ADVOCACY MINDANOW: Replace This Government?

SOMETHING’S AFOOT? — That video statement of Marine Col. Generoso Mariano released during the last few days calling on everyone that “this government must be replaced” etcetera is something Malacanang should not just brush aside. Coming from an officer who apparently has good credentials and with a “coup history”, something interesting must be afoot. To make his thoughts public on the eve of his retirement from the military service is also worth looking into. Why did he put on the line his quiet and smooth transition into private and civilian life by that call? Why did he not wait for a few more hours to make that call and therefore immune him from the application of AFP rules? Now, we hear he is restricted to quarters and subject to an investigation. I even fear that he jeopardized his hard-earned military retiree pension that can keep him and his family adequately covered for years hence. So what’s up?  I think there is more than meets the eye in this incident and we should not be lulled into believing that “well, it’s one of those things, you know…” etc.

PNOY GOVT NOT STURDY YET — After being in office for a year, President Noynoy must have his ears close to the ground.   Let’s not forget that Pnoy’s administration has not really taken root yet, so to speak. His mooring is not that stable and stormy seas can still buffet his ship of state. And “mutineers” are lurking somewhere, perhaps ready to strike at the first opportunity.

SHIP CAPTAIN — Pardon me, but for whatever this may be worth, I cannot help but recall how former presidents FVR and GMA acted as captains of the ship of state, especially in keeping the ship of state “seaworthy”. Their constant call on the citizenry was to keep the ship of state on steady keel, even in the face of great challenges, and not allow anyone to put holes on the ship so it will not sink. We may have our own individual misgivings or mistakes, advocacies or agenda. But we are all passengers in that ship of state, and we must all help to plug those holes, if any. And most importantly, not allow anyone, even the likes of Col. Mariano (for whatever motives he may have) to put more holes in it. When that ship sinks, everyone sinks with it!

CROSSING THE LINE –Whether we are happy or unhappy with the present state of affairs of the country under the Pnoy presidency is of no moment. Whatever it is, that does not justify another “adventurism” to take place. Especially by military officers who were schooled, trained and steeled to keep faith with legal and constitutional processes. I would not be surprised if rebels or ideologues or committed reformists proclaim their resort to unconstitutional processes as their only remaining option for reforms.  That’s to be expected. But coming from an officer who went to the military academy at government expense, trained and taught as second nature to protect and uphold legal and constitutional rules, he must be crossing the line. Or worse, out of his mind. Or perhaps playing hero.

DRAMATIC  EXIT?  — But wait a minute, I may be giving too much weight or undue significance to Col Mariano’s videoed swan song. When he said that “this government must be replaced”, he did not say how and when. For all we know, he was just trying to make a dramatic exit from the military service and draw attention to himself. Or is this a case of a bypassed promotion to become general? You know, he could have waited to make public his video statement one minute after his official retirement. Then the AFP rules would not apply to him. And he would be speaking as an ordinary civilian whose call “to replace government” is already a daily incantation of many.  I can only wonder why he had to time it that way while still officially in the military service. I have another speculation:  since the date on the video tape was July 3 as it appeared on screen, could it be that the video was intended to be released AFTER his retirement but was unintentionally and PREMATURELY  leaked or released? Who knows…

NO MORE SHORTCUTS — I  am saying all this because while I am not happy with the way things are being handled in Malacanang on so many issues that we face as a nation today, another “armed coup” or “unconstitutional shortcut” led by military officers and supported by AFP rank and file still in the service will be disastrous to the nation. Let’s all resolve that we should have NO MORE OF THOSE ARMED COUPS.  We have gone through the worst and we are slowly starting to climb out of the hole. To be still fascinated with armed coups or mass protest actions to “bring down a government” is like pushing our luck too far. Let’s face it: EDSA revolution was unconstitutional. Or extra-constitutional as some would like us to believe.  It was illegal. It was a “shortcut”. It was an example of the “ends justifying the means”.  Sorry but that’s how I feel folks. I always squirm hearing some do-gooders praising EDSA to high heavens and in the other side of their mouths, they froth about “unconstitutional and illegal” conduct. Back off guys, please!

REPLACE PNOY? — If we really want to replace Pnoy, let’s all wait for the next presidential elections. It will come as a matter of course.  In the meantime, anything short of complying with sacrosanct rules and principles we all publicly profess that we hold as dear, is anathema.

Of course, I also hear the proposition that if Pnoy can no longer stand the heat in the palace, he may just voluntarily call it quits. And Vice President Binay takes the constitutional route. Whatever…  who knows…

Indeed, it is democracy in action when civilians come out en masse and peacefully pressure those in government to do certain things. But never active military personnel, who are supposed to keep off the political minefield. When they peel off from the chain of command, they should be thrown to the wolves!

On second thoughts though, I have kinder thoughts. I should thank the likes of Col. Mariano who will keep us entertained and divert our thoughts away, even momentarily, from the vagaries of present day realities.  A clear case of “brinksmanship”. Play it cool, Mr. Officer! Was it Karl Marx, in calling others to rise up in rebellion, who said: “You have nothing to lose but your pension  -ooops, I mean – chains”? ([email protected]).