Friday, November 30, 2007

Flushing the coup b'etat

It's quite fashionable nowadays to ask the President to step down, but if it's only Trillanes and cohorts who would initiate another uprising in a manner like yesterday's event, honestly, I'd rather stay home and sip tsokolate while watching all the drama unfold on TV. It's one thing to express dissent and to act on it -- hey, didn't we do just that in EDSA 2? -- but for a duly elected senator to walk out of a court proceeding, and take over a hotel with armed men -- I think we should draw the line. This was the same guy who struck fear among the citizenry by planting explosives around a Makati mall complex a few years back in a similar attempt to take power from a legally-sitting president, however spotty her reputation is. If I were still the impressionable UP freshman who was constantly exposed to ideas that we should fight for our rights, that the government is evil and change should start with the people (and so on), I would have said "Go Trillanes! Down with the Government! Behead the bastards!" But the years have made me realize that the most effective way to initiate change is from the inside. He was already there, for some reason allowed to run for office and actually won as senator, but he blew his chances. Okay, so he said he wasn't allowed to do his job as senator. But with his history of mouthing slogans, conspiracy theories, disrupting peace and disrespecting procedures that the law (which he is expected to uphold) has put in place, I think that's understandable. And staging a coup attempt on the eve of Bonifacio's birth anniversary? How tacky! So does he think he's the new Bonifacio?

The police reaction to the attempted coup was understandable, but admittedly a bit overkill. Trillanes' men were armed, and the state has the right to defend itself from those who would attempt to seize control of the government. But to ram a tank through the lobby entrance? Welcome to sunny Beirut! And what about the handcuffing of media people? Was that really necessary? The police explanation was they're just making sure that no Magdalo soldiers were pretending to be media people (indeed, two Magdalo soldiers were later discovered hiding in one of the rooms). The explanation kinda makes sense, but press people have huge IDs on their chests which would have really made it easier for them to be identified. The police could have just asked, or they could have just taken them to a nearby ballroom for identification, instead of handcuffing them and then hauling them inside a bus and taking them to police headquarters. I think the police officers were well-meaning; they just didn't see the negative impact their actions will have.

(Props to Ces Drilon et al for once again showing the true journalists they really are, as opposed to being just plain newsreaders. Take that, Korina Sanchez!)

Curfew? Again quite understandable especially as people from the slums were reportedly being made hakot (again) by the opposition to provide warm bodies for yet another People Power-ish shebang scheduled supposedly for today. But was it really legal? Enough grounds na ba ito to have curfew not just in Metro Manila but also in Central Luzon and the Calabarzon areas? Besides, curfews are scary because they remind people of Martial Law. Not now creeps, I'm trying to grow my hair long!

(Photo from philstar.com)

3 comments:

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