Freedom is a concept that has been perverted in many ways, when people do not get what they want in this country, they not only flail around and engage in all kinds of demagoguery, they also issue thinly-veiled threats…publicly! And naturally, some sectors in the media go into a tailspin to broadcast everything down to the last juicy bit, all for the cause of freedom of course.

Fierce advocates of the death penalty went to town the other day to protest, decry, lambast, and do practically everything dramatic to register their disgust over the eminent lifting of capital punishment in this country. Now, this is a free country and people should be allowed to protest anything – including of course, the right to protest against a protest, and the right to protest against a protest of a protest. And so on and so forth.

But protesting is one thing, making threats is another thing.

Sadly, this has become rather commonplace today. Last week, businessmen led by Donald Dee went on public television to threaten the President. The message was not even coached in more polite terms, but in plain and simple language: we will withdraw support if the legislated wage increase is signed into law. Businessmen making threats, now that's something you do not see everyday!

It was the turn of the pro-death penalty advocates this week (I always shudder at the label “pro-death,” but then again, it is just me and I always had a weak stomach anyway). The Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and the Citizen’s Crime Watch issued a clear threat, again coached in simple, clear, straightforward language: we will withdraw support if the death penalty is abolished. (Actually the Jesus Is Lord movement was part of the protest, but did not threaten withdrawal of support for very obvious reasons: they never offered any support to begin with since their leader Brother Eddie Villanueva was a presidential candidate).

In other words, they are demanding payoff for their support.

And these people have the gall to demand good governance? How can any leader govern effectively if he or she is forced to pander to everyone’s wishes?


cvj said…
GMA is in a weak position because her legitimacy in in question and people know it. Part of being a good leader is the ability to sticks to unpopular principle that would benefit the common good (as he or she understands it). In the case of GMA, her inability to govern effectively is her own doing.
Jego said…
Evangelicals calling for the death penalty? Coming soon: The Apocalypse. :-D
alden said…
o common cvj, ang galing galing mo talga mag connect ng issue to mrs arroyo...

we are talking here of people who is threatening the president of widrawal of support if they dont get wanted. their selfish and very conditional brand of support. this has been going in phil politics since way way back. and it has nothing to do with mrs arroyo at all.

nakakarindi na yang sobrang pag focus mo kay mrs arroyo ha....hindi na toluy credible ang mga criticism (or is it a cause?)mo kay mrs arroyo wonder na sa tinagal tagal na mo at ng mga kasam mo dito sa blos sphere your number is not growing really and hence na nasa malakanyang pa rin si mrs arroyo hanggang ngayon...
cvj said…
Alden, the connection is really not that hard to establish. Kung walang saysay ang 'legitimacy issue' ni Arroyo, puwede niyang ipawalang bahala ang mga banta sa kanya ng mga katulad ni Donald Dee at ng mga Death penalty advocates. Kaso, dahil nga sa kalagayan niya, nagkakaroon tuloy ng mas malalim na kahulugan ang katagang 'widthrawal of support'. Sayang nga at kailangan natin ngayon ng Presidenteng may panindigan. (Kung naririndi ka, pasensiya na lang at hindi ko naman sinasadya. Huwag mo na lang siguro basahin ang comments ko.)
alden said…
But of course CVJ, for people like you it is always very easy to make the connection!!!!!

Ang sa paniniwala ko naman, halos lahat ng Filipino may kanya kanyang paninidagan eh. Kay lang yung iba dyan di marunong rumespeto sa paninindigan ng iba na salungat nung sa kanila.

Ang please dont be naive! Dahil simple lang yan. nagpost ka ng comment para mabasa ng ng publiko.\ At kasama na rin dyan ang hangarin na mauisulong ang gusto nyong mangyari ma mapatalsk si Mrs Arroyo....Kung ayaw mong may naririndi sa mga komento. O di wag kang mag post
cvj said…
Alden, maigi sigurong basahin mo rin ang mga sinabi ni Randy David na naka-post ngayon sa blog ni Manolo Quezon Doon, pinapaliwanag niya kung paano puwedeng makagambala sa mabuting pamamahala ang mga pagkakautang na politikal ni Arroyo sa mga taong tumulong at patuloy na tumutulong sa kaniyang manatili sa poder. Hindi kaila sa karamihan na tagilid ang lagay ni Mrs.Arroyo dahil sa mga nabunyag tungkol sa kaniya. Iyan ang sinasamantala ni Donald Dee, ng mga death penalty advocates at marami pang iba. Sa akin naman, wala akong ibang hinihingi sa kaniya kundi magbitiw na siya sa tungkulin para matapos na ang kaguluhan na ito.
alden said…
cvj, im a regular reader of MLQ. As a matter of fact we had several conversations there. My use the name "Rego". Remember?

And as far as Mrs Arroyo is concern, you know very well my stand . And that is I dont want Mrs Arroyo to resign because of the mere pressure from your group or becuase of the threat of withdrawal of support from Donald Dee or from anybody. I wanted her to be tried in the impeachment court because that is the process defined in the constitution.

As far as kaguluhan is concern, my personal belief is that everybody is a part of the kaguluhan hindi lang si Mrs Arroyo.

Ang problema sa pagpanig mo kay Donald Dee is that it seems to me that you are playing "the enemy of my enemy is my freind". So anything that will weaken the presidency of Mrs Arroyo is an "halleluah" for you. No matter how improper it is.
cvj said…
Rego, of course i remember. Just to clarify, i'm against the death penalty and in favor of a legislated wage increase. I was just explaining how GMA's legitimacy problem is connected with the behavior of those who lobby for this or that issue, something that Randy David has explained more fully in the above link. The fact is, she remains in a weak position to deliver 'good governance' because of having too many political debts from those who prop her up. Even if you and i fall silent, there will always be people who will come to take advantage of this reality. (BTW, what's you take on 'One Voice'?)
alden said…
cvj about one voice, I was actually expecting that amidst these kaguluhan and so many groups that sprouted in the past, a new breed leader or or genuine group will be born. That is why i dont take all these kaguluhan in our country in a negative light. I am hoping that One Voice is it.
chris said…
In politics, everybody has political debt. You are naive if you don't know that. Randy David doesn't have any but is he the President? Chances are, if he runs this very moment he will lose to Eddie Gil.

That was the point of Mrs. Arroyo when she made that infamous speech. In our system, a politician will not survive if he doesn't get any help. Hindi ba nasa kultura natin ang utang na loob? Kita mo yang temporary friend mo ngayon na si Donald Dee, me withdrawal of support kung di mapagbibigyan.

Kasi tingin nyo ang dali-dali lang maging Presidente.

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