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Lessons for the Anti-GMA Struggle
"Ramos still for Arroyo.” One headline blared. I often hear that “Wisdom comes with age,” but clearly this isn’t always so. Take the three cases: 77-year-old DoJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez, 73-year-old presidential legal adviser Sergio Apostol and 79-year-old FVR — they’ve all cast doubt on the traditional reverence we have for elderly wisdom. Thankfully, the vast majority of Filipino seniors are not like them, and hopefully the Filipino nation older by 21 years since the Edsa I in 1986 should have learned from its history, too.
Wisdom can come with age — as we see in the unifying embrace of former President Estrada’s political shepherding, in the indefatigable crusade of political-economist Alejandro “Ding” Lichauco against inequitable “free trade” economics, in former UP president Dodong Nemenzo’s continuing struggle against the unjust social order, in former Vice President Teofisto Guingona’s long march to liberate this nation, in 81-year-old Bishop Labayen’s fight for a “church of the poor.” These venerable icons of elder statesmanship all share one thing — unrelenting struggle to finish “The unfinished revolution.”
That unfinished revolution is not the people power that has twice retrogressed into restoration-with-a-veageance of the power of the traditional oligarchy and reinforcement of the neo-colonial status of the Philippines under free trade exploitation. The unfinished revolution is the 1896 revolution aiming to free this nation and lead it into a modern, sovereign state. Its fight is not just against corruption, as Lichauco pointed out succinctly in a recent Tribune article. The unfinished revolution is about freeing the Filipino from the economic shackles of neo-colonialism.
Sovereignty is the antithesis of free trade with foreign economic-political powers, yet these are two foundations of the Makati Business Club (MBC) cabal’s economics. Today, as in Edsa I and II, the MBC is again attempting to steal the anti-GMA struggle’s patriotic forces that have waged the past seven years against the MBC’s corrupt marionette, Gloria Arroyo. The local oligarchy stole the 1986 Edsa I insurrection and instigated the 2001 Edsa II to institute and expand their control and exploitation of the country’s wealth. Their corporate profits grew astronomically the past two decades while the country grew poorer. They are trying to do the same again to the present revolution.
The oligarchs danced at Edsa II at the Edsa Shrine, while the beaming Gloria Arroyo was crowned that Jan. 20, 2001. Gloria beaming is gone but they are still dancing day in and out as profits continue to flow from Manila Water, which got billions in tax holidays from Gloria and billions of telecom taxes transferred to oil. There were others who also profited immensely. The foreign economic predators enter the local stock market, siphons off profits from stocks in these companies and then exit the country.
But Gloria’s corruption has been exposed, now these oligarchs are preparing a new dog to fill in the old dog collar — Noli de Castro as their new puppy. The Philippine has fallen close to the bottom of the Asian economic growth ladder because of the two decades of liberalization, sovereign guarantee for loans and privatization of public revenue-generating assets and deregulation. The tiger economies took the track of nationalist, internal development of industrial production and investment in research and development like China, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan et al., which are not without corruption, but they grew: the real problem is not just corruption; it is subservience to foreign and local oligarchs.
Corruption becomes the major problem only because corrupt politicians and generals sell the country to the highest bidders. FVR and Gloria were set up to take over in cheated elections and power-grabs to ensure a government subservient to economic enslavement and exploitation. While I marched at the Paseo de Roxas to Ayala Avenue with the Nov. 29 Movement last Friday, all this was running in my mind: the great mass of middle-class professionals and masa with us in the various groups converging at the Ninoy statue may not be aware of the irony of marching in the oligarchy’s avenues while calling for social and economic change and progress.
They cheered Joey de Venecia III, who really was willing to “deal” until Abalos and FG wanted the lion’s share. The Executive Intelligence Review highlights the complexities: “Shultz’s Boys are Running Yet Another Coup in the Philippines… Feb. 12 (LPAC) — … the same nest of scoundrels who served as the flunkies for George Shultz in 1986 and 2001, in carrying out military-imposed regime change in the Philippines under the cover of “people’s power,” are now preparing to oust… Gloria Arroyo, who apparently no longer serves their masters’ purposes... Gen. Fidel Ramos and... Jose de Venecia... the primary asset of the Heritage Foundation circles in Washington, offering up the Philippines for sale, cheap, to the London-New York speculators, with debt for equity schemes and constitutional changes to allow the foreign takeover of mining and other industries...”
Gloria deserves to be ousted immediately for selling the country off to both the US and China — getting gored in the horns of the dilemma of the two competing powers. Think about this, too: Lozada’s immediate boss was enigmatic spy chief Victor Corpus who is justifiably believed to be in the employ of a foreign intelligence service. This does not subtract from the good Lozada has done, but it casts an additional light on events: This exposé is more than just a morality play, it involves great stakes for two superpowers are involved, and even greater stakes for all of us Filipinos.
Seven years of GMA corruption and oppression, years of worsening life for all Filipinos has generated new revolutionary fervor — will it lead to genuine change or just more of the same worsening conditions? We cannot let the MBC and the oligarchs steal this new revolution again! After 21 years and two errors, we should be wiser. Let’s go for real change, a new revolutionary government — with the help of our nationalist military leaders — and set up a Transition Revolutionary Government, clean up Comelec, the judiciary, redirect the economy and call for new elections. This is an imperative today as the worldwide economic depression and foreign powers threaten the very survival of this nation as a country.
(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.)
Latest page update: made by filresist
, Feb 20 2008, 11:09 AM EST
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