By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
17 July 2005
As in counting votes, Gloria M. Arroyo and her subalterns engage in dagdag bawas (add-subtract) in counting rallyists. They claim that the anti-Arroyo rally of 30,000 people on July 8 was only 3000 to 10,000 and that of 70,000 to 80,000 on July 13 was only 9000 to 15,000 although some pro-Arroyo journalists concede that it was 40,000 or even 50,000. The July 13 rally in Makati was even more impressive if we consider that the police and military of the regime blocked many of the rallyists coming from Central and Southern Luzon.
The officials, police and press operatives of the Arroyo regime go to extremes in belittling the anti-Arroyo mass actions as well as in exaggerating the number of rallyists on July 16 at Rizal Park. The pro-Arroyo organizers of the rally press ganged local government employees, teachers and students and deceived them that they were attending a prayer rally. Despite huge government expenses or gross malversation of public funds, no more than 25,000 were in the rally.
But the police gave absurdly high estimates of the crowd, ranging from 125,000 to 250,000. Two major pro-Arroyo newspapers also estimated the crowd at 120,000 and 125,000. The seemingly more modest but arithmetically confused propagandists of Arroyo claim less than 100,000 but boast that the pro-Arroyo rallyists were “twice” the peak of 80,000 rallyists on July 13. The same press drumbeaters of Arroyo during the 2004 electional campaign and vote count are still serving her faithfully.
The mass movement for the ouster or resignation of Arroyo has grown in size, scope and intensity in the national capital region and in the provinces since June. Every new peak in the mass actions is preceded by localized build up mass actions by various mass organizations of the national democratic movement. But her subalterns in the media keep on harping that the people suffer from protest fatigue and that mass actions are failing to attract enough people to topple the regime.
Subsequently, they spread the brazen lie that the broad united front and the broad masses of the people are giving up on mass actions and are submitting themselves exclusively to proceedings in Congress or a “truth commission”. Arroyo and her sycophants daydream and boast in pro-Arroyo print and electronic media that they could bring the people’s outrage to a venue in order to squelch it.
The regime is terrified that the broad united front would soon be able to muster at least 500,000 at some focal point in the national capital region, expose the inability of Arroyo to govern and encourage the military and police forces to withdraw their support from her. At the same time, the regime is jittery about the fact that the oppositionists in the House of Representatives are now close to gathering 79 signatures for the Senate to try her for high crimes and for Noli de Castro to start opposing her .