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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Creating more foes

EDITORIAL: The Daily Tribune
Click to enlarge
10/21/2006

Any which way it is cut, Gloria and her hawks miserably lost out in the Jojo Binay-Makati city hall fight and lost out too in her moves to eliminate the opposition leaders though her gross abuse of executive power.

Her retreat merely showed her continued fear of being ousted through a people’s revolt, and revealed too, that her military is not as solid as claimed by her and the military leadership.
So the Court of Appeals handed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to resolve the Makati crisis which Gloria herself created by ordering the suspension, not just of Mayor Binay but the entire Makati officialdom, but everyone and his uncle certainly don’t buy the line it was not Gloria herself who got the CA to issue a TRO, as a solution to the crisis, because she knew that not only would Binay fight his illegal suspension out, but also that the political opposition — along with various anti-Gloria groups which have grown in number — was united in this move that Gloria realized would well be the trigger that would finally do her in. There was already detained leader Joseph Estrada, issuing a call to the masses to rally behind Binay and show their collective outrage — and against Gloria.

What Gloria did was to create more enemies through her stupidity and her display of naked power.

What Binay also showed, especially as he was dressed in a Marines outfit — and this display was not lost on the police and military — was that illegal orders are to be fought, and should not be followed blindly.

If Binay’s was the first case of local officials’ wholesale suspension, there would have been doubts that the CA issued a TRO with instructions from Malacañang. But there was the precedent case of Pasay City Mayor Wenceslao “Peewee” Trinidad, his vice-mayor and his councilmen, where the CA junked their TRO petition. It will also be recalled that even as the TRO on the Pasay City vice mayor was lifted, Malacañang quickly issued another suspension order on him, to circumvent the CA ruling.

In the case of the opposition Makati officials whom Gloria knew too late she could not eliminate in the same Trinidad manner, it was evident that the TRO was granted with the blessings of Gloria and her Malacañang.

After all, why should an appellate court take forever to grant the petitioner a TRO, which should be decided on quickly by the court by its very urgent nature? From the start, the Makati crisis was evident, yet it took the CA division sometime, despite a supplemental petition, to issue a ruling. A TRO, it should be pointed out, is a temporary move, to give both sides time and opportunity to argue their cases. Besides, in the case of Binay, it was very evident that the charges of hiring ghost employees were not backed by evidence and worse, the suspension order clearly went against the rules and any justice could see that. Why the delay then, in issuing the TRO?

The speculation was that the CA was waiting for signals from Malacañang on how to handle the Binay petition for the TRO. And when the crisis became a nightmare come to life for Gloria, she and her aides moved to save their political hides through the CA ruling granting Binay the TRO.
That the military leadership feared the soldiers would eventually join in a massive revolt was evident, when the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman announced the military is prohibited to engage in partisan politics and that the AFP should be insulated from politics. In the same breath, however, he said sanctions would be meted out to any soldier who would join the rallies and come to the aid of Binay. He then adds that no one would, because the soldiers condemned Binay’s style of wearing the Marines outfit the wrong way. The spokesman added that Binay could face charges too.

When the spokesman says no soldier should come to the aid of Binay, or that he was being condemned by the soldiery, or that Binay would be facing the military court for his use of the Marines dress wear, that is already engaging in partisan politics.

Why even bring this up when the spokesman could just have said the AFP will be there to augment the police force in Makati and ensure, along with the police, that order rules? For that matter, if he was being honest, soldiers are not even supposed to join up with the police, since the Makati crisis was strictly a police affair — if it came to blows.

The military spokesman’s comments merely showed just how politically partisan the AFP leadership is, and disclosed as well, the military leaders’ fear of their loss of control over the soldiery.

They certainly know that if Gloria is ousted, so will they be.

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