Offense is the best defense. Malacañang appears to be faithfully following this war dictum and becoming even an expert in it. This is perfectly understandable—given the big and compounded predicament it is in even before 2004 national elections.
The present holder of the Presidential office clearly and loudly said that she would not run for it. And three altruistic and edifying reasons were forwarded for the personal sacrifice. First, to unite the people. Second, to improve the economy. Third, to reform the COMELEC. People cheered, applauded and rejoiced.
But not long after, the incumbent occupant of Malacañang said running for the Presidential office became an imperative. Since then, everything to the contrary happened, and continues to happen, the people became more divided—no matter what official slogans were shouted, the economy became worse in reality inspite of daily official contrary claims. The COMELEC is never that much vilified and made highly suspect—notwithstanding all empty pronouncements to the contrary. This is not to mention the many financial scandals and scandalous accommodations made by the present Administration before and after the 2004 national elections.
Result: people in and out of government are holding protest rallies. Groups bearing left and right persuasions are having their anti-administration marches. Formal and informal associations bringing all colors are going to the streets, to monuments, to any available place they could find.
Media people are angry, with some even shaving their heads in defiance to threat at freedom of the press. Lawyers have joined public dissent. Some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are not immune from suspicion as enemy of the Administration—not the State.
Malacañang response: muzzle those who know the truth and prosecute those who tell the truth. Threaten those who dissent and imprison those who are but suspect without even a warrant of arrest. These are marked indications that something is fundamentally wrong with the way Malacañang governs.
5 March 2006