As BYSTANDER hinted at the creeping irrelevance of the legal professionin this country, so too we, the people are increasingly reduced to apolitical irrelevance.
Assuming a psychology of absolute impunity, the power elite has decided to lift Proclamation 1017 as if they have in fact a moral basis for making the declaration in the first place. Indeed, they did it as if they owned democracy that they can withdraw it from public domain anytime at all and give it back if and when they so decide. How noble of Gloria! We the people are now forever in her debt.
Lately, Gloria became the most popular search string in Yahoo Asia. Maybe it proves that budding dictators the must be watching us closely here in the Philippines to study how they may in turn crush People Power in their domain with Orwellian flair.
The Malacanang ruling elite call this set-up a democracy. And they seem to succeed in fooling the Catholic bishops who now say "everybody is happy" with the lifting of 1017.
People Power will only work as a solution of last resort in a democracy for it would merely be an act of withdrawal of confidence by the people, on whom power resides.
Rollo May has a chilling insight on the nature of power. He said
..."Power cannot, strictly speaking, be given to another, for then the recipient
still owes it to the giver. It must in some sense be assumed, taken,
asserted.For unless it can be held against opposition, it is not power and will
never be experienced as real on the part of the recipient."
Political victory by wholesale electoral mockery is, to put it mildly, evil. Who's to tie the hands of this power grabber to any legal, social or moral contract?
The usurper might as well be tell the public "I am the state" and would merely state a fact.
Come to think of it, Manolo is right. Gloria must really be planning to be President for life. An opportunity like this is quite rare for a politician. And since she can't bear to allow her grandchildren suffer when future historians berate the Arroyo and Macapagal name, Gloria must be planning right now how to make sure history will be kind to her.
Now if only she could make the presidency somewhat like a hereditary priviledge, maybe history will be very kind to her...
Gloria's next stop, as everyone knows, is Charter Change. Expect her to use every coup and rumors of coups as pretext for dismantling the 1987 "People Power" constitution. Expect her to pre-empt every traditional public holiday when people crowd en masse with a rumor of coup and a mandatory re-imposition of 1017 or a new declaration of whatever.
All these in an effort to buy time because she pins her hopes of resolving her own crisis of legitimacy with, of all things, a brand new constitution. And we must never stop to thank Ramos for giving her the idea.
A new constitution, of course, will legitimize her claim to power. But only because, by then, legitimacy will no longer be defined as we understand it today.
A brave new republic awaits us all!!!