Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Not (Only) the Economy, Stupid!

Former president "Tabako" Ramos had been insisting that the economy should be the tipping point to spun efforts to amend the constitution.

But Tikboy, who has nothing but a 50-cent- worth of cigarette, argues differently. As to the why, let us count the ways:

  1. Corruption is very high in the Philippines. The HK-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) even forecasts that this could trigger moves to loosen GMA's glue to the presidential seat. Hence, if Cha-cha will be played without addressing the corruption issue, the economic benefits will not filter down to the intended targets or beneficiaries.
  2. Government control still remains with the elites. Even the party-list system remains a shot in the dark. if this will not be addressed, patron-client system will remain and the poor will always be with you... err, will always remain at the mercy of these elite power-holders.
  3. Public office is a few families' trust... err, property. This is a reality to contend with -- a reality that closes the doors to new entrants to politics particularly from the grassroots level.
  4. Democracy is on the wane.
  • The voice of money still rules the election. Ask GMA and her handlers, right, Garci?
  • Becoming a member of the opposition is to be dubbed as an obstacle to progress. This discourages dissents and other opinions which could be helpful to democracy.
  • To exercise the constitutional right to assembly, in this hypocritical democracy, means to go to jail (Can this be a new entry in Ambrose Pierce's dictionary?).
  • To exercise freedom of the press and liberty of speech means to be dead. (Again, can this be a new entry in Ambrose Pierce's dictionary?)

These are but among a few reasons why the economy, alone, should be the basis of spurring Cha-cha.


I heard fellow journalists in Cebu are arming themselves with guns for protection. Does this refute the saying: The pen is mightier than the sword?


Well, the late broadcaster Rowell Endrinal also armed himself with a gun. But he died just the same.


But arming journalists should be a cause of alarm for GMA. This simply means her administration is not doing its job to protect democracy... unless she has another meaning for democracy -- that is, killing journalists. Well, this just support Jay Carizo's insinuation that in the Philippines, "Free press means dead pressmen." But is it?

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