MANILA, June 30, 2005
(STAR) ROSES AND THORNS By Alejandro R. Roces - It is difficult to understand the times. The nation is undoubtedly facing many difficult problems but the answer to all these problems is for the people to rally behind Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s program of government. Instead, many irresponsible people are urging the people to take drastic measures that will create more problems for the nation instead of resolving serious problems. One classic example is the human rights lawyer who is urging the people not to pay their taxes. How can this resolve any of the problems we are facing? If anything, it will reduce our democratic nation to a Kamote republic. Let us see if the lawyer who is urging the people not to pay their taxes will follow his own suggestion.

Another lawyer has submitted an impeachment complaint against President Arroyo to Congress. According to the lawyer, the basis for his complaint was former Supreme Court Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma’s opinion that the Gloria-Garci tapes can only be resolved through impeachment. From what we understand, the tape, whether it is genuine or not, cannot be used as evidence in court. It was illegally acquired and is a violation of the right to privacy. The nation is waiting to see if any member of Congress will endorse it.

Other groups have suggested the holding of a snap election. This is possible only if both Pres. Arroyo and Vice-Pres. De Castro voluntarily resign or are legally ousted from office. At this point in time, there is no doubt that the results of the last presidential elections are final. President Arroyo was the incumbent president running for re-election and her opponent, Fernando Poe, Jr. is now deceased.

Another faction wants the country to hold a constitutional convention in order to change the system from presidential to federal. Its advocates believe that it will make People Power a thing of the past.

What we must all do is face the facts. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is our duly-elected Head of State and we must all rally behind her till the end of her term. The issue of the controversial tapes and the existence of jueteng in the country are not valid bases for impeachment. On the whole, the country is doing well. We have peace and order and a sound program of government. The rest is up to us. If we want a change of administration, it will have to wait till the next elections. What the opposition should do is to present their own program of government. The problem today is that the opposition simply opposes the party in power. There was a time when the party in power and the opposition had two distinct programs of government and that is what determined the politician’s and the people’s choice of political party. Now, politicians can shift from one party to another without changing their stand on any political issue. What is in dispute are the positions available to the party members. The only difference between the two main political parties are just their names.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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