Thursday, November 29, 2007

when democracy goes awry

today marked a dark day for philippine democracy. sometime this afternoon, an army tank barged its way into the lobby of the manila peninsula hotel to make way for a full army siege of a building being used as the command center of a few renegade army soldiers, headed by a newly elected senator, a (deranged) army commander, an (over zealous) priest, and a has-been vice president. the result, ANOTHER failed coup attempt to oust the only president to offer a solution (and stick by it) to solve poverty in the country, ANOTHER disgraced mark on our reputation as a stable nation to foreign investors, ANOTHER exercise of a plan not well thought of, ANOTHER show to distract ourselves with, when the most important issues in the country are being overlooked.... like, whose going to win in PBB?!!!

i swear, while watching the live news feed on ABS-CBN, i found myself livid with frustration!!! i used to respect antonio trillianes back during the oakwood coup attempt. though i reserve the right to disagree with his means, i believed in the sincerity of his intentions and how well he articulated his ideals. he handled the entire affair with respect and poise, not very common from a military man. he was very intelligent and confident, even in the face of inevitable defeat. it was, well, rather sexy and TV lapped him up like a horse addicted to salt lick! he was the poster boy of political defiance and in some respect, a hero as well. his brief act catapulted him to instant stardom! in less than a few minutes, the entire country knew of his name. in a few hours, the entire country knew of his life story. by the following day, people were claiming already to be close friends of his!... he was THAT popular.

despite being imprisoned (but of course, heroes need MORE hardship to solidify their, er, hero-ness), he maintained being defiant, never to bend (over?) to the pressures of the powers that be. his ultimate act of defiance was running for senate. the country, still starstruck by this not so bad looking, articulate, intelligent army boy, full of ideals, full of promise, back him up all the way. he won the elections, no cheating necessary (i hope).

with one leg already in to instill change in this government he so wanted to "cleanse" of its unconstitutional-ness, you would think he should now strategize how to get his voice heard even more. unfortunately, this is where the star fell from grace. after walking out of his own trial with fellow accused soldiers for their illegal uprising (well, doubt the government will take things sitting down after these "hooligans" called them unconstitutional!), trillanes and co. went to the manila peninsula and demanded, yet again, for the president to step down for her being, well, unconstitutional. he again said he will not surrender and that despite the threats and his 3pm deadline to lay down arms and give up peacefully, he will not give up until his demands are met. "One thing I can assure you is we have more than enough willpower, fighting spirit to bring this government down," he was quoted saying. joined by his band of merry men, he "camped out" in one of the function rooms of the pen and was surrounded by reporters, staff members, by-standers (mga uzizeros, very pinoy), and your friendly pirated DVD chinese sales lady (they probably thought they need entertainment).

but the stand off this time did not last long. there were no hi-profile negotiators, no hoopla here, no hullabaloo there (except from some rather sensationalized reporting from ABS-CBN, i swear, some should award these reporters for acting in a high tension film!!! the things they inflame for ratings!!), the government, much more so, her excellency the little girl with the BIG stick, unleashed their full force. shots were fired, a tank barged through, tear gas launched, and then it was over. at the risk of injuring civilians, of which trillianes was surrounded with, he gave up, AGAIN.

now, to assess this coup fiasco, WTF was he thinking in the first place?!!! there's a good reason why it DIDN"T work the FIRST TIME he "conquered" a hotel, what the hell made him think doing it a SECOND TIME would make any difference? my brother said he was lucky that all of those reporters and do-gooders were around him, cause if not, then things could have gotten bloody. i agree, the army drove a tank, a TANK for goodness sakes into the PEN!!! they wanted him that bad. i still can't believe what happened, the PEN!!! they destroyed such a wonderful hotel for what? for an over idealistic ex army boy who obviously got himself into more than his worth of shit. i think i would have felt a bit better if there was really some major fight that ensued, it would have at least justified the sheer vandalism, but all we got was a fart in the wind. all the army needed was to blast the place with tear gas! heck, if they used BAYGON, it wud have done the trick as well!!!

in closing (all this blogging is giving me heartburn...), trillanes was an idiot and a fool. he miscalculated his enemy, he miscalculated his allies. he allowed his emotions to over ride his head, and in so doing, wasted his potential in REALLY helping his country. not only did he made a complete fool of himself, he also ruined his credibility (for me) as a leader and a role model. that for me is his gravest mistake. to think that i was hopeful that at last, we have intelligent people back in government, then he does this.... i swear. i have never felt like this for politics before.

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