THIS country’s history is pockmarked with events of opposition and toppling down of governments, so much so that people are tiring of it as the method of choice when dealing with undesirable political incidents.

At least that’s what I think. The thought invaded my mind one night I was lazing in my swivel chair, watching News Central while sucking apple-flavored C2 through a straw: why aren’t there any significantly large uprisings on the streets challenging the presidency, even after allegations of poll fraud stemming from a controversial recording, but which, if proven true, could render futile the sacrifice of countless heroes who died so that this democracy could be born?

Given the profundity of the matter, and save perhaps for sporadic protests, it is ironic that up to now we are going about our daily grind, only muttering the occasional invective against the circus that is Philippine politics every time we are reminded of the issue by a passing tricycle’s blaring radio. We did go out for an unopened envelope.

But come to think of it, while there are talks of massive protests about to be launched, the EDSA course has been availed of one time too many. The word has ceased to mean that glorious event in 1986; instead, EDSA has become synonymous to changing the leadership whenever it becomes too uncooperative with the selfish interests of failed or disgraced politicians. Look at how Erap’s supporters used the word in May 1, 2001. Look at how the opposition is threatening the administration with it now, brandishing it like Voltes V’s feared laser sword.

The solace of its challenges

The sad thing about all this misguided activism is that the youth are increasingly pulled into it. Also on TV that night were students peddling CD copies of the audio recording on Morayta, right outside FEU, crying out while they were at it their not-so-informed sentiments. To oppose is in.

To be fair, those tapes, if proven genuine, have earth-shaking consequences, the type that could spawn a massive government reconstruction, GMA not last on the list of people to be kicked out. If proven genuine, genuine “people power” might also again be resurrected to put things to rights.

So the fact that people have not taken to the streets yet might also be a sign of awaiting proof. Instead of exhaustion, it might yet be a sign of political maturity, one which recognizes that a rash judgment or action could just lead to yet another frustrating administration.

But my prayer is for things not to turn for the worse. I am of the opinion that, given the circumstances surrounding its turn-up—no thanks to Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye, but in line with his statement when he held them up for the media—the recording is the concoction of the President’s enemies or rivals, what with T/Sgt. Doble’s robotic manner of speech when he “authenticated” the recordings, and the opposition’s resorting to less and less statesmanly words in calling for the President to resign (Senator Aquilino Pimentel, chiefly). One cannot help but feel desperation on the side of the opposition, an effort to engage the people’s outrage.

There are no signs of their success, even though GMA is visibly irked and tired. Perhaps, if they are to tone down their abusive harping, GMA would give that long-awaited statement. She did say so when she talked to media during her Hong Kong visit.

In pursuit of real courage

Opposition and activism have been around since this country was born. What is happening today is not new. Only the characters and reasons have changed. What is happening is almost tradition. But it’s one tradition that should also mature. So excuse my seeming indifference.

Give me a call when there’s a real reason to take to the streets. Hopefully not this weekend. I’m going to watch Beauty and the Beast.


Speaking of EDSAs, the nation has just lost a significant figure in the two revolutions, Philippine politics in general, and the Catholic Church as well. For all his activism and staunch opposition to certain issues, I’m surprised Jaime Cardinal Sin’s targets did not pull a Romero on him. God rest his soul.


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