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After EDSA I and EDSA II, Filipinos Are Now All "EDSA'd-out"

n the surface, It seems fatigue has finally set in for Metro Manilans Participants climbed lampposts and filled the streets during EDSA I in late February 1986who in the past have risen up to remove two Philippine presidents from office. The primary beneficiary of this lethargy is the current Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who appears confident that she will not be eased from power anytime soon.

Despite the raging scandal regarding the now controversial ZTE-NBN deal (which after refusing to comment on the matter, Arroyo now admits that she was aware that anomalies existed even before she signed the deal), there has been no groundswell of support for another EDSA-like uprising.

And while Administration spokespersons like to point out that "critical mass" has not been attained because most FilipinosAgain in January 2001, Filipinos filled the streets and flyovers during EDSA II still believe in Gloria Arroyo, the deeper truth is that Filipinos have grown cynical and disenchanted with People Power. In 1986, they placed their lives on the line to throw out a tyrant and a dictator; in 2001, they again were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to remove a plunderer form office. And the euphoria that followed has been slowly replaced by disenchantment and a sense of betrayal. The new leaders they had pinned their hopes on turned out to be less than what they had expected. In fact, the unwanted influences and practices that Filipinos thought had been purged by their mass actions, seem to return in subsequent administrations.

In the case of President Arroyo, if the allegations surrounding the ZTE-NBN deal turn out to be true, then those involved are guilty of plunder—just like Joseph Estrada before them. So Filipinos are now asking: Why even bother with another EDSA? They'll just end up replacing one set of crooks with another!

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