Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Last People’s Revolt

A Sunday headline blared “The World Will Not Forgive a Third Edsa Revolt” as part of Gloria Arroyo’s pre-Edsa I anniversary message. Other than its boring redundancy for having been said one too many times, I detect an undercurrent of panic in her so-called “warning”--a conscious or unconscious wish for another revolt not to occur to spare her from the guillotine that awaits.

Of course, Gloria is twisting a few facts about the Edsa revolts too, the first being her now apparent denial that a “Third Edsa Revolt” has actually taken place. In her desire to wish it away despite its being etched in our nation’s history, her few futile attempts to “reconcile” with the real people’s forces--making up the poor who rose in solidarity with President Joseph E. Estrada--by openly (but grudgingly) admitting to the fact of Edsa Tres in speeches, just show how hollow and hypocritical her latest soundbyte is.

Second, I wonder where Gloria got the idea of a world being unforgiving of another Edsa revolt. Edsa I and II were both coups d’etat masqueraded as “people power,” not unlike Ukraine ’s Orange Revolution and Georgia’s Rose Revolution, both engineered by western oligarchic interests. All such incidents, including the elite-led “People Power Revolutions” in the Philippines , have since proven to be massive fiascos where people were made to suffer from economic deterioration, arising from a severely eroded political sovereignty, as these nations became sacrificial pawns in the geopolitics and economic exploitation of western powers.

The Philippines was among the earliest victims of these “rainbow revolution” projects of the West, becoming the basket case of Asia in one generation alone while its neighbors all zoomed past it.

We must keep a historical perspective on this chronology of events if we are to use it for the turnaround of our beloved Philippines . The last 25 years was a time of what I would like to call, “The Great Con,” when a whole generation was hoodwinked into swallowing the western oligarchy’s conception of the universe based on: the universality, efficacy and efficiency of the profit motive and materialism; the greatest good coming from corporatism and competition; the removal of all regulation on financial and corporate power; and the end to the idea of nations and states through liberalization, deregulation, privatization and globalization, foregoing the protection of public interest and national economic sovereignty.

Edsa I and II represented the resurgence of this very type of neo-colonialism, which the national government quickly implemented in accelerating stages under the aegis of globalization. Alas, the rosiest future for the country promised under the new democracy by the Manila-centric, elite-led, Wolfowitz-designed coup d’etat turned out to be the institutionalization of plutocracy with the enshrining of the “dagdag-bawas” system by the Philippine Establishment’s most “respected” lawyers such as Christian Monsod, the original Benjamin Abalos.

The glow of Edsa I quickly faded in the seven years under the first Edsa government as the economy resumed its precipitous decline after a brief uptick from the euphoria of the so-called revolution. Before and after the elections of 1992, the nation was plunged into some of the worst crises in memory, such as the massive power outages and the first rice “pila” (queue), resulting from the scuttling of the Marcos energy program and the “high value crop export” policy of the globalist FVR.

Not surprisingly, these led the masses to turn to a leader of their heart’s desire, President Estrada, who, upon assumption into office in 1998, instituted food security (self-reliance) programs; sought a final end to the MILF and NPA insurgencies; opposed issuances of sovereign guarantees to government-private company projects (hence, never signing any of the onerous Independent Power Producer contracts); and resisted automatic rate increases for power, water and other basic utilities, among other things.

Estrada was everything that could upset the global and regional plans the West had envisioned for the coming new century. Thus, Edsa II had to happen, and a young, Georgetown-educated politician (like Ukraine ’s Saakashvili from Columbia and George Washington Universities ) with “economic” academic credentials but without a strong political base was hoisted into power. Privatization proceeded with ferocity; utility rates soared; the financial sector became more powerful and abusive; and the 2004 election cheating transpired with the blessings of the international community to extend the regime. But all throughout, the people became a lot poorer and the Edsa II glow got tarnished even more rapidly.

The Edsa III of May 2001, just four months post-Edsa II, had hundreds of thousands of poor people who outnumbered the fifty-thousand-crowd of Cardinal Sin and Gloria Arroyo. But with Gen. Dionisio Santiago (now lording over PDEA) under strict orders from Gloria then, soldiers machine-gunned the marching crowd and an untold number fell bloodied and dead.

The poor were left alone as no “protector of the people” came to their rescue. The middle class continued to believe in Edsa II, until they got hit with: the collapse of the College Assurance Plan, the betrayal by the largest bankers of the PEP educational plan holders, the continuing increases in power and waters rates, and the corruption and scandals.

The reason the final revolt and probably the Last Revolution is inevitable is that the middle class and the masa are now one in experiencing the deceit, abuse and treachery of the ruling class, a.k.a. the oligarchy.

The global financial collapse will accelerate this as hundreds of thousands of OFWs forced back home will reinforce our Last Revolution. What remains is the fortification of revolutionary leadership in the military, steadily firming up with manifestos of support for Gen. Danilo Lim. While there are those who petition for Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, President Estrada is still primus inter pares as far as civilian leadership goes. Whatever scenario unfolds--elections or Cha-cha, the Last Revolution is inevitable. After that, we can start rebuilding a better Philippines .

(Tune in to 1098AM: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. / Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with Venezuelan ChargĂ© d’Affaires Hon. Manuel Iturbe on “The Chavez Victory;” also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)