Sunday, July 27, 2003

coup d'etat

I first heard of the latest coup attempt last night while waiting for the elevator to take me down to the lobby of the condo where I live.

In the prior days, there was news about the dissatisfaction of a group of junior officers from the Philippine Navy and Army and President Arroyo's moves to pacify them. Obviously, her parley attempt failed.

This group of rebels call themselves Magdalo, the same name used by the revolutionaries who fought to break Spain's colonial rule more than a century ago. The even use the stylized letter K (for Katipunan) and the color red.

Among the list of their demands are the immediate overhaul of certain military and government systems, the end of corruption, an increase in their pay and housing benefits, as well as the suspension of the government's practice of selling arms to the very groups it is fighting - prompting a palace representative to call the entire rebel position absurd.

The rebels took over a portion of the Ayala Center, setting up booby trapped bombs and sequestering themselves at the Oakwood Suites. "If this explodes," one soldier said, as he put up a bomb, "Then sorry for you."

Ousted President naturally denies any participation.

It's amusing to watch various government officials take positions in the ongoing charade.

I'm tired of living in a country like this.

But you know what? The ability of the Filipino to use levity to deal with serious situations has come to fore again. Here's a text message I just got right now:

"I'm inviting you and all your friend to dinner at the Outback Restaurant next to the Oakwood Suites - my treat!"

And so we laugh even if the joke is on us as a nation.

Ha ha. Ha.


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