6 reasons why Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won't be ousted

James Ryan Jonas

It surprised me to read from the Philippine Star earlier today that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) issued a statement saying they are convinced President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) will not be ousted and will actually be able to finish her term.
With calls for GMA’s ouster coming from all sides of the Philippine society, a neutral stand from a Muslim separatist rebel group is unexpected.
The news story quoted the views of MILF Secretariat chief Muhammad Ameen which were posted on the MILF website, www.luwaran.com.
Ameen cited six factors why the current oust-Gloria groups are unlikely to succeed in their advocacy. Here are those six reasons.
1. Lack of a credible leader to replace Gloria. Apparently for the MILF, Vice President Noli de Castro is not an option. Ameen describes him as “incompetent” and claimed that Muslims in Mindanao don’t see VP Noli as a “good leader for them.” I wonder how many Filipinos share that sentiment.
2. The people are tired of “people power.” The MILF correctly summed up what most Filipinos currently feel regarding mobs and rallies: they are turned off because they know that “one politician replaced by another politician is like changing one rotten egg with another rotten egg.”
3. GMA still has the support of the military. In the past two EDSA’s, the withdrawal of support from the military ultimately signals the collapse of the administration. This has not happened yet in Gloria’s case.
4. The oust-Gloria movement does not have the backing of the US government. The MILF describes the US support in overthrowing a Philippine President as “critical,” and obviously, this support is still lacking at present.
5. The Catholic Church remains divided on its stand. In addition to military involvement explained in #3, the Catholic Church also plays a major role in the success of any “people power.” This is yet to happen because the Church still has no unanimous stand on Gloria’s ouster.
6. Gloria’s term is expiring in 2 years. The MILF suggests that most Filipinos today are rational and practical in the sense that they prefer Gloria to finish her term in two years rather than to “embark on an ambitious but still unpredictable people power method.”
I personally believe the MILF has the correct analysis on this oust-Gloria issue. I explained my similar views in the Oops, Trillanes did it again article which I posted after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV seized the Manila Peninsula Hotel back in November last year.
You want to oust Gloria? Listen to the MILF and see what you are doing wrong.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.