Arroyo Regime Is Disintegrating; But Still Has a Few Tricks to Play

The crisis of the ruling system has become so grave that the ruling classes can no longer rule in the old way. The people want a revolutionary change of government, in which the toiling masses of workers and peasants obtain and exercise their due share of political power.

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Posted by Bulatlat

The Arroyo regime is visibly cracking up and disintegrating under the pressure of the broad united front of opposition political parties, mass organizations, professional organizations, church people, business groups, retired military and police officers and other forces demanding the resignation or ouster of Gloria M. Arroyo from her usurped position as president of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

After consultation with Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, former GRP president Corazon Aquino has categorically called for the resignation of Arroyo and her replacement by the vice-president, Noli de Castro. In turn, the latter has promptly begun to drum up his claims to competence as her successor. Through his most trusted agents, he has proceeded discreetly to contact military and police officers for support.

The ruling coalition is breaking up. The Liberal Party has taken the lead in calling for the resignation of Arroyo. Ten cabinet members and high officials of the Arroyo regime have resigned and in turn have demanded that Arroyo resign, instead of requiring all cabinet members to resign. They seem to be acting in coordination with church and business groups which have demanded the resignation of Arroyo.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has declared that units of the New People’s Army (NPA) are keeping away from urban population centers in order to encourage the broad masses of the people to march and rally against the regime. The NPA is concentrating on waging tactical offensives in the countryside.

At least four significant groups of military officers have welcomed the CPP declaration and have pledged to uphold civilian supremacy, respect the democratic rights of the people and withdraw support from Arroyo upon sight of at least 500,000 people in the national capital region.

The chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has declared that the military would respect the democratic rights of the people to assemble and speak. But the chief of the Philippine National Police is expressing extreme loyalty to Arroyo and hostility toward the people who are exercising their rights in opposition to the regime.

U.S. officials at various levels have announced that any change of government in the Philippines must follow the “constitutional path” and “rule of law” and have continued to express support for the Arroyo regime. Thus, the regime boasts that it will stay in power so long as it keeps U.S. support. At the same time, some pro-U.S. elements in the conservative opposition parties claim that Arroyo has lost that support.

While the regime is definitely disintegrating, Arroyo can still play a few tricks in ways more serious than apologizing for a “lapse in judgment” and “sending away” her husband and her son. She continues to proclaim that she will not resign. The forces of the broad united front are therefore forewarned not to become complacent but to be more resolute and militant than ever in arousing and mobilizing the people in their millions and in adopting a wide range of tactics to demonstrate the regime’s inability to govern.

Plans are afoot for Arroyo to stage mass rallies in her favor, especially in some provinces where governors and mayors remain as her allies, and to use the Philippine National Police to suppress mass rallies that are not granted permits by pro-Arroyo local authorities. By these plans Arroyo is taking a gamble that is likely to inflame civil strife. The very crowds she tries to rally can also turn against her as in the Ceaucescu example in Romania.

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