Ermita, in justifying the barricading of the approaches to Malacañang, dredged up a Supreme Court ruling which he said upholds the place’s status as a "protected area" where rallies are banned and tight security is imposed.
The ruling cited by Ermita, it turns out, was issued by the high tribunal way, way back in 1985. Since the executive order that proclaimed Malacañang and its environs as a "protected" presumably has not been recalled, it remains in effect. The SC ruling, also presumably not having been overturned, continues to be the prevailing jurisprudence.
But in going back to 1985, is Ermita, in effect, saying the conditions then are the same as the conditions now?
That was the time when the truth about the unprecedented corruption of President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies was starting to surface. The people were fed up with strongman rule. They were outraged by the killing two years before of Ninoy Aquino. They wanted Marcos out.
And Marcos, to give where credit is due, toward the end of 1985 called for "snap elections." Marcos massively cheated in the February elections. But in less than two weeks, Edsa 1 would erupt and Marcos would find himself shanghaied by the Americans to Hawaii.
Let’s look at the current situation.
Calls are mounting for Gloria’s ouster for cheating in the 2004 elections. She had said she looked forward for truth to come out about the allegations but her lapdogs at the House scuttled the impeachment proceedings. The cover-up is continuing, with Gloria barring members of the executive department from appearing before the Senate without her permission. As protests spread, she answered with her "calibrated preemptive response."
People, however, are not cowed. Protesters are defying CPR and are directly challenging it with marches to Mendiola and prayer meetings at the churches around the Palace.
Gloria’s response is to ring Malacañang with steel for fear that people would storm the seat of power. There is no starker picture of a president who has totally lost the people’s trust than the barricades of barbed wires and container vans thrown at the approaches to the Palace.
It’s 1985 all over again. We should thank Ermita for reminding us about it. The regime is tottering. A few more nudges and one big final push will send it crashing.