Saturday, November 20, 2004

Unwelcome Message

"Philippine President Gloria Arroyo yesterday ordered the replacement of soldiers and police guarding a farm controlled by the family of former president Corazon Aquino after deadly riots involving striking workers claimed as many as seven lives."
More evidence that the second "People Power" movement in Phillipines never had the moral authority of the first. As bad a President as Estrada was, overthrowing the candidate duly elected by the poorest people in the country, using an alliance of the military, the church and affluent urbanites, was a catastrophe for Phillipine democracy. Keeping Estrada in jail all these years, and the questions about the latest election only compound the transgression. Arroyo and Aquino are not bad people. They do not believe they preside over an unjust, feudalistic economic order. That's why they allow elections. But the people of the Phillipines keep telling them something about their society that they don't want to hear. Sweeping that message aside doesn't make the reality go away, though, as these strikes indicate.