ninez cacho-olivares writes that the liberal party (LP) has sent out an SOS to the US, stepping up calls for foreign intervention, cranking up the campaign to oust president digong and replace him with vp leni.
LP senators are launching a probe on Rody capitalizing on a statement made in his recent state visit to China that the country is separating from the United States.
The probe was called on the pretext of inquiring into the administration’s foreign relations policy but is obviously meant to add more fuel to the raging feud between Washington and Rody.
hmm. i bet these LP senators were among those whom US asst secretary of state and senior diplomat for asia daniel russel met with when he was here oct 22 to 25. i also bet that it was duterte who snubbed russel and not, as reported by manila standard, the other way around. i remember catching duterte in some televised event post-china, and when asked about that impending visit, he shrugged and said that the asst. sec. of state could meet with his counterpart, the secretary of defense, or someone like that. too bad the prez doesn’t have a working communications dept. otherwise na-straighten out en seguida yang balitang inisnab ni russel si digong.
but to get back to russel and his mission. surely it was not just to personally air america’s concerns over digong’s pivot-to-china independent-of-america foreign policy and to reaffirm “America’s enduring bond of friendship, respect and shared value with the people of the Philippines,” but also to be assured by defense sec lorenzana that the prez doesn’t mean what he says, lol, or doesn’t know what he’s saying, lol uli. and surely he was also here to meet with groups like the LP and who knows who-else to get the pulse, and state, of the opposition, kumbaga.
reminds me of pre-EDSA 1986 when US president reagan sent philip habib, the counterpart of russel in those days, to trouble-shoot the major major marcos-aquino conflict. this was post-snap elections, post-batasan proclamation of marcos as winner, at the height of cory’s crony boycott and civil disobedience campaign. it was reported that habib met with everybody: marcos, cory, the military, the church, the makati business community, and who knows who else, but both marcos and cory were adamant about standing their ground, no room for compromise, and honasan’s RAM was bent on pushing through with the coup / palace attack set for early sunday 23 feb and marcos and ver were prepared to wipe them out.
at the time, it must be said, america was squarely on marcos’s side on account of the US bases and the reagans being friends of the marcoses, and squarely anti-cory on account of her campaign promise to release all political detainees and, even, to put an end to the US bases. it also bears pointing out that the only thing habib was sure of when he hurriedly left at noon of 22 feb was that something big and bloody was about to break between the marcos-ver and the enrile-honasan camps.
It would not do for President Reagan’s negotiator to be in Manila if all hell was going to break loose. It might seem as if he were involved, or responsible. [Sterling Seagrave, The Marcos Dynasty]
but as it turned out, honasan called off the coup because ver was on to it pala and was prepared to stop the rebel reformists in their tracks. defense minister juan ponce enrile, who had been all set to take over as head of a ruling junta, decided to defect instead and with AFP vice-chief of staff and PC-INP chief fidel ramos announced their breakaway in that historic camp aguinaldo presscon just before 7 pm of saturday 22 feb. the rest is history.
it bears repeating that contrary to popular opinion:
… the Americans were not responsible for EDSA. Ronald Reagan’s trouble-shooter Philip Habib knew that something was brewing but he failed to get a handle on it. The Ramos-Enrile defection caught the Americans napping, People Power knocked them out. It was already day three of EDSA—the battle was practically won—when the Americans intervened in earnest, and only in the matter of Marcos’s escape. Intelligence reports from the CIA may have helped the rebel military during the four days, but if the Americans had completely stayed out of it, EDSA would have happened anyway, and it could have ended more decisively. [EDSA Uno page 11]
america had nothing much to do with EDSA 86. it was not america that brought people marching to EDSA to shield enrile, ramos, and RAM from marcos’s wrath — it was butz aquino and cardinal sin. it was not america that compelled cory and enrile to reconcile their differences and join forces against marcos — it was the millions of people who surrounded the camps, cheering for both cory and enrile. and it certainly was not america that installed cory as president but the sea of people who bravely stood their ground in the face of tanks and cannons and helicopter gunships and howitzers, demanding that marcos resign.
so, really, if the LP and the VP want the president ousted for his anti-america pro-china rhetoric, america is not the one to run to first. america would happily assist in an ouster, i would think, but only if the opposition has the numbers, which means that the LP and the VP have their work cut out for them, which is to swing to their side duterte supporters who are pro-america and anti-china, and who might therefore be having second thoughts about their president.
if they’re not up to the job, it is perhaps time to turn their attention to other issues and events unfolding that are just as earthshaking, and where they could make a difference, e.g., charter change via con-ass, unless that’s okay with them pala, as with the planned shift to federalism?