What if P-Noy resigned?

By Perry Diaz

Aquino-Resign-MovementIn the aftermath of the Mamasapano Massacre, a groundswell is rising for the resignation of President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III. This is reminiscent of the time leading to the uprising in 2001 when a citizens’ movement snowballed into another people power revolution, which came to fruition when the generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines withdrew their support for then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Known as “EDSA Dos,” it was a coup d’état disguised as a people power revolution, which many believed was orchestrated by an elite group who wanted Erap’s vice president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to take over the presidency. Indeed, if EDSA Dos was considered a “revolution,” then it was a revolution of the elite – the oligarchs of the land. And true enough; as soon as Gloria took over, the oligarchs placed their people in key government positions. Indeed, EDSA Dos was all about power.

Gloria’s usurpation of the presidency in January 2001 positioned her to run for president in 2004, which gave her the “power of the incumbent.” Elected amidst charges of election cheating, Gloria was in power for nine and a half years, which made her the longest serving president since 1986, when EDSA 1 deposed the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. As we all know now, Gloria’s reign was the most corrupt since the time of Marcos.

People power

Aquino-Resign-Movement.2Although the Resign Movement was gaining momentum, it didn’t reach a critical mass that could have ignited another people power revolution. And after three people power revolutions – EDSA 3 was a failed attempt to bring Erap back to power after Gloria was sworn into office – the people are now tired of “people power” revolutions. So what we’re seeing now is a different tact to bring down the president: the use of the media. And this includes social media, which in essence is another form of “people power.” But is social media enough to put pressure on P-Noy to resign? Or does it need “boots on the ground,” that is, another EDSA-type people power uprising?

Aquino-US-puppet-rallyBut regardless of what the people – or those behind them — would employ to pursue a regime change, it has all the trappings of a coup d’état. The only difference is that the “players” this time around have a pinkish taint of anti-Americanism, who accuse P-Noy of being a puppet of the Americans. Ironically, the beneficiary of EDSA 1 – P-Noy’s mother, Cory Aquino – was the Left’s chosen leader. However, the two heroes of the revolt against Marcos’ totalitarian rule were his own henchmen, Minister of Defense Juan Ponce and Enrile and Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos — a cousin of Marcos – who were both staunchly pro-American.

Regime change

EDSA Dos: Swearing-in of "President" Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

EDSA Dos: Swearing-in of “President” Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

And just like the previous EDSA revolutions, the objective of this attempt to bring down P-Noy is regime change. And this is where it gets real fuzzy; the transition could be anything but orderly.

If the EDSA Dos scenario were followed, then the sitting Vice President, Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, would assume the presidency. But unlike Gloria – who had the commitment of the military’s top brass and then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. to install her as “president” instead of “acting president,” which was what Erap was assured of – Binay might have difficulty convincing Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to install him even as “acting president.” However, Binay could choose anybody – even a barangay captain – to install him as “president” and that would be it.

Déjà vu

Binay Dynasty

Binay Dynasty

But what if P-Noy resigned? The constitution says that the Vice President takes over the presidency when it’s vacated. And this is where the anti-Aquino forces differ in strategy. Some say that Binay would make an excellent president, but others say, “He’d be the most corrupt president in the history of the country!” More corrupt than Gloria? “Absolutely!”

Imagine this: Gloria had only her husband Mike doing all the “dirty” work during her presidency. But Jojo Binay has a family dynasty – to date, five members — that’s too deep into politics, four of whom have been accused or charged of graft and corruption; some of which dates back three decades ago when Cory appointed Jojo as officer-in-charge – and eventually elected mayor — of Makati City. And with Jojo taking over the presidency, it makes one wonder what would the limit be; that is, how far would his family go in accumulating ill-gotten wealth? Or, would it be like a high rollers’ Texas hold ‘em poker game: no limit? And to think that Jojo would be in power for eight and a half years, there is no limit to what he and his family could do if they were to engage in corruption in a scale far greater than all the allegations of corruption against them when they held unrestrained power in Makati City.

To prevent Binay from ascending to the presidency if P-Noy resigned, the Resign Movement proposed the formation of a “National Transformation Council” (NTC), which would take over the rein of government and ignore the constitutional presidential line of succession. But this would look like a coup d’état, which can only succeed with the full support – and participation — of the military. And this begs the question: who would constitute the National Transformation Council? Right now, it’s anybody’s guess.

What if Binay won?

Is Binay working or campaigning?

Is Binay working or campaigning?

The organizers were saying that the NTC would consist of persons with the following qualities: honesty, integrity, credibility, and efficiency. The question is: where do you find them? And what is the likelihood that it would be filled with opportunistic individuals who belong to the rich and powerful elite? It’s déjà vu all over again… and it could be worse.

Then there is the problem of convincing the international community – particularly the U.S. – that it was not a military takeover. But that would be hard to sell. Anything that comes close to a military coup d’état could compel the U.S. to withhold financial and military aid to the country.

It’s becoming apparent that forcing P-Noy to resign and replace him with a junta wouldn’t dwell too well with the Filipino people, many of whom have horrendous memories of the Marcos dictatorship. Leaderless and rudderless, the Resign Movement is beginning to show cracks on its façade.

The challenge facing the nation is to find an honest and incorruptible leader. There are a few elected men and women who have excelled in the performance of their electoral mandates. Anyone of them could be a better president than Binay. But can they beat Binay who has been campaigning for president since he was elected vice president in 2010?

The question to be asked then shouldn’t be “What if P-Noy resigned?” but it should be “What if Binay won?”


18 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Guy Guerrero says:

    A Chinese takeover might not be a bad alternative. At least they attempt to eliminate corrupt officials.

  2. Bitoy says:

    Perry, sa ngayon maski pa anong gagawin, hindi na mananalo si Binay! Kasi maski dito on the ground ang mga bobotantes ang iba sa kanila naka intindi na, corruption is the cause of their miseries!

  3. Tony Amante says:

    That has always been my apprehension about this P-Noy resign movement. The focus should also be on the safety net. How could you make sure that the country does not fall into Binay’s hands? We might have a resign movement again so soon when Binay takes over. Honest Filipinos cannot trust him. Only those who would benefit from his presidency would feel at home with him like the Tiangcos and the Bautistas, and the whole UNA political group, where one leader is a convicted plunderer and some are already in jail for corruption. From all indications, Binay and UNA are not a better alternative to Pinoy and the LP. My take is to let P-Noy finish his term while at the same time maximizing the education of the electorate and continue with the selection process for the best candidates. We hope that by election time we have better choices of political leaders, preferably we can come up with a truly honest president who can surround himself/herself with honest men/women also. After the next election, we hope the country will not fall into the same predicament all over again.

  4. Fernando Habito says:

    Binay’s family and his UNA cohorts can be more disastrous if P-Noy will resign.

  5. filemon guerrero says:

    it is already 2016 next year..elections are just around the corner..whatever are the grievous mistakes of PNOY, I guess the better alternative is to wait until next year for a new election..the next minute we know it will be December already..time runs fast..so back to the very very disturbing question>>WILL BINAY WIN??..God forbid..

  6. Narciso Fontecha says:

    I agree that P-noy should not resign because that will give Binay the right to succeed under the Constitution. We should allow P-noy to finish his term and give him the opportunity to leave a legacy worth remembering. That is, rid his government of grafters and corrupt elements whoever they may be. He should ask the people to suggest who could help him in his crusade. Let the people be their watchdogs.

  7. pat talens says:

    At the prospect or hint President Aquino will resign, I urge the Magdalo group of brave and patriotic officers and soldiers and followers to reconstitute and to stage a coup d’tat of the government. Otherwise the Constitution will confer the Presidency to Binay. At the very least, the country will be safe and really served by patriotic, idealistic Magdalo members to be led by Antionio Trillanes. If recent history can provide lessons in bravery, patriotism, and principled leadership, that lesson is in knowing this good Senator Trillanes.

    I consider Trillanes in the mold and in the making in paralled to the current military-turned-President Abdel Al-Sisi of Egypt. They are no orators, but they make noble, outstanding leaders.

  8. Doc Cesar says:

    Perry, I agree with the consensus of comments above that Aquino should never resign and give Binay’s big chances of being President as a constitutional line of succession. Yes Binay supports the resignation of Pinoy. It is worrisome! I don’t think Pinoy will resign. This so called “OUST AQUINO” movement capitalizing on the EDSA People Power and the SAF tragedy to destabilize the country are said to be the collection of the thugs, the thieves, the corrupt and all the worst politicians in the Philippines, all getting together to oust the President . It is predicted it will not succeed, as their agenda is blatantly obvious. This group will never be able to muster enough warm bodies to mount another EDSA. Pinoy’s supporters said, these very people with money stolen from the government and citizens are doing all they can to gain POWER back.
    Here’s my take. Last month the Philippines commemorated the 29th anniversary of the first People Power revolution. Filipinos are all familiar with EDSA-1 as a popular uprising of more than 2 million Filipino civilians along with political, military and religious figures that catapulted Corazon Cojuangco Aquino to the Presidency of the Philippines. People Power was our shining glory! The whole world applauded our saintly courage, our dignified defiance, and our bloodless solution to expel a dictator. We were the toast of all freedom-loving countries, the envy of all oppressed people.
    The irony is that I thought Filipinos will be celebrating on the anniversary of this historical revolution, yet there was a previous weeklong rally organized by three groups against Cory’s son, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III demanding his resignation as a result of the botch and disastrous commando operation on January 25 that killed 44 SAF. These groups are alleged to mount another EDSA.
    Another irony. According to media reports, among the president’s opponents are his mother’s brother Jose Cojuangco and Cojuangco’s wife and former governor of Tarlac province, Margarita Cojuangco, who have formed a group called the February 22 coalition. Initiated by the president’s uncle Jose, this is so outrageous and hard to believe. There is an incongruity of the situation, if not amusing to say the least. 
The couple – who held posts in the previous administration of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – joined a motorcade to the People Power shrine on Manila’s Edsa highway and found it ringed by riot policemen.
    The Cojuangcos publicly demanded their nephew resign and give way to an “advisory council”. It was claimed Vice-President Jejomar Binay had already agreed that if Aquino resigned he would form such a council.
    Ex-president Arroyo’s defense chief Norberto Gonzales is another group working for Aquino’s removal. The National Transformation Council (NTC) led by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal and seven bishops together with the NTC has proposed a “caretaker government” to institute political and electoral reforms. To quote a comment from a catholic Filipino; “The catholic church is brazenly interfering into the affairs of the State and not in the spiritual upliftment of the confused, downtrodden and deprived peoples”.
    I can agree Aquino never has been a perfect President. Blunder in governance can always happen. We have seen it in some famous Presidents of America. I’ll say this very direct without attenuation or embellishment that Aquino is a better president than anyone in the last two decades. Recall what he did —former President Gloria M Arroyo, Ombudsman Gutierrez, CJ Renato Corona, and the three Senators, Juan Ponse Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla, Jr. ; and in the hyperbolic expressions, more heads will roll.
    The leaders in government have responsibilities for leading the country as an industrialized nation in the years to come. There must be an effective and visionary leadership with priority in economic initiatives. President Aquino has sustained this upward trajectory of Philippines’ economic growth. Let him complete his term and Filipinos must elect the right one in 2016; NOT BINAY!
    In the headline of a Philippine media two weeks ago, President Aquino was quoted, “ I live the ‘spirit of EDSA’ in all my duties.”
    I will say our country must rise from the high spirit of the EDSA.

  9. Doc Cesar says:

    oops error; Not two generations. Change to two decades!

  10. puring sucgang says:

    Binay becoming President is a horrible thought – corruption will never end!The whole family is into it!! As Sen. Trillanes said, “para tayong kumuha ng bato na ipupokpok natin sa ating ulo”! Aquino is still the person to watch, no record of corruption! Even if he made a mistake in the Mamasapano case, there are no better prospects to replace him, except if at all, Duterte, Trillanes, or Poe, as of this time.
    I fully agree with all the above comments! God bless our country

  11. puring sucgang says:

    I agree with all the above comments. Binay would be a dangerous president, esp. recently with all the corruption issues about him and his family. As Sen. Trillanes said, “para tayong kumuha ng bato na ipinukpok natin sa ating ulo”! Even if Pinoy made a mistake, he’s still a good president and incorruptible, a family legend! Let’s wait for the election, give Pinoy a chance to make up. And if at all others can run, I’ll go for Duterte, Trillanes, Poe and Cayetano, regardless of the tandem. Never2 to any Binay and his UNA cohorts!!!.God bless our country!

  12. philip says:

    Ang kasamaan ni Susmaryosep ay hindi sa pulitika kundi sa pamilya. Anong klaseng ama ito na tinuruan ang maga anak na magnakaw? Kahit sila na ang pinakamayaman sa mundo, ka-karmahin ang buong angkan nito na magkakatak sa noo na MAGNANAKAW.

  13. Bobby Bagos says:

    Let PNoy complete his term, what good would it do to get rid of him now? Heck, you folks put up with his shit for almost six years and will probably elect another dead brain to lead our country.

  14. Mac Flores, Jr. says:

    Of the many formal and informal groups that wanted PNoy to resign, I consider the National Transformation Council (NTC) more credible than others because it has its mission and visions in helping the PHL towards a GOAL: GOOD GOVERNANCE.

    I understand that NTC represents a cross-section of society who yearns for good governance, a common denominator that binds them together as a group, including men with military background and men of the church.

    There was a time in the history of the world wherein men of the church played a key role in serving the country because the country needs them. Cardinal Richelieu of France; ArchBishop Makarius (not related to him) of Cyprus. The PHL priest Jaime whose cardinal sin was to rally the people to make EDSA People Power happened.

    I believe that NTC and others have peaceful, legal steps to undertake if PNoy will resign and if PNoy will not resign. I need not dwell on the list of misdeeds enumerated in a recent article why concerned people call for PNoy’s resignation.

    The fear that if PNoy resigned, by law of succession, Binay will become the President in an untimely way. But, I thought you dislike Binay to become President because of his background? Will you simply stand by and do nothing and let this happen worst comes to worst?

    I believe NTC is prepared for that situation. Otherwise, NTC is just like a term paper submitted by a student to the professor at the end of the school term.

    If I were PNoy, there is nothing wrong to stoop a little…meaning nothing to lose if he initiates a meaningful dialogue with his critics by how his administration can help in playing a key role in transitioning from Presidential system to Parliamentary system of government with a vision towards federalism, etc.

  15. Msgr. Florio R. Falcon says:

    Agree with the observation that the National Transformation Council is the best alternative to make happen at this time of our country. This can prevent the Binays to ascend to power.

    The the 1987 constitution says that sovereignty resides in the people. And the NTC shall be composed of by the representative of the multi-sectoral groups with the vision for the good of the Filipino People, and such vision includes that of P’noy’s vision for the Filipino People.

    This is civilian initiative and LED, therefore CONSTITUTIONAL.

    • pat talens says:

      With my due respect Msgr Falcon, but a National Transformation Council will bring the country from bad to worse, as this council will usher into more paralysis and dysfunctions in leading, guiding, and transforming the country, and in combatting corruptions and improving its economic problems. Imagine each person in the council vying for his/her own personal and political agenda. Consider that each person representing and furthering his/her own movement’s interest. A glaring example are the Cojuangco’s and Aquino’s clans. They are already related by kinship and blood, yet they feud on behalf of personal and political interests with fraudulent claims they only serve the people.

      The Philippines is that kind of country composed of people that needs and deserves a strong one-man leader—not a council.

      • Please don’t see all the negative side! Pres Aquino is the only Filipino President who has the courage to send a former president, and three senators to detention places! He even impeached the Justice of the Supreme Court! You just don’t comprehend his approach to MALINIS NA LANDAS! He does his duties to the best of his abilities which his distractors don’t understand because they are not used to seeing an honest, courageous, and sincere MAN LIKE HIS FATHER BENIGNO AQUINO SR.
        GOD BLESS!

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