End of days?
As I was getting ready for work at about ten minutes before seven, I listened with interest to an interview broadcast on RMN Radio DZXL with a person who claims to be Army 1st Lieutenant Lawrence San Juan. Lt. San Juan is one of the four fugitive Oakwood mutineers.
In no uncertain terms, Lt. San Juan gave President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo until February 24, the 20th anniversary of the first EDSA Revolution, to step down from office or else she will be removed by force. He also advised civilians residing around Malacañang Palace to leave the area on that day to avoid being caught in potential hostilities.
While I was never really in favor of the way President Macapagal-Arroyo has been running the country, and I also believe that the President still has a lot to answer for regarding last year's Gloriagate scandal, this development nonetheless still gives reason for concern. If this is not an idle threat, and if it in fact materializes three days from now, this proves that this country's constitutional processes are totally ineffective as we have to resort to extra-constitutional means of ousting a largely unpopular, ineffective and undesirable head of state.
But then again, this probably serves her right for refusing to be held accountable for her misdeeds.
Last year's failed impeachment proceedings is evidence that the vast majority of our elected representatives place a higher priority on party loyalties and transactional politics than getting to the bottom of things. The bane of Executive Order No. 464 further muddled the issue, in a way exempting the executive branch from the oversight powers accorded the legislature by the Constitution.
Ironically, it seems like all the administration's efforts in avoiding responsibility for its unscrupulous activities will be coming full circle via a disgruntled military establishment.
As they say, what goes around comes around.
Lt. San Juan then gave another interview on DZMM, a little after seven as I was already driving to work. He made the same declarations, and after being prodded by broadcast journalist Ted Failon, stated that a military junta would be taking over for a month or so until a new civilian leader is elected.
Hmmm. A military junta. Won't it be a case of a trading in a civilian dictatorship for a military one? Probably. There's a reason why our Constitution ensures the supremacy of civilian authorities over the military. Power should emanate from the people, and not from guns or threat of force. The old adage "might makes right" simply has no place is in a democratic society. But then again, there are some who would argue in favor of its necessity.
If these threats by Lt. San Juan do come to pass, one thing is certain. Our resolve as a democratic society will be tested, possibly to the breaking point. Lives may even be lost.
Strangely enough, the story doesn't end there. According to AFP Chief of Staff General Generoso Senga, Lt. San Juan was supposedly placed under arrest earlier today, at 5:45 AM, in the province of Batangas, or about an hour before he supposedly gave a series of radio interviews.
This strange twist begs the questions: Was Lt. San Juan really arrested? Was the person giving the radio interviews really Lt. San Juan, or was it an impostor? Who is telling the truth? Are the threats real? Or are they just idle boasts, or perhaps an attempt to psych out the administration?
Well, we have three more days before the supposed ultimatum. By then maybe all our questions will be answered.
Somehow I don't think the President will be able to sleep well for the next couple of nights.
Let us just pray and hope for the best.