Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today confirmed what the public knew all along, that she is not giving up power next year and will seek a congressional seat in Pampanga’s second district. Their game plan is to use Congress only as a route toward clinching the position of Prime Minister in a parliamentary form of government that shall be created through Charter change (Cha-cha).
If this sinister scheme will push through as planned, it will indeed be “Gloria Forever” as repeatedly warned in the past by critics and political observers. This move by Arroyo and her political operators is a travesty of democracy in the highest order. Nothing in existing laws of course prevents Mrs. Arroyo from running as congresswoman. But for many people including even legal experts, the issue is no longer simply about what the law allows but what decency and delicadeza dictate – which today Mrs. Arroyo has again made clear are virtues beyond her comprehension.
Mrs. Arroyo will not give up power and will do everything she can, at all costs, to use government in order to avoid accountability for the very long list of crimes she has committed against the Filipino people since 2001. Her administration has earned the notoriety as the most vicious, most brutal regime in terms of repressing the people’s basic human rights and has done this even without formally declaring Martial Law like Ferdinand Marcos. Almost 1,110 people have already been killed by her terrorist regime aside from almost 200 people who have been abducted by suspected military, paramilitary and police elements and remain missing to this day.
This climate of impunity emboldened her allied warlord clans like the Ampatuans to massacre people as they please, knowing that they can get away with it because their patron is the biggest warlord at the helm of Malacañang.
Her regime challenges the Marcos dictatorship not only in terms of human rights violations but also in terms of massive corruption. The Philippines has consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. Mrs. Arroyo’s personal declared wealth has jumped by 164% since becoming president in 2001 (from P66.75 million to P177.18 million) and certainly this is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg. By the way, the number of poor families during the same period increased by 2.3 million or an additional 11.5 million poor people as Arroyo, her family, her cronies and allies enrich themselves.
That Mrs. Arroyo declared her intention to run at a time when the public is deeply outraged by the Ampatuan massacre and her lack of swift action against a favored warlord is only but a fitting move for a regime so absolutely detested, so totally isolated from the people.
Sige lang at gatungan pa ninyo ang galit ng taumbayan. May araw din kayo.