Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Commotion

The highest-ranking General of the Armed Forces referred to it as a “commotion”. Senator Antonio Trillanes, erstwhile Lieutenant Senior Grade of the Philippine Navy walked out of his trial and he was joined by other officers accused of plotting to overthrow the government. They repaired to the nearby Manila Peninsula where they broadcast a statement encouraging the people to rise and depose the government.

Shortly after an armored personnel carrier rammed into the lobby of the posh hotel, Senator Trillanes gave up. The officers as well as many journalists were arrested and detained in a military stockade.

I guess this “commotion” was coming. Many are becoming restive with what is generally perceived as a rapidly deteriorating situation, with all the bribery and rampant corruption and poverty and injustice going around. To someone out of the loop, genuinely pained by the distressing conditions, there are only two pathways: take your chances, no matter how infinitesimally small in rigged elections or go to the mountains and work for the violent overthrow of the dispensation. Both ways, you should get an idea of the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that pervades. There seems to be so little that we can do to help reform the blighted system.

It should be clear however that the pathway of violence will only aggravate matters. They hold the firepower and they possess the training and the expertise, never mind that we paid for all these weapons and we subsidized their education. The nonviolent movement is anchored upon a very practical consideration: too many innocent people are harmed in the crossfire.

We had proved that peaceful revolutionary change can occur. And I strongly agree, some things need to change soon.

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