THE  22nd  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  EDSA:  PEOPLE & UNITY  LEADING  TO  PROGRESS

MANILA, FEBRUARY 25, 2008,
(BULLETIN) THE 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution is regarded as a watershed in Philippine history, what one scholar referred to as the third wave of democratization.

The EDSA People Power Revolution ushered in political, economic, and social reforms, immediately restoring democratic processes. While the road towards democratic consolidation from the EDSA People Power Revolution has been rocky, the spirit of this historic event continues to propel civil society groups and the succeeding political administrations to work towards democratic deepening. The EDSA People Power Revolution is also credited with inspiring similarly non-violent political transformations in other countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. As the Filipinos proved that the collective power of citizens is sufficient to repel attempts of autocratic leaders to quell the movement for democracy, peoples in other parts of the world exhibited the same courage in emancipating themselves from totalitarian rule.

Today, our nation commemorates the 22nd anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. With the theme "Peace and Unity Leading to Progress," the commemoration today seeks to remind every Filipino of the importance of unity in sustaining the countryís trek to progress.

Every Filipino should pause for a moment today to reflect on the spirit of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution and contribute to the national momentum for greater prosperity.

TRIBUNE  ANALYSIS: Revolutionary or succession govít? By Alejandro Lichauco 02/25/2008

Will it be a revolutionary govít as in Edsa I or a constitutional successor as in Edsa II?

As the political situation heads toward another episode of regime change, the broad question posed by the title of this piece must now be asked: Will it be a revolutionary government in which Congress and the Constitution are abolished; or one in accordance with the constitutional succession prescribed in the Constitution.

If it is the former, then it becomes everymanís guess as to who heads the government. But whoever it is, the answer will essentially be determined by the military faction which succeeds in bringing about the ouster. If it is the latter, then it clearly will be the Vice President. And Congress as well as the Constitution is kept intact.

This piece will attempt a discussion of the pros and cons of the question.

First, on the question of the constitutional succession. There are certainly factors that argue in favor of this scenario. For one, it appeals to a mindset which abhors violence and uncertainty. It meets the requirements of those who believe that change is necessary but that the change should come about peacefully and in an orderly and legal manner. It is a scenario which, it can be argued, wonít aggravate an already volatile economic situation and one which business, particularly big business and foreign investors, would presumably prefer. In fact, it is a scenario which, again it can be argued, would, in fact, stabilize an unstable political and economic situation while leaving the door open for fundamental changes and reform.

The appeal of this scenario canít be underestimated. It is a scenario which should strongly appeal to the church, the business community, both foreign and domestic, the political sympathizers and supporters of the Vice President who certainly will argue that the Vice President deserves a chance to prove himself. It is a scenario which should satisfy those who protest and even march the streets primarily because they donít want GMA and donít have any strong feelings one way or the other about the Vice President. It is a scenario which, unlike the first, would likely call for the scrapping of Congress and the Constitution as what happened in Edsa I, should be overwhelmingly desired by the political establishment to whom the abolition of Congress would be a calamity that should be avoided at all cost.

Partisans of this scenario will certainly argue that flawed as the Vice President might be in the eyes of his critics, it is to be infinitely more desirable than a scenario whose consequences one canít possibly foresee. Who, they will ask, will constitute the revolutionary government? For how long will it govern? And exactly how will it govern?

That said, what then can one say about a revolutionary government which wonít be bound by any Constitution, whose exact nature at this moment canít possibly be predicted and whose consequences canít possibly be anticipated or foreseen at this time.

A revolutionary government draws its appeal primarily from those who believe that the status quo has become totally untenable; that anything, even chaos, is preferable to it; that matters can only get worse under the Vice President as they did get worse when Erap was succeeded by GMA; that the Vice President himself, the Constitution and the political pros who make up Congress are precisely the problem and that all of them must go along with a deeply flawed Constitution and the political system it represents, that as long as the Constitution stands, the political system it represents and created stands, and it is precisely that system which must go.

Proponents of a revolutionary government will argue that more than 20 years of the current Constitution are proof enough that, under it, the problem of poverty, of peace and order and governance have only one way to go, and that is to deteriorate and deteriorate in leaps and bounds. They will argue that under a revolutionary government, the people at least stand the hope of being heard and of bringing change about, whereas under the current Constitution, even hope is impossible and there can only be despair. They will argue that more than 20 years of the political system established by the current Constitution are proof enough that the system and the fundamental law that established it to work, and have been designed to work, only for the benefit of special interests, of foreign investors and the political pros; that as long as the Constitution stands, the likes of those who now constitute the governing political and economic class wonít only remain but will multiply along with their greed; that more than 20 years of the Constitution and the political system under it are incontrovertible, empirical evidence that only political and economic disaster can come out of them and that the sooner they go, the better.

Anything, proponents of the revolutionary government will argue, is preferable to the status quo preserved and represented by the Constitution.

Anything ó including chaos and revolution.

Even reflective members of the church might buy this. After all, the church did support a revolutionary government when it called for Edsa I, didnít it? And havenít the bishops just admitted that they committed a mistake when they mounted a ďconstitutional successorĒ in Edsa II?

So ó why not a revolutionary government, all over again?

What do you say?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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