Successful Coups

by umer | 1:19 PM in |

Successful Coups
Successful Coups. More than a week after junior military officers led by Navy Ltsg. Antonio Trillanes IV mounted an unusual protest action by holding fort at Oakwood in Makati for 19 hours, what has now actually emerged is that there were two coups against the constitution.

There was the failed one, the one that now appears to have been cooked—and abandoned, for now--by key politicians identified with the late Estrada administration directly exploiting the brewing discontent among the rank-and-file of the military and police. Then there was the second one, the more sneaky coup, the one that formally began in the afternoon of that fateful Sunday. It likewise exploited the protest action by military elements but on a wilier level. This coup claimed to be on the side of the Constitution but actually suspended it. This coup claimed to be part of a success for democracy, but is actually demolishing it.

And this second successful coup unraveled with three words declared by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration: state of rebellion.

As all Filipinos know, and which the Macapagal-Arroyo regime vainly tries to downplay, there is nothing in the 1987 Constitution that provides for a state of rebellion. This is a plain legal invention outside constitutional bounds.

It’s quite ironic that Macapagal-Arroyo had to resort to extra-legal measures to address what is sees are extra-legal threats to its rule. No amount of government spin that this state of rebellion is aimed principally at coup plotters can offset the far larger danger that this unconstitutional tack of the administration inflicts on the Filipino people.

What this resort to a state of rebellion unmasks then is that the current clique in power—the most able partner of U.S. imperialism in the country today-- is clearly desperate to preserve its hold on the Philippine neocolonial state, and that its knee-jerk resort to this blatantly antidemocratic measure shows the Macapagal-Arroyo-Angelo Reyes clique’s readiness to junk all pretenses to democracy.

One key use this unconstitutional, tyrannical state of rebellion will likely be for the Macapagal-Arroyo-Reyes clique is the suppression of a full-blown, independent, credible investigation into the three main themes forwarded by Trillanes and company: (1) the deep-seated, flagrant corruption besetting the military establishment; (2) the ties that bind terrorism and this government, signified by Trillanes’ expose of government’s authorship of the recent Davao bombings; and (3) the Macapagal-Arroyo clique’s plan to impose martial law this month.

As it is, Macapagal-Arroyo has not done any serious steps along this investigation. Instead, what has been actually formed is a special committee to look into how the military protest emerged, and how this can be prevented in the future, similar to one set up by the Aquino government in the aftermath of the December 1989 coup d’etat. (In fact, one of this previous task force’s members, U.P. Prof. Carolina Hernandez, sits in the new committee formed by Macapagal-Arroyo.) Clearly, this committee will not look into the exposes of Trillanes’ group.

Which is quite odd, considering the gravity of all the above three concerns raised by the Magdalo group.

It didn’t help that Trillanes and company offered no extensive concrete evidence to the media in all the 19 hours they commanded public attention last Sunday to buttress these controversial assertions. But being themselves in the military, they are surely in a position to know and obtain many of the facts underlying these claims. (Could they be holding their punches? If so, why?)

Of the above three themes revealed by Trillanes, the matter of government’s ties to terrorism is particularly controversial and significant. It’s quite anomalous, in fact, that in the official comments of the Bush government (in the U.S.) and the Howard government (in Australia) on the June 27 military protest, not a word was ever uttered expressing concern that key elements of the Macapagal-Arroyo government—their most able partner in their so-called global war on terrorism—might have something to do with the terrorists and the recent local acts of terrorism. Doesn’t this nagging silence clash with these governments’ public ferocity against terrorists and all those that harbor them? Hmm…

We need not wait for Navy Ltsg. Trillanes to quit holding his tongue for information on these serious matters to be brought to public light. For in this particular expose of government’s ties to terrorism, there are already quite promising leads for an investigation along this line. We refer in particular to the following:

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