Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why GMA Should Not Resign

"Write in heat." So goes that sage advice to writers. And that's precisely what I did last week, in those few hours after the explosion in Glorietta, when so very little was known and speculation was rife. The perspective is so much different when you get a little distance from the subject or the event, when you have a bit more space for objectivity.

Nonetheless, it was a revealing exercise in zeitgeist. Our initial reaction, understandably, was that it was a bomb. Understandably, there was shock and fear. But surprisingly, there was also a palpable feeling of disgust -- not just a vague and generic sense of disgust, but one with a very clear subject.

Was I alone in this manner of thinking? Apparently not. "My son was not a victim of an accident, but a collateral damage of a government who wants to divert attention from the present political crisis it's facing," said the father of one of the victims. And the family went so far as to actually refuse money and offers of assistance from GMA.

Of all the countries in the world, we are probably unique in yet another matter: that, in the event of a terrorist attack, the government is immediately one of the prime suspects in the public opinion. Truly democratic countries do not need to resort to such tactics, and truly authoritarian countries do not need to hide behind such subterfuge.

And yet, despite this state of affairs, we persist in hobbling on, unable -- or unwilling -- to seek real solutions.

Not long after I put up my previous article on my blog, two people wrote in with these comments:

"Not that I like this president but... who shall we ask to govern us...? Marcos loyalists? Estrada apologists? Ramos the not-yet-satisified...? Aquino the pure...?"


"Yeah, and who do you think should replace her? Judging from the current crop of politicians, they all look and smell the same to me."

There you go. The reasons behind why GMA should not resign. Not because of her economic brilliance, not because of her brilliant foreign policy, not because of her compassionate domestic policy, not because of her administrative effectiveness, and certainly not because of her moral ascendancy. Simply this: we don't see any other alternative, and therefore we are content with the best of the worst.

And therefore: GMA and her cohorts can lie to us, can cheat us, can steal from us, can kill us, can ream us, and we're going to continue taking it (and we better damn well be liking it!) because hey! the other guy is going to do it to us anyway.

Such brilliant and irrepressible Filipino logic!

P.S. So who do I think should replace her? That is not for any one person to decide. That is why we have presidential elections that are supposed to be honest and fair. And we all know what happened last time.


  1. I'm batting for Bill Clinton.

    - Hoovenson

  2. Why should GMA resign in the first place? She hasn't done anything wrong, and all these accusations that she had a part in the bombings are just knee-jerk baseless accusations without a single shred of evidence. She doesn't cheat, she doesn't steal, she's infinitely more competent than the alternatives, and if you look at the facts she'll far and away the best president this country has ever had the good graces of having. You can accuse and accuse and if you do it enough times people will start to believe you but you're just another jackhammer tearing down this country with your crab mentality. You sit on your ivory tower and pretend to be a master of logic but you're just another idiot following the crowds.


  3. Great reads! Now a must-read...

  4. VRomeo: dude, what have you been smoking?

  5. Best of the worst indeed.

    Why GMA should not resign? Because it is not a graceful exit in a way that's partly admitting that she indeed is not competent enough to be our President. I hope next time it's not a matter of preference (evil and lesser evil) it should be sincerity and commitment to help the country, but who is sincere anyway? :)

  6. Tuso si gloria. She's the alpha and omega of all the alligators and the rest of the alligators hate her for it. she knows this. she's more wily than a Corleone.

    She knows how to manipulate the system. She's the ultimate bond villain. damn. that's why you need james bond to take her down.

  7. the problem with GMA is that no matter what she'll do, there's always a perception that she's corrupt. so even if she didn't do anything wrong, no one will believe her.

    funny thing is that even with that line of reasoning (i.e. she hasn't done anything wrong), is that it's crazy-logic. if she hasn't done anything wrong, the next question would be...

    ... why hasn't she done anything to right the wrongs? she's the president of the fricking country. she can do anything she wants.

    the fact is, she could have been the best president this country could have-- but like all possibile potentiality in our past presidents-- but she didn't. whose fault is that? well...

  8. Hi, I'm the second commenter of those you cited here who is against in Arroyo's resignation as I'm giving her a chance to redeem herself as she's on the last stretch of her administration.

    But with the recent event of pardoning Erap, she has lost all what remains of my respect, if there's any for her.

    Yet, I still don't want her to resign. She doesn't deserve a graceful exit now, SHE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED AND CHARGED ALSO LIKE ERAP!

  9. the thing is, politics in general is such a dirty arena that few truly good individuals can survive in it. even roco, whom i voted for back in 2004, had his scandals. i can only imagine that if i were in the president's seat, things are just not that simple.

    especially if your husband is a crook, and if it's dirty money you're sitting on :P

    if fr. ed panlilio survives this whole fiasco, initiates the local government reforms he has set forth to do, and then runs for president, i would definitely vote for him. maybe i'll even help start EDSA 12 for him. but as it is, i think of him and the other politicians whom i actually consider "good" to be undergoing a trial by fire. they have to prove that they can change the system before they declare themselves worthy of ascending to a far more powerful seat.

    personally, until i see that any good leader can thrive in such a political mess, i can't call for deposing this particular president without a decent alternative. i'm not saying i'm a fan of gloria - it's just the opposite. i think she's graceless and weak and a brazen liar. but i also think she's facing a lot more opposition than any one person can handle, and she actually has a plan for getting this country to move forward. which is more than i can say for anyone else who has the machineries to succeed her.

    (seriously, i'd rather have her than erap, who - if i understand correctly - may well be eligible for the presidency again if she pardons him and then steps down. or an erap/FPJ clone. whom we KNOW will win if no one more popular steps up.)

    as a country we are separated by more than just distance. we're set apart by ideologies, languages, cultural differences, and many other major gaps. i think it's useless to hope that we'd rather band together to create a strong nation without a strong leader, rather than pursue our selfish interests in the face of all this adversity, and all the opportunities it entails. we're not under martial law; we're free to leave and speak out against the administration any time we want, and it's what a great many of us actually do.

    it's also folly to hope that we can magically produce a single leader who understands all our needs and can give us everything we want, while keeping the wealthy saboteur dynasties at bay. there are more bad alternatives than good mainly because the ability to put the corrupt into power still does not rest solely in the hands of the people.

  10. very well said... should Erap ascend the Rafflesia throne (aka Presidency, rafflesias are giant stinky flowers, btw), then the idiosyncratic masses have successfully made me embrace xenocentrism in shame.

    How I wish voting was only for college graduates... true it'd be an aristocracy, but nothing would change anyways.

    Long live cynicism!


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