Those who rally against Noynoy Aquino’s government’s abuse of power are heroes

Would you go to a protest rally because someone told you to do so or because you feel passionate enough about an issue that compels you to go? If your answer is the former, then you should just stay home because you will most likely end up complaining about how your efforts were useless if the rally doesn’t result in something favorable to you. If your answer is the latter – that you want to go to protests rallies because you think that it is the right thing to do, then good for you. You are one of those rare people who can think independently and most likely have outstanding principles that you don’t want compromised.

pork_barrel_kingI find it strange how some people put down or ridicule the recently held rallies against the pork barrel scam and the newly discovered scam involving the Executive branch’s use of the so-called “disbursement acceleration program” or DAP. The Filipino people have a right to express their anger especially since there are very serious crimes allegedly being committed by Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III himself, his cabinet members and members of Congress regarding the misuse of public funds that should not be ignored. Now is not the time to be complacent about issues plaguing the nation. If you ask me, everyone should be up in arms demanding revelation of the truth about BS Aquino’s act of systematic bribery of the members of Congress just to get what he wants.

Take the recently held “million people march” in Ayala Avenue for instance. There was no shortage of social media commentators who called it a “failure”. Why they consider it a failure is beyond me. My best guess is that some people wanted to see instant results to occur overnight. It could be that some people’s benchmark for a successful rally is still those two People Power revolutions in the last three decades that resulted in the ouster of two former Philippine Presidents.

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Just to digress a bit, most people don’t realize it yet but ironically, the ousting of former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada were not really good for the Philippines. The participants managed to justify it but their removal was actually illegal. Worse, it gave Filipinos, particularly the country’s lawmakers, license to justify making a mockery of the system and defying the rule of law. Like what I said before, the Filipino people got addicted to forcing out sitting Presidents because it was faster and easier instead of using the system and the rules to prosecute or impeach them and voting wisely in elections.

Of course compared to the process of impeachment, the people will get instant results by ousting someone by force and throwing the rulebook out of the window. But there are grave consequences when using shortcuts like defying the law as an option for getting something done. It doesn’t teach people to be patient and to abide by the law.

Removing an elected leader in 1986 unconstitutionally the first time already set a dangerous precedent. It gave people an excuse or reason to justify doing it again and again. Marcos, Erap and next was the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Corona may not have been ousted as a result of a street revolution. Nonetheless, the members of Congress who impeached him threw the rulebook out of the window when they railroaded his impeachment complaint and when the senators accepted bribe money in exchange for a “guilty” verdict. In short, Marcos, Erap and Corona’s rights were equally violated.

Some people would say that the end justifies the means or that, “They were evil anyway so it’s okay that they were ousted”. However, even alleged criminals have a right to due process. In fact, the Cory Aquino constitution guarantees equal rights to every citizen as stated in Article III, Section 1,2,3, of the Bill of Rights:

Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be 2inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

noynoy_banSo, therefore, while it is perfectly fine to call for BS Aquino’s resignation during rallies, it is wrong to force his removal from office without using the impeachment process. After all, he does have an option to quit a job he is not qualified to do but as dictated by law, the Filipino people cannot force him out without giving him due process. He may be fond of defying the law by using bribery and strong-arming Congress just to get rid of his political enemies but the Filipino people should show him that they would not stoop down to his level. The mockery of the country’s institutions should stop with BS Aquino.

Despite the naysayers, I would not consider the recent rallies against the anomalies in BS Aquino’s government a failure at all. The number of participants may not have reached the expected “million”, but even if there is only one person who shows up to demonstrate his or her disgust towards the misuse of taxpayer’s money, that is more than enough to prove that the propaganda employed by the current government doesn’t fool everyone.

Numbers only matter to people who easily jump on the bandwagon anyway. A genuine environmentalist for example, who protests against the destruction of forests would not care if he were alone protesting in public. He would even chain himself to a tree for days or for however long it takes to get his message across a wider audience. In history, India’s Mahatma Gandhi went on hunger strike on his own just to prove a point and eventually inspired millions to join in his advocacies. Real advocates are in it for the long haul too. They realize that things worth achieving takes time and that real change doesn’t happen overnight. I should know this because back in 2010, there were only a handful of Filipinos who were critical of BS Aquino. Now there are countless more who are vocal about their disillusionment with his Daang Matuwid.

Perhaps the absence of the original players in the two People Power revolutions like Jim Paredes and Leah Navarro is a good thing because they tend to confuse the issues. They seem to be more loyal to BS Aquino than the country. They also come across as self-righteous when they discourage people from joining protest rallies by saying that those who protest against BS Aquino are siding with the senators who are implicated in the pork barrel scam. Their logic is obviously failing them due to their blind faith in someone who has betrayed the people’s trust over and over. The protesters don’t need them for sure. Their views have become archaic and out of touch with reality anyway.

Unfortunately, a lot of Filipinos still listen to people like Jim and Leah. It’s probably because most of them are too star-struck by the their celebrity statuses. Or worse, people are still looking for a charismatic hero/leader who will tell them what to do. This is evident in the way some people keep saying, “if only there was a charismatic person who can lead the people during rallies”. This just goes back to my original question: are people joining protest rallies because someone told them to do so or because they feel passionate enough about an issue that compels them to go? People shouldn’t go or not go to rallies just because Jim and Leah say so. They should ignore celebrity endorsements at all cost.

Filipinos don’t need to look for a hero in trying times because as Mariah Carey would say, “when you look inside you, you will finally see the truth, that the hero lies in you”. So therefore, don’t wait for someone to accompany you to a protest march; go on your own if you have to. And remember, Philippine public servants have thick skin and they are doing their best to distract the public from the real issues, which is the fact that BS Aquino and the members of Congress seem to be in cahoots in the misuse and abuse of the pork barrel and Presidential funds.

Folks, we are talking about standing up against public servants who act like members of the Mafia. Makakapal ang mukha nila. It’s going to take more than one rally to make them shake in their boots. So therefore, be prepared to accept that protest rallies may be part of the Philippine landscape until these scumbags finally listen to the people and do something selfless and noble for a change.

[Photo of anti-pork rally courtesy GMA News Online.]

63 Replies to “Those who rally against Noynoy Aquino’s government’s abuse of power are heroes”

  1. I was there Friday and no regrets. Maybe it’s a case of instant gratification . Still whatever you can do to make this bozo government less comfortable the better.

  2. Nice article Ilda!

    I agree. If people feel that Pnoy and his administration has involvement in the misuse of public funds then we should let their voices be heard. Pnoy approved DAP in the heat of the pork issue so what’s not to suspect? No need for a few (the likes of Jim Paredes) to tell the people not to involve Aquino.

    I came to the rallies (Luneta and Ayala) alone on my own free will. It is good to hear from others like the urban poor, the labor sector, and even from those in the medical field. You’re right, change will not happen overnight. It is my leap of faith that our voices will be heard and soon our pleas to scrap pork and to have an impartial investigation will be granted.

    1. Thanks, Defender!

      These scumbags have access to funds they can use to buy off media to keep things under wraps. The people should not be discouraged to speak out just because some celebrity from the 70s says BS Aquino is “honest”.

  3. Former senator Joker Arroyo coined a new term on the Philippine Star today. He called it a “Budget dictatorship.” The anger of the people is slowly building. Just like a pressure boiler it may simply blow a valve or blow up in the face of BS Aquino. I agree we have a rule book called the Constitution to follow. But… what if the leader of this nation and his followers just throw away the rule book and continue to damn the torpedoes at our expense? Is ours now a rule of men and not of laws? The truth hurts.

    1. I hope it’s true, Thomas, that “the anger of the people is slowly building.” I don’t know if it’s just the people I consort with, but I noticed that in Church, the priests don’t even mention the pork barrel issue, my Facebook friends are conspicuously quiet about the whole thing, and among the members of my family and my friends, everyone seems to be politely steering clear of the topic when I mention a line or two about it. Frankly, all this is bewildering me….

      1. You have hit on a subtle characteristic of GRP. Many who participate here whether as writer or just on boards in some way it is because their own family does not get it.

        1. I see…. So GRP is an outlet for the seething anger inside us?… Thank God for GRP, and thanks, Gog!

        2. @Chrissie

          GRP is not just a page where we can express our anger towards the government but it also allows us to expose the government’s evils by foiling the malacanang trolls that keep showing their faces here, never realizing that they are only making their bald master in malacanang look bad by spreading propaganda

        3. @ Gogs, smart people do not discuss Sex, Politics or Religion in public discourse because it is an easy way to get killed. The smart Man always thinks twice before saying nothing. Just because a person does not say something does not mean they do not understand the topic.
          To declare an opinion in public is to paint ones-self into a corner, so why do it? The smart Man always leaves himself an out. The smart Man who posts on these boards does so under an alias, behind a VPN and guards his ID, especially if he is a Filipino living in the Philippines. I get the feeling you are a Smart Man as your name at birth is not Gogs, yes? Who is Benigno( I don’t want to know)?

          I will say one thing, this Chrissie who says she was at the 1st two EDSA’s and finds the silence ‘bewildering’, leads me to believe that she doesn’t know the things I stated above about the ‘Smart Man’. What does that say? To be at least 35+ yrs. old and not know those things?

        4. Your insults won’t get you anywhere with me, Gerry. I’m pretty secure with myself. If you always harp on stupidity, maybe you’re the one who’s not sure about your mental state?

        5. Gerry: Ah, yes….you may also be the devil incarnate because you push others to post “unkind” things…. or maybe you’re a miserable person who’s looking for company?

        6. @ Chrissie, my comments were not addressed to you. You say it ‘wont get me anywhere with you’, when I was not trying to get anywhere to begin with, OK? IF YOU want to prove to anyone else who reads these few comments how overly sensitive you are at the slightest of remarks, I can’t stop you from making yourself look ‘vicitmized’, even if you aren’t to begin with, go ahead…make your day.

          I will say this “Get a clue”, a lot of people do NOT see things for what they are. It’s as if they fail to realize that what they think they are a part of (the political process in the Philippines) doesn’t even exist! How can anyone be a part of a process that doesn’t acknowledge them? The people THINK they participate in ‘elections’, but it should be VERY clear by now that the ‘elections’ are all rigged. From ‘Smart-matic machines’ , to outright vote buying and closed polling stations, thrown out ballots un-counted. and that is just one part of it. The ‘elected'(HA, thats a laugh and a half!) officials, once they are in office, ignore their constituencies and go off and join the pork barrel feeding frenzy!……and then people actually think they have a say in the way ‘their’ gov’t. operates? Like I said:”Get a clue.”.

          Its really a laugh and you should try to enjoy yourself coz if history shows anything to the Filippine people its: Nothing is going to change, NOTHING! maybe….. stop getting so insulted, grow some thicker skin and learn how to laugh at it all. I am not your enemy or your friend, just another blog participant posting a few comments. maybe try to get over it, huh? IDK who is worse, you or TJ or that guy “Saint” as soon as someone disagrees or corrects them they come back with 2,000 word responses as if their life depends on being right(but it really doesn’t)! I do not pay your salary or buy you dinner( you do not even know who I am!), so why do you take what I say so badly?

        7. “I will say one thing, this Chrissie who says she was at the 1st two EDSA’s and finds the silence ‘bewildering’, leads me to believe that she doesn’t know the things I stated above about the ‘Smart Man’. What does that say? To be at least 35+ yrs. old and not know those things?”

          I’m too sensitive, Gerry, or you’re just too used to being obnoxious that you don’t understand what’s wrong with it? Can’t you learn to say your piece in a civilized way, without insulting anyone? I’m just not used to dealing with people who behave in a very uncouth way….

      2. @Chrissy, Look, the comments were not addressed to you, nor were they ‘un-civilized’.
        MAYBE you did not like the fact that I pointed out that for someone who was around and remembers EDSA 1, you sound VERY naive, practically child-like, and certainly NOT very worldly….and you didn’t like it. TOO BAD, huh?
        it really is not any of your business BUT BUT BUT, I am not misery looking for company, NO. Far from it, in fact. it is that I would like to see some people wake up to a few things. IF IF IF YOU just read my comment about Filipino’s THINKING they are a part of the political process….then you see what the comment was really about(you were a footnote to it). IDC if you think I am ‘uncouth’, nor am I insulted/taken aback. this is a blog, not an etiquette/finishing school, HA! the fact is kid, if you are insulted in any way by the comments I posted above? You haven’t seen anything (uh-oh, there’s the NAIVETE thingy again, feeling insulted?), really. I could probably make your hair stand on end by some things I could have easily stated, but chose not to.

        1. What you’re saying, Gerry, is that this is the norm for you. Well, I may really be naive because it’s only now that I’ve actively joined online discussions. If this is how it is, I’m afraid I no longer want to engage in it. There are more civilized ways of having exchanges…. Thanks for the eye-opener.

        2. OMG!!! NO,NO, NO, 1,000X’s…NO! that is not what I am saying at all.
          You have completely missed my point and taken this personally, which is EXACTLY what you should not do!

  4. I wanted to join the rallies, Ilda, but I decided not to when I saw some of the organizers on TV saying that they’re not going to call for the resignation of Aquino but only for the scrapping of the pork barrel. For me, it’s “Aquino resign” or bust. I don’t want to be attending a rally where someone goes onstage saying that he/she doesn’t really want Aquino to go. That’s the problem, I think, unlike People Power I & II, which I was a part of, the present rallies are not well organized, don’t have a clear direction, and don’t have strong and purposeful leaders. For a rally, that’s not only a recipe for failure but may also spell danger as the pro- and anti-Aquino anti-pork-barrel groups attending the rally may end up fighting with each other.

    As for the concept of people power, what are we to do when we’ve run out of options, Ilda? Aquino is in control of all the branches of govt & the media, still has many supporters among the people, and has all but destroyed the influence of the Catholic Church (which led or figured prominently in the two previous revolutions). Even Sen. Santiago says that impeachment is technically impossible because we don’t expect the congressmen to impeach Aquino for giving them bribe money, which will make them accomplices in the crime for which they’re impeaching Aquino. Considering all these, I think it’s now official: we’re a failed state.

    1. That’s really abysmal to hear that. Indeed, we are a sad, failed state. This is even a fact that we are already one among the listed in the failed-state index.

      There are even articles covered by huffington post on why our nation is failing as a state. When we’re even now overrun, economically by Indonesia and Vietnam you know that we’ve sunk in this bad and beyond recovery.

      Goodbye, Philippines, I wish mother nature just hits Malacanang Palace with a flashflood or a massive earthquake. I long to delight on the sorrows of these scumbags.

      Perhaps, like what’s been happening in America, some blessing in disguise in the form of a gun-toting lunatic would storm in the presidential quarters and just shoot down ALL of them.

      In this way, it will at least put an ease to my mind and to my family’s.

    2. @Chrissie

      Well, I respect your decision for not going. However, you could have heckled those who still vouch for BS Aquino’s integrity on stage. 😉

      I have to disagree with your impression about People Power I. I believe it was not planned at all. It was a random gathering of people who wanted a leadership change. The problem with the participants in recent rallies is that they are not rallying behind the same issue. And unfortunately, majority are still beholden to Aquino because he has celebrity endorsers.

      As for the concept of people power, what are we to do when we’ve run out of options, Ilda?

      Sadly, the people have no choice but to wait for the next election and hopefully remember to vote for more qualified and less vindictive people to lead the nation. Waiting and suffering until the next election is the price Filipinos have to pay for throwing away their votes, which is most valuable weapon against tyranny.

  5. I’ve read the Inquirer articles on this rally. And their comments section. Bunch of propagandists are at hand, indeed. And this time, they’re very militant.

    They think that the people who have gone to this rally had “personal agenda”. What bullshit is this? And the noytards also think they’re leftists/communists. They sound laughable and desperate.

    It’s funny, because I believe the ones who have gone there are actually the most individualistic/pro-liberal, pro-capitalist economic model type of people, self-sufficient and no-nonsense crowd. Hardly the attributes of a leftist/communist.

    1. @Christy

      It’s one thing for PNoy’s minions to spread lies but it’s another for the majority to be gullible enough to believe that all those who are against the politian’s criminal activities have “personal agendas”.

      And I don’t know why some people think that rallies should be exclusive only to people who are against a particular issue. Everyone should be able to go to a public place and air their views.

      1. I believe in the value of public fora (as with the direct democracy of ancient Athens), but when a group announces that it’s going to hold a rally for a particular stand, I’ll have qualms going to that rally and airing a contrary stance for fear that the whole thing may turn into a bloody mess. Online comments read like the arguing parties would kill each other had they been together in one venue…. Considering how pikon many Filipinos are and how many tend to get personal when they don’t like what they’re hearing, it could be a bit risky. We don’t want to do an Egypt, don’t we? I wish people would organize an “Aquino resign” rally….

        1. Online comments read like the arguing parties would kill each other had they been together in one venue

          Believe me, all the posturing you see on Facebook from some people is just that. They are more bark than bite. And unfortunately, a peaceful rally won’t really make the public servants who act like criminals change their ways. Which is why it would have been better had there been a heckler contradicting those rabid PNoy supporters on stage. They tend to dominate the scene and make people think that they make sense. It’s time someone put them in their place – the dust bin.

        2. a comment above states the ‘failed state’ condition of the country. if it is true it is best to get to steppin out of the country, if at all possible, as it will take a very long time before it is a functioning state if ever. it is not an accident that it is a ‘failed state’ either.

  6. The dictator BS Aquino destroyed the rule of law. He corrupted the lower house, the senate and is still trying to control the courts and the machinery and instruments of the State. I say it is time to call for the ouster of BS Aquino! Remove BS Aquino and his corrupted followers!!! Down with the yellow dictatorship!!!

    1. The dictator BS Aquino destroyed the rule of law. He corrupted the lower house, the senate and is still trying to control the courts and the machinery and instruments of the State.

      I agree with this but don’t agree with calling for his ouster. We have to show him that we have more respect for the law and the country’s institutions.

      1. @Ilda

        Since BS Aquino threw the “rule book” out of the window we have very few options left. We cannot impeach BS because he has the numbers and controls the senate and the lower house. He is immune to civil suit. He can be charged with more plunder and most certainly he can be pressured to resign as one of the worst presidents ever! Oust the yellow dictator BS Aquino!!!

        1. That’s where we differ. Although there is nothing more I’d like to see than PNoy’s removal from office right now, I prefer to use the legal process. Sure it will take longer but we have to respect the law. The cycle of retribution will not end if we keep removing an elected official illegally.

  7. No matter what you call, the money given by Aquino, to buy the votes or consents from Senators and Tongressmen. You may sanitize the name; perfume it; deodorize it. To become palatable to the Filipino people. It is still
    Bribery. Using the people’s money, to get what you want. Not your money. This is the true character of Aquino…

  8. The problem isn’t just Pnoy, the system and the people are also part of the problem. Removing Pnoy wouldn’t resolve anything as long the same old system and the people’s mentality remains the same.

    1. I guess you’re right. This is one of the disadvantages of democracy. If the people you’re with are not ready for it, you suffer along with them. Maybe it’s true then that the only way to have inner peace and to not have to turn a blind eye to all the evil happening around us when you’re seething inside is to leave the country….

    2. Absolutely, you got it right. Now, ousting PNOY is not a feasible option through impeachment. And I don’t think we have the majority to do it by rallying. But the system and the people would be somewhat difficult but still possible. First, lets start with the people, lets have a group of people who are without political or personal affiliations to someone in position, that will advertise, educate, and concentrate on giving what should be or must be the qualifications of the next President before 2016 not just those stated in the Constitution. Then, when 2016 is on, get all the personal data of those candidates scrutinize it, and even do extensive research so that we have the verified and intact data that can stand any legal battle if needed so. Well, obviously, let all those data publicly visible that even those people in the slump areas can have an easy access to it. The easy ways maybe are through internet, text messaging, and from time to time through conducting programs in the communities. I know the impact of this is not big on next election or this will not be an immediate turn of event but by consistently and diligently doing it I don’t think that Filipinos will not become smart voters. After that, if we elected the people we think are the best people in the position because we have studied thoroughly their backgrounds and have the data available for everybody then, it is time to change the system and that is definitely amending our Constitution without any preferences or political families/parties affiliations involved.

  9. the 1987 constitution is a pigs ear designed to keep pigs in clover.
    about time some real lawyers rewrote it and some real judges applied the rule of law

      1. @Amir Al Bahr

        It’s so typical of some Pinoys to just laugh about serious issues that concerned Filipinos are trying to discuss. They seem to be incapable of comprehending the gravity of the problem. That’s part of the reason the country will remain a basketcase.

        1. So what if she’s not your favorite? Do you think she’s my favorite just because I quoted from the lyrics of one her songs? I just happen to think it makes sense but you already think it is laughable.

          Careful with the comments you post here because it’s going to bite you if you can’t back it up.

  10. thank you Ilda… I read somewhere calling the rally a flop like it was an entertainment show ^_^ you get it…. albeit I am speaking from the point of view of someone who participated in the rally…

  11. IDK, but where I come from, ‘HEROES’ are dead guys having streets named after them. “HEROES”, usually die in wars, or fighting fires….things like that. I hope they are not dead, as the war, like most of them, is looking pretty lopsided for the non-admin. side.AND for no good reason I can see.
    and if they are not dead, I hope they can find a job!

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