Drawing the line

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his Magdalo colleagues in the Lower House have been going around town speaking of a coup d’ etat allegedly led by retired military officers, specifically those who they say were beneficiaries of the previous regime. I am highly skeptical of this because of the timing and the angle by which this warning is being peddled. It takes off extremely soon after President Benigno S. Aquino III’s latest State of the Nation Address (SONA) where major emphasis has been made on those who are against his reformist stance being enemies of the state. But more than anything, I am primarily skeptical because it comes from Trillanes, a guy who is building himself up for a higher office in the 2016 elections. He has been creating a lot of buzz with his move to scrap the K-12 education system because the public school facilities aren’t available – contrary to government claims – and now he is going around town crying the salivating wolves are out to pounce on the state.

Trillanes in all his glory. Photo from http://defenders-philippine-sovereignty.blogspot.com/

Trillanes in all his glory. Photo from http://defenders-philippine-sovereignty.blogspot.com/

First of all there is a major disconnect with his claim on the K-12 system. Its benefit has been recognized and passed into law and amending or scrapping it would be quite an undertaking. Moreso, addressing school facilities and teacher competencies is another thing. These can obviously be addressed while the K-12 is being implemented into full use. Besides, even if we scrapped the K-12 now, it wouldn’t magically address those education system issues – we need to build school facilities and improve teacher competencies anyway.

Second, a coup attempt now is not viable financially, and we all know finance is a major part of any successful coup with the logistics and manpower needed. The President has started moving towards the end of his term – now officially less than 2 years. He is soon to become a lameduck president, with the power slowly shifting to the most viable candidate in a few months. What kind of political financier would risk such wealth now? Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has waited in Veterans Hospital this long, why risk messing up her life any more? Five of the six cases filed against her have been thrown out.

Juan Ponce Enrile? He’ll just use up the rest of his financial and political capital making his remaining years comfortable. Jojo Binay? He has the upper hand for 2016. The Estradas? Cayetanos?

It seems that the Trillanes coup warning is nothing but a self serving move by Trillanes, designed to boost his own image and effort towards higher office. It is suspect.

However, if he does speak the truth and there is an extra-constitutional effort  to change the government my position on this has always been clear: I am only for the duly constituted authority and will resist any effort of a coup or moves to grab power outside that which is mandated by the laws of the land.

I do not always agree with this government or with President Aquino and his way of running things. In fact, it is no secret that I have so many issues against his presidency. I did not even vote for him in 2010.

But the fact is, Benigno S. Aquino III is our president and I will continue to recognize him as such. Yes I will criticize him and his actions, as well as that of his government. Yes I will even grant as fair calls for his resignation or impeachment. But all of that form part of the legal mechanisms and remedies available to citizens. And no matter how much the President and his sisters whine of the tough time he has in office, he is still our President – the duly constituted authority of the Republic.

All of us, the President, government and ordinary citizens are duty-bound to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. On the other hand, we all know what Trillanes and his Magdalo have done.

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