Vol. 7 No. 252
Sunday, July 12, 2009
   
  Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines



The challenge for us who have a better understanding of the political landscape of our land is on how to educate the masses so that they could see the real picture of the issue.

Catchy Rhetoric

There is an irrelevant hope that democracy in the country may still be preserved and a fair electoral exercise may still happen next year after a congressman in Luzon has hinted that about a hundred other congressmen would withdraw support to the Charter Change through constituent assembly if one of the provisions of the change includes term extension of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to Representative Joseph Gilbert Violago of Nueva Ecija, his colleagues in the Lower House are ready to pull out their support to charter change if constitutional changes go beyond the economic provisions stipulated in House Resolution 1109, meaning Arroyo’s rumored term extension should not be included in the agenda.

As we all know, House Resolution 1109 has been met with fierce protests by many sectors in society and the move has made Arroyo highly unpopular here and abroad.

If the reported outpouring of additional pork barrel funds after the passage of House Resolution 1109 were true, what is the point of initially supporting a charter change without touching the term extension of the President? Watch out. Lately administration officials are using catchy rhetoric in which words have obvious double meanings, thereby confusing the electorates.

But this is the scenario: once Arroyo decides to run as congresswoman it becomes very clear that the 2010 elections will go on as scheduled. Nonetheless, shifting of government form from presidential to parliamentary one is very likely, for there is only one indication that Arroyo still wants to stay in power: her seeking a congressional post in her home province.

Therefore, having an election next year has no bearing on Arroyo’s fate. It is the change of government form after 2010 that will put Arroyo back to power. It could mean a new title: Prime Minister Gloria Arroyo.

If this scenario happens, Arroyo’s term as president is not extended and it becomes irrelevant to any debate on her political ambition.

The greatest danger here is now clear: it is the change of government form.

Now, how can we stop this from ever happening? The answer is forthcoming: boycott all administration candidates. If majority of Filipino voters reject all administration candidates, Arroyo’s political empire will lose all its stings. The empire will collapse overnight. Arroyo will be history.

It shows that power remains in the hands of our people. They themselves can change the political tide of the country.

Easier said than done. The challenge for us who have a better understanding of the political landscape of our land is on how to educate the masses so that they could see the real picture of the issue. How many of the voters can explain the difference between a presidential form of government and a parliamentary one? How many of the voters would be able to figure out the risk if Arroyo stays in power after 2010?

The answers to the questions can be frightening.

Not Impossible
Catchy Rhetoric
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