congress into projects which he himself created under the DAP without the authority of Congress.
The House also railroaded “emergency powers” to enable Aquino to authorize emergency purchases of power-related equipment without the usual public bidding required by law. The Senate, through Senator Serge Osmena, has put a temporary brake on it, we can’t say for how long, but some people close to Aquino are said to have already brought in and warehoused the “generator sets” that would be sold to the public, and have acquired highly polluting power plants discarded by other countries, with the promise of “sovereign guarantee” from the Aquino government.
This promises to be more punishing than when we granted emergency power to then-President Ramos to cope with the electric power crisis he had inherited from the Cory Aquino administration. We have not yet fully recovered from the scandalous costs of the power barges and independent power units acquired during that period, and here we go again.
It is highly doubtful Aquino could have survived this long, were he in any of the countries recently visited by the Arab Spring. But because we are Filipinos, and this is the Philippines, Aquino seems to believe he could get away with anything, and many among us would still swallow the lie that his stock his rising, instead of sinking or sunk.
Perhaps the only way to put this to the test is for people to go out into the streets, and show him he never had “14 million votes,” as claimed, and does not have them now.