Sunday, July 03, 2005

People Power Fatigue or Middle Class Ignorance?

Recent attempts by various social movements to gather support for the quick resignation of President Arroyo seem to receive cold responses from the public. Is it an instance of People Power fatigue or just a pure case of middle class apathy due to ignorance? I maintain that the latter is the more plausible explanation.

It must be noted that the middle class sector was the primary initiator of the two EDSA uprisings (note: they were not revolutions as the people were made to believe, but rather only a political change). Currently, this segment of Philippine society has yet to hear the “Gloriagate tapes” in full detail. The sector’s ambivalence toward the Gloriagate can be ascribed to its ignorance of the contents of the audio conversations. Many students and professionals are still clueless regarding the implications of the conversations between GMA and Garcillano. It is very difficult to believe on something you never experienced. If the people could only hear the exchange of words among First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, former senator Barbers and Garcillano, on how the three desired to sabotage the election results, they could also sense the outrage that leftist groups have been exhibiting since the emergence of the scandal.

A PACIFIST STATEMENT

I find the pastoral statement of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales instructive. For the Archbishop, five guidelines must be followed to peacefully resolve the current socio-political impasse.

First, “the offended cannot simply be consoled by expressions of regret. Forgiveness does not eliminate the need for justice, nor should it block the search for truth”.

Second, “the pursuit of truth regarding the grave charges against leaders and officials should be conducted within the provisions of our Constitution and should respect the laws of the land. Any proposition that disregards our constitutional and legal systems weakens our institutions and paves the way for a graver instability that can cause more profound suffering to our people.”

Third, “any proposed solution to our present situation that relies on or leads to violence is unacceptable.”

Fourth, “leaders must give people hope, by giving immediate attention to authentic reform.”

Finally, “in these confusing times when people are easily swayed by emotions and led astray by quick-fix solutions, may cooler heads prevail. Let true lovers of the Filipino people come together to discern carefully before God, what is truly for the immediate and long-run good of our country.”

It is my position that the public must listen and given access to to the audio recordings for them to appropriately discern the truth. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has the audio files which can be downloaded from their blogspot http://www.pcij.org/blog. The president has admitted the wrongdoing. It means that she validated the truth behind the tape conversations. Even if the tapes were illegally acquired and recorded, the fact does not change---Mrs. Arroyo attempted to influence the results of the elections.

The truth will always set us free (John 8:32).

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