Cebu Philippines Web Portal OP-ED: GLORIA MUST GO


On February 25, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo irrevocably tranished this nation by bringing the Philippines back to dictatorship. Whether she committed electoral fraud or not, her administration's raid of an independent newspaper proved that Gloria is not worthy of the office of the president. Gloria has clearly shown once and for all that she is a power-hungry megalomaniac who is not fit to govern this proud republic.

Gloria, you are a graduate of Harvard University and a classmate of Bill Clinton. When you came into power, we gave you the benefit of the doubt, and hoped that you might steer the country towards development and prosperity.

But your presidency has been blemished by scandal after scandal. Even as your cabinet resigned, you clung to power, and when Susan Roces accused you of having stolen the presidency "not once, but twice," we could not help but concur. Your worst crime, however, was yet to come.

On February 25, 2006, one day after declaring a State of Emergency, your presidency raided the offices of an independent newspaper which dared to tell the truth, and by doing so plunged this nation back into the darkest days of dictatorship.

Shutting down newspapers is what dictators do, Gloria, not elected presidents who govern with the mandate of the people. Elected presidents who run democracies are not allowed to tread on the freedom of the press. Gloria, by putting yourself above democracy, you have stained the honor of this republic, and committed a crime of treason against the people. Whether you stole the presidency or not, your actions on February 25 proved that you are not worthy of the office of the president.

Gloria, you must go.

There will be those too cowardly to oppose you for fear of damaging the economy. But the truth is that there is not much left to damage. The Philippines remains a desperately poor country; 20 years after EDSA I, the vast majority of people live on less than 100 pesos a day, and just about everyone is trying to get out of the country. While other Asian nations have surged ahead and prospered, becoming tiger economies with bright prospects, the Philippines has languished, and continues to subsist on handouts from OFW's.

Yet, poor as our country is, we Filipinos could still hold our heads up high, because one thing differentiated the Philippines from the other impoverished countries in Asia and Africa: the Philippines was a democracy, a proud republic with a proud history. We fought the Spanish, we fought the Americans, we fought the Japanese, and in 1986, we gave the world the expression "People Power," showing the Poles and other peoples in Eastern Europe how to overthrow their dictators.

On February 25, 2006, the Philippines ceased to be a democracy. The Philippines is now little different from any other tinpot dictatorship in Africa or Central America.

Gloria, by violating the freedom of the press, a fundamental and inalienable principle of democratic society, you have shown that you have become obssessed with power for the sake of power. You deserve the same fate as other leaders who have become drunk with power: Idi Amin, Nicolai Caucescu, and, of course, Ferdinand Marcos. (Or just plain drunk, like Erap.) We do not know whether you will be exiled or imprisoned, but one thing is certain:

February 25, 2006


The first People Power revolution was brought about on the streets of Manila. The second People Power revolution was fueled by cellphones. The third People Power revolution is happening right here, on the Internet.

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