THE PARANOIA OF GLORIA
Privilege Speech of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, February 27, 2006
Posted: August 6th, 2008 @ 12:59am
I take this opportunity to denounce, in clear and in no uncertain terms, the blatant, vulgar and despotic-like underhandedness that occurred last Friday, February 24, 2006, wherein people seeking to celebrate the spirit of EDSA I were treated like common criminals by the heavy hand of an illegitimate president.
What makes this tyrannical and arbitrary act more despicable is the fact that this illegitimate president and pretender to power had the uncanny timing of depriving the people of one of their basic constitutional rights during the commemoration of a historic event that symbolizes the reattainment of freedom of Filipinos.
Is this regime so desperate to cling to power that the mere notion of people gathering to celebrate the spirit of EDSA I would force its hand to order the Philippine National Police (PNP) and even the military to crack down on ordinary citizens and deprive them of their basic fundamental right?
Kitang-kita sa kanilang mga galaw na sila'y takot na takot. Parang mga daga na nagsisiksikan sa Palasyo ng Malakanyang upang magtago.
Despite its protestations of winning the elections fair and square, this illegitimate regime is so afraid of its own shadow that it will quickly disperse any sign of mass action. Is it so guilty that it had even revoked all permits for the celebration of a national event?
Hindi ba alam ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na kung hindi sa EDSA I ay wala siya sa poder ngayon? Ang bilis naman niyang nakalimutan ang sakripisyo ng mga taong nagbuwis ng buhay upang matamasa natin ang tunay na kalayaan.
I need not underscore the importance and the symbolism of EDSA I in this Chamber. Most of the members of the Senate, past and present, have played a significant role in making EDSA I a reality. But allow me to state for the record that EDSA I is bigger than all of us - this historic and watershed event reflects the ultimate Filipino dream of freedom and equality for all and the hope for a better life for future generations.
Thus, EDSA I is not merely an event that is relegated to the history books - it is a work in progress. Everyday Filipinos from all walks of life, from the ordinary worker to the businessman, breathe and live the spirit embodied by EDSA I.
Yet, this spurious and immoral administration, with its battery of cabinet secretaries and legal defenders, saw it fit to destroy the very spirit of EDSA I on the very day of its commemoration - this is adding insult to an already irreparable injury.
Yet, I am not surprised at this turn of events. I have often taken the floor and delivered several privilege speeches warning the nation of the impending and inevitable progression of illegal acts of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo towards despotism.
Is the pretender in Malacañang so drunk with power that in her stupor she will use whatever means available to her to consolidate her illegal hold on the presidency?
Is she so enamored with power that it has totally corrupted her mind and those of her people so as to warrant the reckless disregard for the rule of law?
Madalas natin na marinig ang katagang “Drink Moderately,” ngunit tila lasing na lasing na si Ginang Arroyo sa kapangyarihan at wala na siyang pakialam kung nasasaktan na ang mga tao sa kanyang mga ginagawa.
It is with chilling precision that this fraudulent administration has created an atmosphere of virtual martial law - through the dubious proclamation of a state of national emergency.
Barely has this proclamation been given when we as a nation stood as a dumbfounded witness to the illegal and arbitrary disruption by the Philippine National Police of legitimate and peaceful processions by Randy David at Santolan in San Juan; by the group of former Vice-president Teofisto Guingona at the EDSA Shrine; the commemoration celebration at Ayala in Makati and even the march of several groups at the Mandaluyong-Makati bridge.
Yet, alarming still is the ominous warning issued by the powers that be that any media organization shall be taken over if they are found to be supporting people out to destabilize the government.
I need not underscore the frightening fact that the Philippine National Police, devoid of any legal basis and acting purely on speculation and suspicion, raided the office of the Daily Tribune at the wee hours of Saturday morning and seized numerous materials and news clippings in direct violation of various fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to media outfits and to media personnel.
Is this the beginning of a virtual martial rule? In my humble opinion, this is a very dangerous precedent. We cannot allow the police – the mandated protectors of civil society - to run rampant in the metropolis and raid, arrest or harass anyone based on whim, speculation and suspicion. What is more alarming is that the PNP, emboldened by Proclamation No. 1017, seem to think that they are above the law and beyond judicial reproach!
And close to the heels of the PNP is the National Telecommunications Commission or the NTC which declared that it will monitor broadcast organizations that are broadcasting seditious material.
One important question I would like to ask is how will this illegitimate government determine what is seditious and what is not? From the turn of events, it seems this government equates sedition with constructive criticism.
Ganito na ba kababa at kabulok ang kinahinatnan ng ating pamahalaan?
Have we stooped this low? That if you do not agree with Malacañang you will be branded as a criminal?
Does this mean that under this false regime, everyone must agree with Gloria? If this is the case, then democracy is dead in this country and the spirit of EDSA I has been lost forever.
If this is the kind of society that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wants to create, then I say that our democracy today is nothing more than a farce, a falsehood, and ultimately, a death-blow to the sacrifices of those who have gone before us in ensuring that we will have a country blessed with freedom under the rule of law.
The only consolation that I have is that I am not alone in this observation. As time passes by, more and more of our countrymen are joining the ranks of the dissatisfied, the disenchanted, and the disillusioned.
Yet, more importantly, more and more people are becoming exasperated at the underhandedness of this pretender to power. Her actions these past few days simply validate the belief that she had indeed cheated, lied and stole her way into Malacañang.
Finally, although through her deplorable actions Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had bought for herself a temporary respite, she will forever feel the indictment of the people and she has effectively reserved for herself a place in Philippine history - as the illegitimate president who has killed the spirit of EDSA I forever.
I end with the hope that there is still time - time to resuscitate the dying embers of EDSA I, time to unite and ensure that the darkness of tyranny and authoritarianism will never cover the shores of our country again.