Friday, July 22, 2005


Gloria misses the point once more when she acquiesced to the clamor of certain sectors towards the establishment of a Truth Commission. After the harrowing revelations of the past month, it is baffling why Mrs. Arroyo is suddenly interested in the truth. Not when we have seen her muster virtually all the powers of government to cover up the “Hello, Garci” tapes controversy. We only need to recall her own Press Secretary dangling the notorious CDs and proclaiming them as fabrications in a frantic attemptto diffuse public outrage.

As concerned citizens source out vital information regarding the rigging of the presidential elections through the CDs, Arroyo sends out her Justice Secretary to threaten arrest for these people distributing the CDs – well-meaning citizens performing the highest degree of civic-mindedness with their concern for public welfare and the truth.

In the weeks that followed, Gloria ignored the public’s clamor for the truth only to insult this legitimate demand by cloaking her eventual admission with an insincere double-speak. Her apologists have been speaking this strange language since then. It is a language that is steep inspine less reasoning and in legal gobbledygook. Certainly, no respectable citizen would lend his name and provide legitimacy to a Truth Commission established by this administration.

What we are witnessing are the last-ditch attempts byArroyo and her cohorts to maintain themselves in power. Malacanang’s call for the shift towards a parliamentary form of government is an indication that they have been employing political concession as a means to unite with traditional politicians and the far right. Parallel to these efforts is a massive publicity campaign that includes releasing dubious wire-tapped conversations of political enemies and the staging of demonstrations-for-hire. The entry of publicists and acting coaches in Malacañang further elevates this Presidency to farcical heights.

But the public cannot be fooled. Despite her best attempts in misleading the people, the public has been able to discern the truth about the Arroyo presidency– that it is an administration propelled to power by election irregularities and political patronage. Numerous surveys and public pronouncements of various institutions in the past weeks indicate that in the bar of public opinion, Mrs. Arroyo has lost all her claims to legitimacy. Mammoth mass demonstrations have since filled the streets of the metropolis and the urgent call of this exasperated public has been for Gloria to resign.

Members of our very own UP community have participated in these efforts to rid ourselves of an unworthy leader. At the forefront of these struggles are the militant students who bring to life the spirit of being true scholars of the people by campaigning in the classroom and in the streets for genuine social change. Their ranks has since swelled as members of faculty, employees and research staff of the University join them in calling for Arroyo’s removal.

Last July 13, the Faculty of the University of thePhilippines-Diliman has joined this chorus. In a statement by the University Council of Diliman, Arroyo, having violated the tenets of honesty, personal integrity, and responsibility so cherished byUP, is practically disowned as a daughter of the University. Furthermore, the UP faculty declares that Arroyo has almost single-handedly destroyed our political institutions and robbed our country of its self-esteem. Their call is for the president to “immediately resign.”

The University of the Philippines-Diliman has spoken. And it is time for Gloria and her administration to hear what we have to say. On July 25, this illegitimate president will stand before the nation and deliver her State of the Nation Address (SONA). However, we will not listen about the state of the nation from someone so indifferent to the public clamor for change. Instead, we will unite our voices with the multitude that suffer her warped economic and political policies and deliver the true state of the nation. It is a nation that is tired of her presidency and everything that she represents – patronage, corruption, and the politics of concession at the expense of the interests of the public.

This Monday, the University of the Philippines and thousands of others will pour out into the streets. This time Gloria is going to get the point!


UP AWARE is a broad alliance of faculty, students, research and extension personnel, and administrative staff calling for the removal of GMA

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