A Culture of Rebellion

Antonio Trillanes IV is two-faced. For a moment, he worships the Constitution by invoking his “mandate as protector of the people” and, later on, offends the same constitution by “making the step of removing Gloria Arroyo from the presidency.” 

I am disgusted with the Arroyo administration. The events that have transpired in the past months, and the past three years, are disturbing they are, to me, national nightmares but it is no less disturbing how notoriously involved the military has become in Politics.  

The dangers of the latter are evident- let’s look at Burma.   

I cannot find a term more emphatic than arrogance in describing how it deliberately, and repeatedly, sticks its nose into the affairs of the people. Not to mention, the contempt Trillanes and general Lim have shown of the civilian court.  

Brig. General Danilo Lim is confusing me. He said “she (Arroyo) stole the presidency from President Joseph Estrada through unconstitutional and deceitful means.”  What I know is that we- the people and the military- have conspired to drive Erap away from Malacañang. I wonder whom he was serving when the military top brass withdrew its support from then President Estrada.  

I have read that he is a reputable figure in the military and I am not in the position to refute that but I cannot seem to understand how he could call Arroyo’s presidency illegitimate in the context of Estrada’s plight.            

I believe in the young and brave whose hearts burn for the country- Trillanes must be one of them. I believe in the principled- the Magdalo group must be one of them- held captive but still have their ideals intact.  

With this recent event, a reminder of expensive coups in the past, however, I have wondered if the young and the brave and the principled are self-driven or pulled, blindly or not, by the string.  

The election of Trillanes to the Senate is a loud protest of the people against Arroyo, they say. I agree. He was an unmistakably refreshing figure- a stark contrast to the futile ones whose faces have been superimposed in every paper and television sets- of unreserved, perhaps, genuine, opposition.   

There is something utterly wrong if he interprets his victory as an approval of mutinous acts in the past. The Arroyo administration is morally bankrupt but mutinous soldiers are immoral just the same.  

It was disheartening that eleven million people voted for Trillanes because it was, to this writer, out of desperation. It is not easy to understand how we could have elected a ‘rebel’ but I have slowly started to see it as a means of the people to continuously look for an alternative contrary to what is perceived as mere apathy. 

Alternatives are experimental and we do not always end up with the first.  

If there’s a lesson the people must have learned, I would say it is that we always find this country in the same quagmire of scandals no matter how many times soldiers stage a coup and no matter how many presidents we remove from office by taking our grievances out into the parliament of the streets. 

We have always been the primary casualties- we pay the price, and more often than not, it is an expensive one.  

It is depressing to the pit how far we have tolerated and embraced a culture of rebellion. Unless that breaks down, we can never be united.


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