Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Revolution from a hotel lobby

What is it with Navy Lt. Senior Grade and now Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and elite Scout Ranger Brigadier General Danilo Lim when they call for the overthrow of the Arroyo regime from the lobbies of exclusive hotels in posh Makati City?

Over four years ago protesting junior officers and men seized the Ayala owned Oakwood service apartments and briefly held guests hostage. Intense negotiations led to their surrender. They were protesting corruption in the Arroyo administration and military as well as allegations of election irregularities as evidenced by the infamous Garci tapes. See their position papers, which are very incisive and articulate at: SUNDALO website: (

Today (November 29), Senator Trillianes IV walked out of his rebellion trial in Makati and proceeded to the posh Manila Peninsula Hotel. He and BGen Lim are holding a press conference calling for the overthrow of the Arroyo administration. The same SUNDALO website is urging the Filipino people to converge at the Ayala Triangle (Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue) to “to bring forth a new government!”.

Radio reports indicate that the government has issued a warrant of arrest at Senator Trillanes IV and BGen Lim. This begs the question though, another warrant of arrest for those already supposedly detained?

The situation is fluid because the government has sealed off the Makati area and tensions seem to be rising- if you are to believe the blow-by-blow accounts on radio, newspapers, and websites. President Arroyo has also convened her Crisis Committee and ordered their arrest.

However, they may be in for a surprise. November 30, I think, is a holiday, which makes it a long weekend. Will they be able to rally supporters? Second, Filipinos might be fatigued with People Power type actions to effect a change in political leadership. With the Philippine economy relatively performing well, citizens might not have the appetite to confront the government, especially when the alternative leadership has not been identified or those who may present themselves may be the usual cast of characters.

The possible slide though to an authoritarian regime by a revolutionary junta or a recalcitrant President Arroyo must be considered and opposed vigorously. While we are disgusted by corruption in government, especially those close to the Arroyo administration, we are not willing to wager our civil liberties to effect political change or maintain the status quo. Another way must be forged.

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