What’s happening in the Philippines?
Rumours are abound again about rebellions and coups following the escape of the “coup leaders”.
An unhappy Philippine Air Force colonel who complained against military officials at a media conference will be taken into custody and possibly charged for giving interviews without permission. Col. Efren Daquil charged the airforce with financial inconsistencies (P30 million under his watch when he was the airforce personnel chief) and favoritism. On top of that, he was linked to coup rumors against President Arroyo. He has since denied this although he admitted that he was approached by junior and senior military officers to join a coup last year in 2005. Colonel Daquil has since been restricted to his quarters.
Arroyo presidency continued to be marred by rumours and unhappiness. A reflection of such unhappiness was recently reflected in an independent survey by Pulse Asia. Pulse Asia found that 6 in 10 Filipinos were willing to back up protest or coup to remove GMA while 22% said that they would go down to the streets themselves if indeed it could be proven that she rigged the election results in 2004. Such data convinced many that it would only take a fresh scandal to topple her in 2006.
A simmering point of dissatisfaction with GMA was the poor economic record of her administration. Most had hope for better times with People’s power but were disappointed when things got worse in her administration instead. At 11% unemployment rate and a third of the population in serious poverty, Filipinos feel that they have had enough.
*Six in 10 Filipinos lose faith in Arroyo, Poll Shows (ST, Jan 21)
*Colonel in big trouble (ABS-CBN News, Jan 23)