Sunday, February 26, 2006

Coup Attempt in the Philipines

President Gloria Arroyo of the Philipines has been facing a lot of dissatisfaction and unrest for several months. Lately an attemped coup by some military elements was foiled, but she's not out of the woods yet. Our friend, Roy Choco, who lives in Manila, writes on his blog, Random Thoughts:
But before anything else I want to state my position here. I do not favor any extra-constitutional means to relieve President Arroyo of her position. If this "protest" succeeds in unseating the President, the military will have become the deciding force in unseating 3 Philippine Presidents within 20 years, and the only president they did not unseat was a former general himself.

The Philppines does not need that, what we need is to depoliticise the Armed Forces, not to make them more political. We need the Armed Forces to acknowledge Civilian supremacy. This is the only way we can have a stable democracy.
Roy is a very sensible guy. We can't say whether or not Pres. Arroyo deserves to be re-elected when her term is complete, but we do believe Filipinos will be much better served when these questions are decided exclusively through the ballot box. There will be no real democracy until the Filipino military learns to accept the rule of law whether or not they like the results.

Roy has more about the coup attempt and its aftermath in an earlier post.

Update: Roy notes in the comments that he should have said "the only president they did not attempt to unseat." Pres. Aquino did serve her entire term, although there were coup attempts against her. Also, Pres. Arroyo will not be re-elected, as presidents of the Philipines are limited to one 6-yr term.

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