A Coup or Not?
Snippets of information from the TV send my thoughts spinning into interesting directions about the "coup" attempt...

1. Apparently, early on during the incident yesterday members of the Magdalo group indicated that it was not a coup attempt. This was, naturally, ignored. I mean: "We've taken over a hotel with weapons and explosives and then made demands that gov't heads step down... but it's not a coup, okay?"
2. The government kept listing housing and pay as the primary grievances of the 94-95 groups, downplaying and generalizing the accusations we heard yesterday to correcting the 'graft and corruption' in the country.
3. General distrust in the group of ANYONE with a "flag rank" with few notable exceptions.
4. Despite concerns about who might've been behind the Magdalo group, it's fairly clear that the Magdalo group was far more organized and efficient than any political parties that attempted to take advantage of this event. It's clear the Magdalo group had their own agenda apart from the political players.
5. They're season veterans claiming that they've been betrayed by the country they've bled and died for, and fingered the highest military authority below the president as a ringleader.
6. Everyone seems to agree (except perhaps for a certain Defense Secretary and others in his camp) that there are legitimate grievances, but this was not the place or time to engage in acts such as this to force change.
7. While everyone points out the economic problems that this will cause, they argue that nothing will improve anyway unless the changes they propose are implemented... whereas in the long run, the country will benefit if they are.

Likely scenario:
1. Punish the heads of the "coup" to the full extent of the law.
2. Make minor but public concessions to the minor demands of the group, and belittle their primary demands and accusations.
3. Use the event to purge convenient political targets like Honasan and supporters of Erap.
4. Release lots of well-written PR crap to confuse and depress the rest of us.
5. Life goes on.

I don't agree with their methods as well, but would I tell these "idealistic" folks to wait for change from the stagnant and self-perpetuating bureacracy of our country if I met them? I have no answers. I suppose they've made their decisions and took action.

Perhaps more of us should take action if we still care about our country. If indeed there is still a country to care about.
This Sunday morning, a bunch of junior military officers holed up in the Oakwood apartments and G4 complex. Their grievances: among other concerns like low pay and lack of housing as compared perhaps with then Philippine National Police... an accusation that General Angelo Reyes was behind not only the sale of weapons and ammo to the MILF, but also gave the go ahead for the bombing of the Davao airport by military personnel. Another accusation - the potential declaration of Martial Law in August of this year.

Most of the concerns are about the impact to the economy... and yet, these officers don't appear to be concerned about that. They must be concerned about generals and other government officials growing wealthy over the deaths of the comrades and bloodbrothers... enough so that they are willing to lay down their lives (having already said goodbye to their families already).

As for the involvement of ousted presidents and members of the opposition... it's likely they are using these military groups for their own purposes with promises of support and so on. I'd be shocked if this were the case, though... since these problems were certainly aggravated if not started by that prior administration.

I think that there's obviously more complexity to the situation than is apparent on the news and the spin placed on it by the various political parties. From the statement of the military personnel, it's apparent that the junior officers believe in what they're doing, but were probably convinced or manipulated by others to believe that there's no other option.

And the politicians are having a field day, jockeying for position.

Apparently, though, the Estrada camp released a CD across the country (which I don't have a copy of) that shows how the plight of the common Filipino has worsened in the time of PGMA (including of course the injustices against the former president). So there was SOME planning in the Estrada camp for this.

I hope it doesn't overshadow their grievances about the military. Apparently they DID express their concerns directly to PGMA, but nothing happened in the interim. So they assumed she was part of the problem...