Sunday, January 01, 2006

What to expect in 2006

2006 is year of the fire dog. For the feng shui expert I caught being interviewed on ANC, it is an "aggressive" and "red hot" year.

Here's what to expect in 2006:

Worsening of economic hardships

After the Christmas gastos spree will come the first quarter gutom crisis for Filipino families.

EVAT will take its effect and will surely be felt as the government increases it to 12 % by February. Oil prices and power rates are expected to increase dramatically. No wage increase in sight for private and public employees, while what the Malacanang brags as "economic upsurge" is yet to be felt in the grassroots level.

This intensifying economic suffering will contribute greatly to the tense political atmosphere and will be major factor why the Arroyo regime will fail to recover.

All-out political turmoil

Contrary to what was expected, this holiday vacation season was not exempt from political disturbances. The military was in a stir and coup rumors bugged the administration. Although the Abat episode came as a nuisance to many, it nevertheless, together with Faeldon's escape filled the gap during the holiday season that would have been otherwise left free for Arroyo's propagandists to exploit.

Apparently, the anti-Arroyo forces are all gearing toward the 1st quarter of 2006. We must remember that the 1st quarter of the year has historical significance for mass movements. The two EDSAs both happened in the first quarter, and the first quarter storm (FQS) in the 1970's still draws much recall.

The Citizen's Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) plans to release its report in January which it promises to propagate around the archipelago. If done successfully, this may serve as a point of unity and consolidation of the anti-Arroyo movement and lay the ground for stronger mass actions and protests.

The talk of Cha-cha and 'No-el,' if pursued, will spell more trouble for the regime and will isolate it further. The obvious sell-out of the government on the US marines rape case will also add fuel to public outrage. The coming budget deliberations will also deliver further disappointment as the government plans huge cuts on spending for education and social services.

Intensified mass protests and mobilizations for Arroyo's removal

Red and yellow (hint: red-flags-with-yellow-emblems-a-waving, wink-wink!) is the color for the year.

The organizations among the youth and students are now gearing towards heightened political involvement (as this is the time of year where they are most drawn to be involved: classes are coming to an end = less academic worries, tuition increase consultations start and education budget deliberations in congress ensue).

Strong youth and student involvement will not only give the movement a fresh appeal, it will also give it the credibility it badly needs; aside from the tens of thousands it could deliver in the protest actions.

The December military activists' "propaganda actions" (we have reason believe it is designed as such and not as actual operations to seize power), set the tone for further actions in the coming year. Many are now being drawn to the anti-Arroyo factions in the police and military as many are also being tired and demoralized, especially now that the CPP-NPA, in its recent anniversary statement, is calling to step up attacks in the countryside in support of the oust movement, with the objective of drawing the military away from the cities, and thus limiting the capacity of the regime to protect itself and attack the legal mass protests.

Plenty to look forward to in 2006. ###

2 Comments:

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are at an impasse. Beware the ides of March.

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Taren said...

Taren here. Congratulations on the blog. I have something interesting to add. While I was watching the yearly predictions made in "Mel and Joey" (something I never fail to miss, for the heck of it), an interesting comment was made by one of the psychics. She said that there would be revolts during the months of February, April and May, and what is dangerous, she continued, was that if these revolts are organized. Mel asks if it would be another series of "kudetas". "No." was her unequivocal answer. And she added that in the history of the Philippines, these revolts has become the seeds of its birth. Hmm . . . we'll see

 

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