My take on the Makati mutiny

The military adventurism that has unfolded yesterday in the financial district of Makati were “crushed” not because the masses of the Filipino people didn’t respond to the rebel leader turned Senator Antonio Trillanes’ and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim’s call to rally around them and demand the immediate removal of Gloria Arroyo from the Presidency, but because of the putschist method they employed and the fact that it was ill-timed.

Yesterday, Trillanes, Lim and some of their Magdalo comrades walked-out of the courtroom that was hearing the rebellion charges lodged against them for leading the botched Oakwood Mutiny in 2003. They marched towards the posh Ayala Avenue and then barged inside the Manila Peninsula, occupying the hotel for seven hours and waited for the one crucial ingredient necessary for a coup de etat to become successful – mass support.

For all intents and purposes, Trillanes and Lim was right when they declared that it was time to put an end to the illegitimate Arroyo regime. “The die was cast” said Lim, and issued a call for all the people and governments around the world to “give the constitutional rescue initiated by our patriotic brothers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police a chance to work.”

Lim invoked the military’s constitutional mandate to serve and protect the Filipino people and explained that their action was just in keeping with the soldiery’s “moral obligation” to “end the sufferings and miseries inflicted upon us by the illegitimate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Government and start a new life and a new Philippines.”

And he was right. The Filipino people evidently are fed up with the ruling Arroyo regime because of its litany of crimes against the people. Since day one, it has been the bane of our poor nation’s existence. Lim and Trillanes essentially voiced out what the people really want – to boot out Arroyo from the Presidency the soonest possible time.  

But what happened? Borrowing a quote from an American journalist when he described the Philippines during Martial Law – Have we become a nation composed of one tyrant and 80 million cowards?

Has apathy crept into the nation’s psyche, betraying the militant and revolutionary tradition of the country?

For me, the answer is a resounding no. Filipinos are primed and prepared to go out to the streets and stage another people power revolt to topple another corrupt, fascist and puppet regime. We’ve done it before with Marcos in 1986 and with Estrada in 2001. We definitely can do it again with Gloria.

But, however righteous their cause is, the public simply isn’t ready to embrace the means employed by the Magdalos during their adventures in Oakwood in 2003 and in the Manila Penn yesterday.

Their actions only betray their ultra-right ways and their peti-bourgeois attitude of refusing to undertake painstaking organizing among their ranks and join forces with the multitudes of the masses calling for Arroyo’s ouster.

This is not surprising considering the personalities that surround Trillanes and Lim during the foiled ‘mutiny’ yesterday. Huddled beside them were Lawyers JV Bautista and Argee Guevarra who’s known for espousing insurrectionist ideals of the late Popoy Lagman.

Had they patiently waited for the right moment, and I tell you it will surely come, they won’t be teargassed and dragged out of the Manila Penn in handcuffs. They will be among the people rejoicing in the streets because the scourge in Malacanang has finally vacated her post.

But then again, the Magdalo junior officers came from the same mercenary mold of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. However patriotic they are, they should at the very least repudiate the mercenary tradition and the right opportunist ways ingrained into them inside the military establishment.

Nevertheless their standing up in defiance of the military chain of command is a good start. That is the reason why 11 million people voted for Trillanes in the Senate.

The masses of the Filipino people have had enough of Gloria Arroyo and they are itching to stage a mutiny much larger than what transpired in Oakwood and Manila Penn. Even Gloria knows her time will come and it’s just around the corner…

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