Friday, August 01, 2003

The Coup Plotters Squirm

Dean Bocobo has a running commentary on the testimony of Philippine Secretary of the Interior Jose Lina, who has accused Senator Gregorio Honasan of complicity in the aborted putsch at the Manila commercial district. Bocobo describes how the Philippine Senators are circling the wagons in an attempt to throw a blanket of immunity over all Senators. Naturally, the blanket of nationalism was used to cover blackguardly behavior, as it always is: Honasan being compared to Philippine national hero Jose Rizal by his fellow Senators.

The question is: what does Lina do for an encore? He had better be prepared to arrest Honasan and possibly one or two more Senators. If not, it would be better for him not to have made the accusation at all. If the Philippine Senators have a shred of real nationalism in them, as opposed to the commonplace, leftist-tinged, elitist variety, they had better throw their weight behind the Constitution and give their colleagues up. What are the odds of that? Fifty fifty. The key tactical problem facing President Gloria Arroyo is how to sweep up the plotters without threatening autocratic rule. One possibility is a return to her renunciation of a second term. Everybody has lost in the latest Philippine coup attempt, but those are the wages of sin.