Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trillanes Keeps the Fire Burning

The political victory of ex- Navy Lt. Antonio Trillanes IV is a repudiation of morally bankrupt Arroyo regime. The more than 11 million voters supported his anti-corruption advocacy and protest vote against GMA’s anti-people policies. Majority of the Filipino people based on surveys want the ouster of bogus President Gloria Arroyo whether via military intervention, resignation or people’s uprising. The victory of the Genuine Opposition-UNO in the senate race is a referendum or no confidence vote against Gloria Arroyo and her corrupt government. Finally, the ultimate reward will be the prosecution and conviction of Jose Pidal and Gloria for their crimes against the Filipino people.

“If I’m going to craft policies that will focus on anti-corruption, we can’t have an anticorruption drive implemented by a corrupt President, so it’s impossible, I can only do so much".

"I believe we can clinch the required number of congressmen to impeach her. The only way for this country to move forward is to move Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of the way.” Former Navy Lt. Antonio Trillanes IV

Senator-to-be Antonio Trillanes IV of the Genuine Opposition does not disappoint those who trace the mess that this country is in to the illegitimacy of the Arroyo presidency.

Foremost, he never refers to Arroyo as "president". Just plain Gloria Arroyo.

In his interview last Monday with ABS-CBN’s Ces Drilon, the first after he was granted post-election media access, he said he would work for the impeachment of Gloria Arroyo.

This categorical declaration, at this time when some of the opposition senators-elect are taking a magnanimous attitude towards the Arroyo, has elicited strong reactions.

It’s perfectly okay with me because I believe that no one who was ever elected by the people should hold the presidency. Given the many crimes against the Filipino people that Arroyo has committed, I believe such an undertaking is long overdue.

But I know of others who want a respite from wearying political hostilities. There is also the aspect that he was elected senator (I’m presuming that he will soon be proclaimed senator because he won) who would only be able to participate in an impeachment process if the Senate is convened as an impeachment court. An impeachment complaint is initiated in the House of Representatives.

Ces asked, given that the numbers in the Lower House do not favor of the opposition, would he still pursue his advocacy of Gloria Arroyo’s impeachment?

Trillanes’ reply: "The impeachment advocacy has been my campaign line because I believe that’s the only way for this country to move forward. We have lined up several legislative proposals which require primarily executive action. We can’t possibly expect these policies to be implemented by such a corrupt president. So I’m being straightforward to the people that we can’t do much as long as we have GMA as president."

He said his winning the senate race despite all the odds – in detention, lack of funds, very few TV ads – was a statement from the people that they want change.

He sees the lack of numbers among the congressmen now as surmountable. He said his senatorial win broke several conventions in Philippine politics. "We have done practically the impossible. It shows it can be done."

He elaborated how he is going to go about it. "If I can convince people to vote for me, I believe I can also convince congressmen to support impeachment. Or I can convince sectors of society to convince congressmen to support impeachment."

In a separate interview with DZMM’s Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja yesterday, he expressed the desire to be part of the Blue Ribbon and the Defense committees. I can imagine that through investigation in aid of legislation, he would be able to uncover more impeachable crimes committed by Arroyo.

Trillanes told Ces Drilon that impeaching Arroyo "is the only way to go. And I will keep on delivering that message. We can have change now, outside Gloria and move forward to progress. Or we can tolerate three years of what we have now with Gloria at the helm."

He pursued the same line in his answer to ANC’s Ricky Carandang, who joined the interview from the studio. Asked about his legislative agenda, Trillanes replied that the legislative agenda he presented to the people necessitates the removal of Arroyo. He cited his anti-corruption position: "You cannot possibly expect and anti-corruption legislation to be implemented by a corrupt president. We have to be real about the situation."

He said it’s the same thing in the areas of peace and order. He disclosed that he is in the process of conceptualizing a comprehensive Mindanao peace plan that will include conflict resolution, infrastructure development, enhanced economy and social services. "We can’t have this under GMA because GMA is the one responsible for the endless war in Mindanao. She had her chance. For six years, she mismanaged the country and right now, she can’t possibly say anything as regards the Mindanao war because she’s the one who perpetuated it."

It will be recalled that when Trillanes and some 300 soldiers belonging to the Magdalo staged what is now referred to as the Oakwood mutiny on July 27, 2003, they disclosed the Greenbase documents which exposed the plan of Arroyo and her national security officials to control Mindanao for business interests.

To those who are concerned that he would not be a fair and impartial judge in case of an impeachment trial against Arroyo, he explained that impeachment is a political trial whose end is not criminal conviction but a change in political leadership.

"So the ultimate judgment is based not only on the overall political assessment (but also) of whether it is in the best interest of the country for the accused public official to continue serving in government."

Four years of detention has not doused the fire of idealism that we saw in Oakwood. I like what I’m seeing.

Readers who missed a column can go to http://www.ellentordesillas.com

Email address: ellentordesillas@gmail.com

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