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Aug 11th
Home Columns Dissenting Opinion It Looks Like the 2010 Elections Will Be Canceled Or Postponed by the Arroyo Clique
It Looks Like the 2010 Elections Will Be Canceled Or Postponed by the Arroyo Clique PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Dissenting Opinion
Written by Ado Paglinawan   
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 10:18
As this writer has said before, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would leave Malacañang Palace only in a horizontal position. It looks like she will provoke a constitutional crisis and then declare martial law, as the conflict escalates to massive demonstrations against her rule. Then she will claim that she has the supposed “mandate” to suspend “democracy” (democratic processes) and postpone or cancel the 2010 national elections in the Philippines. 


 Editor’s Note: To read Ado Paglinawan’s forecast on the way President Arroyo would leave the presidential palace only in a body bag or on a medical stretcher, please read the following articles:                                                                                    


*  Why President Arroyo Wants to Perpetuate Herself in Power   


*  An Old Story: New Coup Planned to Oust President Arroyo   


* The Arroyo Administration Is Talking Cheap Again   


*  The Philippine Political Gospel, According to Ado Paglinawan  


* Similarities Between Saddam Hussein and Gloria Arroyo


I seldom forward news clips that are anyway available to all through the Internet, in this case but let me take an exception this time. 


After Mike Arroyo asked General Yano pointblank, "Will you support the 'Cha-Cha' or not", and the good AFP chief retorted "I am sorry, Sir, I am a professional soldier and the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people" expressing that the military cannot be a ploy to politics or a weapon of choice to suit any partisan interest, it was clear that his term will not be extended, nor will he be allowed to retire in his current position.


Immediately, a face-saving assignment as envoy to Brunei, a relatively innocuous post, was pulled under Mike's sleeve, that led to the brother of his classmate to take over Yano's position on the crucial months approaching the May 2010 elections.


The First Couple is facing very difficult months ahead. Gloria's term ends on June 30, 2010. Being the most-corrupt President the Philippines has ever had, scores of criminal cases are already awaiting her and her husband Mike as we speak in the Ombudsman. These are live cases that can easily slip into other fiscalias after she loses her presidential immunity.  


The only way they can avoid this is if they are able to suspend our democracy (democratic processes) through the declaration of martial law. While any continuance has to be ratified by Congress not later than 60 days from its proclamation, according to our present Constitution, congressmen and senators could either be made compliant through money or sheer military intimidation, in the same way the 2004 electoral tally was stolen by Gloria Arroyo. 


To provoke this, I see the speeding up of the movement seeking Constitutional Changes or Cha-Cha, definitely in the form of a constituent assembly, thus creating a constitutional crisis as we approach the elections on May 10, 2010. Failing that, they go for the martial-law option that will automatically cancel the scheduled elections. 


Expect the next months, therefore, to show the maneuvering for Cha-Cha, that failing, for martial law, and that prospering for constitutional provisions that will make Gloria's immunity permanent.  


In Malacañang, where your tenure is only as good as your last kiss on her ass, it was Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro himself who prematurely locked Yano's fate by announcing Victor Ibrado as his replacement. Usual protocol keeps everyone guessing when a change of guards is in process. Identities are kept secret until the ceremonial turnover schedule is announced. Not the case with presidentiable Teodoro, who is known in political circles as Danding Cojuangco's nominee in Gloria's cabinet.


Just as in the final months before Ferdinand Marcos' departure from Malacañang, the power elite, the corrupt brokers, the patronage politicians, in short, the scum of Philippine society and the oppressors of the people, are now creating all kinds of scenario leading to more of "status quo". 


The people on the other hand are seeking for more morality in government and governance for the common good. Dick Gordon, in yesterday's launching of the Bagumbayan Movement, sought precisely the abandonment of the country's transactional politics and corrupt leaders. "Not only are they corrupt, but they also promote corruption," he said.  


From this side of the world, I wonder if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will pull another George Schultz just to balance the situation in the Philippines in favor of a democracy and a possible change for the better or behave in the same way that Amb. Kristie Anne Kenney played footsies with Gloria. Ambassador Kenney of course fell blind to the suffering of the Filipino people amid loud evidence of unabashed corruption and extrajudicial killings provided the host government was lax with visiting American forces. 


Secretary Schultz under President Reagan, as obviously briefed by then Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Bosworth. opted to save Philippine democracy in 1986 saying that If Marcos stayed and controlled the government through military force, "the semi-police state imposed by Marcos would destroy the ability of [Corazon] Aquino and the Church to provide a democratic alternative to the communists. So we don't want this to happen."


Hillary Clinton must not wait and provoke another "semi-police state" in the Philippines But more importantly, we Filipinos or Americans of Filipino descent cannot allow this.


The Arroyos have to go.   


* It’s official: Yano leaving AFP on May 1

New assignment: Brunei diplomatic post  


By Tarra Quismundo, Jocelyn Uy


Philippine Daily Inquirer


First Posted 02:44:00 04/28/2009   



M ANILA, Philippines—Gen. Alexander Yano is stepping down as military chief of staff on May 1 in a move that would clear the way for Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “man Friday”—to take command of the Armed Forces before the May 2010 elections, the Philippine Daily Inquirer learned Monday.   



Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, in a statement, confirmed Yano would be “relinquishing his post” on Friday—44 days before reaching his mandatory retirement age of 56 on June 13—and take up a diplomatic assignment.  



Yano would be the first chief of staff in recent memory to relinquish the top AFP post well in advance of his retirement age, a check with Inquirer archives showed.  “He (Yano) opted to retire one month early in view of his nomination to the post of ambassador to Brunei Darrusalam,” Teodoro said.   Teodoro has previously said that when Yano retires, incumbent Army chief Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado will be the new AFP chief.  



The post of Army chief will then be taken over by Bangit, Teodoro told reporters earlier this month. Bangit, one of Ms Arroyo’s trusted generals, currently heads the military’s Southern Luzon Command.  



Calculated move  



O ne of the military sources the Inquirer talked with said Malacañang’s move for an early turnover was expected to benefit Bangit, who would be next in line as AFP boss after Ibrado retires in March 2010.  



Yano’s decision to accept a diplomatic post was merely a way for him to save face and “stop prolonging the agony” of his being a “lame duck” chief of staff in the wake of Teodoro’s advance announcement that Ibrado would be his successor, according to the sources, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak on a sensitive matter.   



“When his replacement was announced earlier than expected, projects, plans and documents will not be pushed to his office anymore since people will now consider the interest of the incoming commander,” one of the sources said.   The movements were seemingly calculated to eventually ease Bangit onto the military helm before the 2010 elections, another source said. Bangit was formerly chief of the Presidential Security Group and of the Intelligence Service of the AFP.


The sources believed Ibrado would leave the service earlier than his expected retirement on March 10, 2010, to give way to Bangit during the crucial months preceding next year’s elections.  



Convenient choice  



“Legal questions might arise about Bangit’s [expected] appointment by that time because of the election ban. To avoid that, Ibrado must retire earlier before the election ban on midnight appointments,” one of the sources said. “Definitely, (Ms Arroyo) would not want to extend Ibrado. Bangit is the man Friday,” he said.  The source believed Ibrado was a “convenient choice” because naming Bangit as AFP chief early would have caused “rumblings” among his fellow upperclassmen still in the service.


Bangit is a 1978 PMA graduate.  



“Bangit will have a hard time if appointed (chief of staff) now because many of Class ’76, ’77 are still occupying top posts,” the source said. “They will resist someone junior to them taking the helm of the AFP.”   



Luna retiring early, too Yano’s decision to retire early was approved by Ms Arroyo following consultations with Cabinet members and the Commission on Appointments, Teodoro said.  He said Yano’s posting to Brunei was “deemed important” because of Brunei’s key role in the Mindanao peace process. Brunei is the lead country in the international monitoring team involved in the Mindanao peace process.  



Teodoro also confirmed reports that Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna would be retiring early in view of his expected nomination as ambassador to The Netherlands.  



AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres Jr. confirmed there was a government post awaiting Yano. “But we can’t verify yet what is his designation,” Torres said. Torres denied Yano would just be saving face if he decided to accept the government post being dangled before him. He surmised Malacañang scheduled an early turnover so it could appoint Yano to a new post before Congress adjourns on June 6.  



Farewell calls 


Y ano assumed the highest military post in May 2008 after Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., now chief of the Presidential Management Staff, completed his extended term.


Talk of an early turnover swirled while Yano was on official trips to Australia and Hawaii. His return was initially set for Tuesday but with the anticipated early turnover, he was cutting short his trip and expected to return Monday night. Yano has also scheduled an early morning assembly at the Camp Aguinaldo grandstand Tuesday.


Farewell visits have also been scheduled with the Army, Navy and Air Force for later on Tuesday. The sources said the Deputy Chief of Staff, Army Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang, would replace Luna on the latter’s retirement. Maclang was Yano’s classmate in the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1976. “Let’s anticipate (the turnover on) May 1, before President Macapagal-Arroyo goes to Egypt and Syria,” a retired general said before Teodoro’s announcement Monday night.   




‘Optional retirement’  


A presidential spokesperson, Lorelei Fajardo, said Yano was going on an “optional retirement” ahead of his June 13 official retirement.


Fajardo rejected suggestions that Yano was opting for early retirement because the premature announcement of his successor made him a lame duck. “What’s important is that he knows that he still has the full trust and confidence of the President,” she said.                                                                                                             



                    * With a report from Christian V. Esguerra. # # #   




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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 April 2009 11:36
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 02 May 2009 05:47
Very well written Mr. Paglinawan. But if you really have balls, you should join a Philippine broadsheet as a regular columnist and maintain a physical presence here. If you can't do that, to me you're just a paid hack of the opposition writing in the comforts of your home in the USA.

Manila, Phils.

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