Palace propagandists who spread the yarn “People Power fatigue” opportunistically forget to mention or refuse to admit that their principal Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was catapulted to office by the second People Power uprising in 2001.
They also fail to mention that it is a universally-acknowledged right of peoples and nations to form new governments and consequently demolish existing governments that they deem to be unfit, unwanted or oppressive.
Moreover, they use the Constitution as a shield from attempts by the real Sovereign power — the Filipino people themselves — when the latter flex their muscles and press their demand for Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s removal from power.
It is also obvious that they have no qualms (mis)using People Power for their own benefit. They proclaim as bogus People Power the anti-Arroyo demonstrations that are fast catching fire across the country, while declaring as genuine the pro-Arroyo mobilizations mounted by national and local government executives who require state employees, students of state schools and groups of persons to attend the rally and sing paeans to their beleaguered leader.
People Power is not a new concept. People Power 1 and 2 are only modern adaptations of what we used to call democracy. In 1896, the real first People Power was born in the Philippines when Filipinos began to wage armed struggle against the Spanish colonial rulers and thus giving birth to that entity called the Philippines. It was People Power because for the first time, Filipinos realized their nationhood, united among themselves and fought for the right to determine their own destiny as a nation. True to form, they were slated to inaugurate years later the first republic in Asia. (That the first Philippine republic was aborted is another story altogether.)
People Power is not about rallies or about going to Edsa or Mendiola. It refers to the sovereign power of the Filipino people to make and remake laws and political realities. When the people decide to come out and act on an issue, the Constitution plays second fiddle or is simply set aside as what we have seen in 1986 and 2001 when the uprisings chased away sitting presidents in clear violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court and the sucessor-governments were forced to cope with and recognize the historical facts.
If and when the people again decide to put an end to the Arroyo presidency, it would not be a crime but a clear exercise of sovereign power on the part of the Filipino people.
Mrs. Arroyo has also raised the pseudo-bogey of endless People Power revolts as detrimental to democracy and to the economy. But she says so with a clear self-serving motive of defending her recalcitrant presidency from her greatest enemy — the people.
People Power may destroy the next presidency but only if and when her successor would follow her steps or those of Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada. We are not a nation of fools or stupid folk who would depose a president without any sufficient reason or merely at whim.
True, the people are tired but not of struggling for authentic democracy and reforms but of the extremely rotten status quo dominated by cheating presidents, oppressive social structures and economic conditions, corruption in high places and foreign domination over various spheres of our national life. We are sick and tired of the system as we see and feel it everyday.
How dare Arroyo and her sycophantic cabal of supporters even insinuate that we would stop fighting these malignant problems and take hold of our destiny as people once and for all?!
Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan