Saturday, November 1, 2008

Regime and ‘Systems’ Change

It is not enough to call for regime change; it needs to be accompanied by a much-needed “systems” change -- both implemented at the same time. Otherwise, such a change will only come to naught, to be followed by an even more difficult period of continuing deterioration. I trust that the group of religious leaders that made a strong pitch for changing Gloria Arroyo has done so only because it is a sine qua non for systems change, i.e. opening the way for essential changes in policies, institutions and leading personalities upon Mrs. Arroyo’s removal. I bring this up because the systemic changes required mainly involve: The change of the ruling elite from self-serving oligarchs and cronies to visionary Filipinos and public servants like President Estrada, Gen. Danilo Lim, Senator Trillanes, the Bagong Katipuneros and their allies.

Since any discussion on new leadership personalities to lead the charge towards systemic change is unavoidable, we must stress that this leadership’s character is best defined by its leaders’ ideology, whether expressed or implicit. Moreover, these leaders must have a track record that is the reverse of the prevailing but dying “leadership” of Gloria Arroyo, the oligarchs, and their foreign backers. In other words, in order to be truly responsive to the needs of the nation and the times, this new leadership must be: (a) Filipinist and nationalist through and through against the globalists of the decaying order; (b) altruistic in stark contrast to the present regime of political and corporate greed; and (c) a unifier instead of a divisive force, which is what the ruling class is today.

Sadly, our society’s present rulers have exacerbated the class divide, creating more and more impoverished Filipinos, which the surveys incessantly remind us of. At the same time, they have rapidly decimated the ranks of the middle class and narrowed this segment down to an endangered species. Worse, it seems that they have adopted the same attitude expressed by Warren Buffet in the US , as narrated in a November 26, 2006 article in The New York Times by Ben Stein:

“It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. ‘How can this be fair?’ he (Buffett) asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. ‘How can this be right?’ Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare. ‘There’s class warfare, all right,’ Mr. Buffett said, ‘but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’ Unlike Michael Moore, the film director who’s been waging a crusade for middle class America for a just US of A, Buffett just took pleasure in ‘winning the class war;’ but now the US elections may soon take revenge on Buffett’s class.”

In the Philippines too, the victimized classes consisting of the 3.3 million severely hunger-stricken families (or around 17 million Filipino men, women and children), and the other 50 million who are just plain hungry, as with the dwindling middle class -- who are bracing for the impending hunger that may strike as the global financial tsunami hits in the next few months, are all suffering from this horrendous inflationary effect of Gloria and the Makati Business Club’s neo-liberal, pro-oligarch policies of ever increasing taxes, ever increasing privatized public utilities (power, water, energy, port services) profits, ever increasing food prices, ever increasing corporate profits, ever shrinking peso purchasing power, ever dwindling public services, ever increasing corruption, ad nausea.

Speaking of Arroyo’s business allies, we read this news about Donald Dee’s impertinent tirade against Archbishop Lagdameo’s call for Gloria’s early expulsion, and this reminded us of the vile history of his family’s predatory business lineage that started with his brother, Dewey Dee, absconding with billions of pesos stolen from the Philippine financial system a few decades back, to this Duck’s plots with Gloria Arroyo from her days in the Garments and Textile Board up to the present. Someday, there’ll be enough time for this Duck to be cooked for the Filipino people’s savoring. And while we are reckoning the sins of Gloria’s cronies, I hasten to add this challenge to Si-Raul-o Gonzales’ charge of “sedition” against Lagdameo: Why don’t you arrest him?

Just the same, it was a encouraging to hear General Yano’s name openly mentioned in the Church leaders’ press conference. Although Yano responded later by repeating the official mantra of following the chain of command, the archbishop’s mention of his possible role for regime change triggers uncontrollable chain of events in several directions. For some, it means the “handwriting on the wall” for Yano; for others, the writing is for the Arroyo regime to heed and tremble at. Another name mentioned in the bishops’ open forum was Chief Justice Puno, who a day later, was reported by ANC to have said that he openly supports the call of the bishops -- which is yet another “handwriting on the wall,” but in this case, clearly calls the attention of Gloria.

Whoever leads the charge to change the corrupt and oppressive Gloria Arroyo regime now will get tremendous support from the people of this nation. On top of the heavy burden of growing hunger, poverty, taxes, job losses, peso devaluations, and a government in perpetual drift weighing down on the Filipinos’ shoulders, all the arrogance and incessant lies of this regime and Malacañang-squatting family have amounted to daily slaps and insults against the people’s dignity and intelligence. Thus, to unburden this nation, a swift move -- with the help of our soldiers faithful to the principles of genuine democracy -- is ideal to unblock the road toward national unity, conciliation, cleansing and reform, and prosperity.

If called, we will rally in the streets to support such move and defend the patriotic soldiers for change. Millions of Filipinos will cheer and join.

No comments: