Friday, December 5, 2008

Behind the sound and fury

The sound and fury over Gloria’s Cha-cha cum Con-ass are rising. Among those who have joined the anti-Cha-cha bandwagon, El Shaddai’s Mike Velarde and JIL’s Eddie Villanueva are sure to give their “heavenly” stamp to this rallying cry. A supposed Palace ally, meanwhile, the NPC of Danding Cojuangco, is said to be ready to spring a surprise on Gloria too at the proper time.

Of course, President Estrada has long warned about this and is now ready to mobilize the briefly hibernating masa against it. Coupled with Catholic Church progressives, these combined groups will be a force to reckon with.

But lest anyone believes Gloria’s schemes have been thwarted, there is still a Con-con fallback, and it will be foolhardy to think she can’t buy her way into that as well.

The Liberal Party, for example, has already expressed its desire for an elected Con-con in 2010, which would seem to bar the incumbent for a new term on the premise that Gloria can’t get her way with an elected body.

But that’s just wrong on many counts. First, Gloria can pick the winners in a Con-con election with her control of the Comelec. Then, she can control that delegation with her money, in the same way that she has held local executives and Supreme Court justices, among many others, by their balls.

A Con-con could then neutralize the Catholic Church, which has expressed openness to this route since 2007, as objections from progressives will be drowned out by conservatives, who’ll argue for the body’s seeming democratic composition, apart from its expected espousal of federalism, which some quarters in that church have foolishly rendered as a panacea to save the country.

At best, a Con-con would only put the anti-Cha-cha forces in disarray. Come to think of it, this may yet be the best bet for Gloria to open up the Philippine economy, particularly Mindanao, to US ownership.

Filipinos should therefore brush up on global realpolitik to understand the Philippine political-economic milieu today -- an arena where Gloria has outsmarted almost everyone.

Gloria understands that the key to her political longevity is to capitalize on the geopolitical and economic interests of the US to her advantage.

In Edsa II, she promised US transnational corporations the right to plunder the nation through power and other privatizations in exchange for their sponsorship of her coup. And in the years that followed, we saw how her covert Edsa II cohort, the MILF, formally kowtow to the US in a letter to Bush, with its acquiescence for their joint primacy over what should only be RP’s national patrimony in Mindanao.

The US is a superpower because of its economic and military clout. Even with its economic clout now greatly diminished, the “Sword of Damocles” still hovers above any Malacañang occupant because of potential US-instigated subversion through its many elements in the military, police and NGOs or “civil society” groups.

In the 1989 coup attempt by the RAM, for instance, it was the US agent FVR who pleaded with then Gen. Colin Powell to get Phantom jet backing for the Cory Aquino regime, forcing coup leaders to back down in the face of what they perceived to be “superior power.”

But putting military might aside, we also need to discern the deeper issues that are clouded by the sound and fury or the smoke-and-mirrors of what turn out as anti-Cha-cha and anti-Joc-joc “theaters of the absurd.”

Let me point out that the Transco franchise was passed last week by the legislature right from under our very nose despite the Senate’s promise never to allow this P1.1-trillion highway robbery of the Filipino people through.

To refresh, $6 billion worth of Transco assets were sold for a significantly paltry $4 billion sum and on an installment, pay-as-you-earn basis, transferring annual clean profits from public to private hands of at least P20 billion, or P500 billion in its 25-year franchise, without compounded interest. Perhaps, our only consolation is that this “franchise” will expire at some distant point. But still, imagine the glee of this transnational syndication composed of the Carlyle group with the China State Grid and Gloria’s “packager,” renowned for his ZTE role and his port operations that charge the highest fees in the world!

Thus, the real way to stop not only the Con-ass but the Con-con and the US-Gloria collusion is to inform all Filipinos, with special emphasis on the AFP, on the real plan behind Cha-cha by whatever means, to dismember the country and swindle us of our national patrimony, to the detriment of our children and grandchildren. In sum, it is the theft of our country’s chances toward economic security and prosperity that is at stake here.

The only action this country needs to bring about social change and liberation, which neither a Con-ass-ed or Con-con-ned Cha-cha, nor even an election can lead to, is a nationalist revolution lead by civilian and AFP patriots -- the same revolution that harks back to the days of Rizal and Bonifacio.

If the parliamentary opposition remains weak, it’s only because it is still not unified in embracing the true political revolutionary, Erap, who aroused masa power. If the political revolution has yet to push through, it is only because the likes of Gen. Danilo Lim and Sen. Antonio Trillanes continue to be wasted in detention.
Let us have the nationalist revolution first before any constitutional review. Otherwise, we will only fall right into the trap of Gloria and the foreign powers.

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