It is so familiar now. Quotidian. Everyday.

We refer to the state of the country—the state of life our fellow Filipinos go through each day.

The country is endlessly taking a beating because the presidency is perpetually taking a pounding.

This ugly reality is now the stuff of everyday life in the Philippines and unless something better happens to resolve the political crisis, the life there will always be marked by uncertainty.

The resolution to this political crisis plaguing the country is not in sight and the proposals from many sectors and groups and movements come as complicated as those protests staged by those who can afford to miss work because they do not have to punch a time card and may even claim benefits from their employment despite the fact that they are in the streets shouting slogans.

The priests, clerics and other religious leaders are also busy now as well.

Erap Estrada, a former president dethroned because of perceived excesses in his reign, shouts of vindication when Corazon Aquino, another former president who benefited from the first People Power, said she was mistaken when she threw her support for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Erap’s claim to “look-Ma-clean-hands” outside of the context that Aquino simply said that she was mistaken is something that needs reconsideration.

For one thing, Erap’s sins have nothing to do with Arroyo’s perceived flaws as president.

Absolution, we remind Erap, is not done in absentia.

We remind Aquino and Arroyo of the same.

We remind them of the forces of history—those forces that are linked with the memory of a people that has found itself again, a people that has found its path to redemption.

And now this: a movement’s proposal for the Aquino presidency to resign in shame and embarrassment in much the same way the Erap presidency was forced to call it a day and closed shop in order to put an end to its transactions with other characters, many of them do not have anything to do with the people that the presidency had promised to serve.

Another one proposes a snap election—one surefire way to perdition.

We have Marcos’ snap election to teach us of the chaos that happened afterwards.

All these tactics—and many of them antics like the way some bishops have maintained their silence when it came to the hosing down incident in order to sustain the media image that they were there, indeed, taking all the water and the beating and the punishing but in realty were either at the tail end of the march or had gone home to their well-appointed homes—have not regarded much the social condition of the poor, they who cannot miss a day from their workload unless they can afford to see their children going to sleep on an empty stomach.

We want a quick relief—not this prolonged, protracted anguish we are going through.

We want the political posturing to end—and soon.

We are driving away the middle class and we have lost a million middle class last year—the best ones we can ever be proud of—to other shores and other economies.

We cannot afford to keep on losing our best.

The chaos has to be addressed—and right away.

We cannot make our people keep on holding the empty bag while we stage protests after protests in the streets.

Perhaps we need to see the wisdom of the people’s protests against these protests?

Published, INQ, V1N18, Oct 2005

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