Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror November 7, 2007 edition, p. A10

A weekend caucus among leaders of the ruling party produced the following boast from Gloria Arroyo:

“I have just met with former President Ramos, Speaker De Venecia and several key leaders of the ruling party. The meeting was warm, constructive and forward-looking. We agreed to revitalize the administration coalition behind our vision…

It was the sentiment of the party leaders that teamwork in nation-building, unity of purpose, solidarity in values should always prevail and not allow small hurts to get in the way of staying as one family and fulfilling our hopes for the people.”

Those “small hurts” did not look so small when Fidel Ramos was pounding his desk protesting the pardon of Joseph Estrada, when Gloria Arroyo bribed 190 congressmen to force Speaker De Venecia to refer the bogus impeachment complaint to the House Justice Committee, and when De Venecia responded with an ultimatum letter to Gloria Arroyo asking her to fire her most loyal henchmen and to undergo a moral recovery even if there were no morals there to recover in the first place.

The family disagreement looked so large and irreconcilable a split looked inevitable. But size became relative when the grand vision emerged – “unlimited power and unrestrained plunder up to and beyond 2010.”

And so the ruling family’s capos decided, “Our loyalty to our country ends when our loyalty to our party begins.”

Lakas-CMD will not split into two lines, one behind Mrs. Arroyo and the other behind the Speaker, because Gloria Arroyo made sure everyone saw who held the slop bucket.

Under Erap it was “weather, weather lang”; under Gloria it’s “pera-pera lang.”

Gloria Arroyo will not be impeached over the ZTE broadband deal. The leaders of the ruling party, their group picture splashed on the front page of last Monday’s papers, gave the thumbs up for Gloria to continue with plunder, human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, and, most important of all, to keep those cash-filled envelopes coming.

It doesn’t matter that Joey De Venecia told the truth. Not when the AFP is the AFGMA and the PNP is Pulis Ni Pidal; not when businessmen are under the spell of a brother of fugitive businessman Dewey Dee; not when the perfumed set continue to consider themselves and the Arroyo couple as “somos”; not when the guardians of morality, the CBCP, allow themselves to be wined and dined by Malacañang.

Gloria is not afraid of civil society anymore.  The only people who still scare her are those soldiers kept in Gen. Esperon’s jails.

Under ordinary circumstances, those soldiers, charged with mutiny and attempted coup, would be considered traitors. But these are extraordinary times and those soldiers hold the moral high ground over Gloria Arroyo’s generals who are perceived to have turned their back on everything they learned in the academy.

And so, with each new scandal, the prisoners of Esperon gain more respect from the public and the rank and file in the military.

Now I don’t know about you but I don’t think a coup is the best solution to the Gloria Arroyo problem.

I have no doubt those soldiers detained in Tanay are highly principled, honest, and patriotic. But a junta, no matter how pure and well-meaning at the outset, has a tendency to degenerate into a dictatorship, as history has shown countless times.
So I think it’s best for the civilian population to take care of the Gloria problem before the military becomes impatient and does it for them.

Over the weekend, I received an alarming text that confirmed rumors that the soldiers are losing patience and a bloody civil war is in the offing if civil society delays on its duty to oust Gloria through impeachment or people power.
The text message read:

“While Malacañan was loudly rejoicing over the neutralization of civilian society, a high-ranking general was quietly dispatched to Tanay to plead with the detained soldiers not to issue any more inflammatory statements against their superiors. He told them their uncompromising position was beginning to seriously affect the chain of command; the rumbling among the rank and file was growing stronger. From Tanay, the general went straight to Malacañan to report that his appeal was turned down.”

We are foolishly marching towards civil war, the most uncivil of wars, because we continue to buy the lie that human beings will tolerate injustice as long as they have a full stomach. History does not suffer fools gladly.