Former NSA claims Noy’s gov’t to soon self-destruct
By Mario J. Mallari
The Daily Tribune
The shadowy National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary of former President Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, yesterday claimed there are strong indications that the administration of President Aquino could self-destruct sooner, as he expressed belief the country needs a “new political initiative” that will let the people gain control of and continue the process of systemic change.
“There are strong indications that the current government could self-destruct sooner than we expect. But this position is alright if we are merely after seeing end to the present reign of hypocrisy,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales, however, stressed that his move is not, in any way, aimed at destabilizing the administration of President Aquino.
“We should emphasize that this is not destabilization. It’s really an honest to goodness opposition. It’s bad not to have any opposition in a democracy,” said Gonzales.
The former defense chief cited the “questionable” results of the last May 10 automated elections and the unceremonious relief of some government officials for perceived closeness to the previous administration.
“While majority of our people may, for now, believe the announced results of the last election, we know that manipulation and cheating did take place on a major scale and that sooner or later, the legitimacy issue will come out,” said Gonzales.
“…I think the basic problem is there are a lot of people being eased out without cause except being identified with the former administration. How will you interpret that?” Gonzales explained.
Gonzales also noted that presently “hypocrisy holds government and the nation in its grip.”
“We should not allow our people to be deceived into treading a ‘straight road’ to a problematic future at the hands of a leadership with neither the competence nor the character to govern well,” Gonzales warned.
Noting the self-destructive tendencies of the present government, he warns of another danger—that of concerned groups taking a ‘do nothing strategy’ today. He reminded that the situation can be used to advance certain selfish ambitions.
“If we are to undergo another leadership change, let us make sure the process remains non-violent, democratic, and truly leading to systemic change,” Gonzales stressed.
Gonzales’ assessment of the country’s present political challenge is contained in a paper titled “Reclaiming our Rights to Initiate Change” released last Sunday, a few days after Aquino’s 100th day in office.
The paper reaffirmed the former government official’s choice of putting up a shadow cabinet-led political movement to effect real change in the country’s political process towards building the kind of society Filipinos deserve. The idea is an old advocacy of Gonzales, who is also the founding chairperson of the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party (PDSP).
Gonzales argued that the nation cannot succeed in building the good society it deserves unless the elitist character of Philippine politics is transformed and the people become real participants of the change process.
Gonzales explained the shadow cabinet-led political movement he seeks to build will bring together the people with authentic mass leaders and leaders of strategic sectors of society to define, from the start, a common vision of society and the common good, prepare for governing well, seek access to state power and, when in government, govern well.
It will also gather people who have served and those who are currently serving government to harness their experiences for good governance. It will link people and bureaucracy as “symbiotic forces for nation building.”
“The way the movement will acquire state power will determine the way it will govern,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales’ paper also touched Charter change, saying the people’s common vision of society and the common good will become the foundation of the country’s fundamental law.
The paper defined the vision of tomorrow, in bold stroke, as becoming a First World nation and points out the importance for society to pursue and commit as one to a vision with guaranteed set of universal benefits for all, both rich and poor.
Gonzales noted the increasing impatience of the people with the dysfunctions of Philippine politics to emphasize the urgency of addressing the country’s continuing political challenge.
The former defense chief said he has not discussed his paper to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.
At the same time, Gonzales said he is not looking at active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to back his group, saying active military personnel should be insulated from politics.
“I always emphasized that we never approach military people in the active service, they should not be involved into politics…but those who are retired that’s another story,” said Gonzales.