on the revival of eLagda

July 21, 2005 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

i’ve read about the initiative a few weeks back while blog-hopping.  eventually it found its way into primetime news, and so far, after being purged of spurious sign-ons like the judy ann santos fans club etc., the eLagda website has been able to collect fourteen thousand plus signatures calling on GMA to resign.

 

i would have loved to affix my name to the manifesto the same way i took to supporting the eLagda campaign back in 2001, but this time around i am consciously staying away from the website.  in 2001 i joined eLagda QC’s egroup, sought out other friends to sign on to the manifesto demanding Erap’s ouster, and monitored the progress of sign-ups for Romano’s crusade.  this time though, i’m very wary about putting my involvement online. 

 

i suppose it just scares me to think that online struggles like eLagda actually dissuades people from stepping up their commitment.  some people, especially the 9 to 5 types might begin to think a few clicks on a computer screen will make problems go away.  nothing inherently wrong with online petitions, of course, and in fact i’ve lent my hand to some (e.g., www.petitionsonline.com/jmod69/petition.html).  but for someone who works in the arena of progressive politics, believe me, the decisive struggles are still those we wage out there in the streets, notwithstanding Malacañang’s media spin disparaging the so-called ‘hakot’ crowds. 

 

the name of the eLagda campaign this time, too, unsettles me.  what does it mean to be a part of this ‘moral majority’? why ‘moral’ in the first place?  where do you pull your conviction from when you say you’re a part of the moral majority, and what exactly defines what is moral for this so-called majority?  is it just the removal of GMA from office?  it’s misleading, vague or worse, hypocritical.

 

and then of course there is the matter again of what to do after GMA leaves and how she should go.  the manifesto offers a whole menu of options to please everyone, diluting analysis and obfuscating the complex milieu in which this whole mess is happening.  it seems the point of the manifesto is to just get your signature on it, whatever your appreciation is of “ouster”.  where is the danger is that?  it is precisely the fear i brought up in the previous paragraph in which campaigns like this, a smorgasboard of everything and nothing all at once opens the floodgates for keyboard activism, when what we need are people out there thinking, talking, debating and finding a common ground from which to proceed. 

 

but this manifesto says it supports a truth commission (“as you wish!” as Malacañang would have it), snap elections and a voluntary resignation.  it even supports a transitional caretaker government.  so which is which?  whichever works?  that’s playing it safe.  that’s stepping quite eagerly right into the very real danger of repeating the failures of edsa 1 and edsa dos.  that’s saying let them work it out, we can’t be bothered with actually stretching our brains on what to do with this country, our immediate concern is just to get rid of gloria.

 

this is not just a timebound campaign.  ousting GMA does not end our collective woes.  that was the biggest mistake we made in previous people power revolts.  the outrage was so focused on one person and one person alone, that we forgot to look at the larger picture and the longer view of things.  we ended up with the same set of opportunists gaining the upper hand while the rest of us looked on, our interests sidelined — marginalized — by the elites who benefited from our work.

 

but with eLagda’s renewal, we see yet another myopic, even if well-meaning initiative failing to root out what is at the bottom of all this mess and ending up reinforcing the very same problem it unwittingly glosses over because it tries to accommodate everyone.

 

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