Buencamino does political affairs analysis for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in newspaper Today, January 27, 2005, p. 11.

“There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation.  The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.”  -Will Rogers

Defeated re-electionist (for senator) Gringo Honasan is back at the helm of RAM, the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabayan. RAM used to call
itself Reform the Armed Forces Movement until  they realized reforming the armed forces was impossible.

Honasan reassumed leadership of RAM following the death of Commodore
Domingo Calajate. His return means the split in RAM is now healed. Credit should go to Mrs. Arroyo. Her call for national unity resulted in unifying RAM against her.

Others are also heeding Mrs. Arroyo’s appeal to unite. Former President
Estrada is trying to unite the opposition. The only things standing in his way are Lacson and Angara, who accuse each other of being Mrs. Arroyo’s agent.

Fidel Ramos is reportedly making his own unity tour but he says he is
doing it for an entirely different reason. He claims it is to gather support for Mrs. Arroyo. Ramos is not interested in any elective position. He will be satisified with any president who does what he says.

All these unification activities neglect the two key actors in Philippine politics, Noli de Castro and Loren Legarda. One of them, it should be noted, should now be the legitimate president of the Philippines, following the death of President Poe.

Either one, De Castro, or  Legarda, can easily unite the Filipinos. The masses love them both dearly. If ever there was a closely contested election last May, it was between these two, not between Poe and Mrs. Arroyo. There is no doubt the masses will prefer either of them to Mrs Arroyo.

As president, neither has to appeal for unity. It will come naturally. Once proclaimed, the winner can immediately proceed to attend to “governance and Nation-building” without having to stop at the “Are we united yet?”checkpoint. That’s why it is important they resolve the election protest as quickly as possible.

Those who want to save the country do not have to cause another traffic
jam along EDSA. All they have to do is press Noli and Loren to settle
their case quickly and promise to unite behind whoever wins the
election protest.

RAM should abandon any plans of taking over government for themselves.
They are too closely associated with Class 1971 of PMA, the class of
the 3 Kus : kurakot, kudeta and Kuratong or Garcia, Honasan and Lacson.
RAM will not be able to unite the country, except through some sort of
military dictatorship.

Likewise, Estrada should forget about a return to Malacanang. Instead,
he should act as an elder statesman .Rightly or wrongly, the damage to
his reputation has been done and the country cannot afford the
divisions his return will bring. Estrada may enjoy the support of millions but that will not be enough to defeat an overwhelming minority, as Mrs. Arroyo’s EDSA farce clearly demonstrated. Erap can unite the country behind Noli or Loren but not behind him.

What this country needs is consensus, not a questionable majority. The
people will have to agree on a leader. That will only happen when either Noli or Loren becomes president.