Thursday, March 06, 2008

Malacanang scraps EO 464, Philippine Senate nixes Supreme Court proposal on Neri

I got a serious case of the the flue just as I decided to wield my Laptop of Justice in the Court of Public Opinion. This should explain why I haven't actually blogged directly from the Senate as promised. Ha-ha!

Two major things have happened in the past couple of days. First, Malacanang has scrapped Executive Order 464 which bars government officials from the Executive Branch from testifying in legislative inquires. Second, the Philippine Senate has rejected the Supreme Court's compromise solution that would have allowed former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Romulo Neri to resume his Senate testimony on the National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

Finally, the search for truth has been unfettered or so it would seem if you had half a brain.

In the Philippine Daily Inquirer article on the revocation of EO 464, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that President Arroyo revoked the order because "she also seeks truth and justice."

“The President listens to the people. It is in the best interest of everybody to heal our present conflict…so [she] issued the order revoking [EO 464] immediately,” Bunye told Palace reporters.

“The President agrees [to the] search for truth. The fight against corruption is a pillar of this administration,” he pointed out.

Really?! The President is also seeking truth and justice too? Awww! Come on Mr. Bunye! You're making it seem that the truth is so hard to get at. Only a lawyer could ever think that finding truth and justice could be a complicated matter -- perhaps, it is because that the lawyers of Malacanang would want the President to tell the truth but at the same time not be held accountable for the truth.

This suggests that in Malacanang, not only does the left hand not know what the right hand is doing, it laughably suggests that President Gloria doesn't even know what both of her hands are doing! She is far too much of a politician to credibly feign sincerity in searching for the truth. The real kicker here is that if she wanted to know the truth, all she really had to do was to squeeze the First Gentleman by the nuts and ask if he really had anything to do with the NBN controversy. (Comically, perhaps the Big Boy would shout in excruciating pain and say "But Gloria, you were in on it from the get go! You know every thing about it from the start. This is Abalos' payback for orchestrating the 'Hello Garci' fiasco that won the Presidency for you.")

This suggests an acute kind of neurosis, a multiple personality disorder in the highest office of the land, where they have hidden themselves so far from the truth that the only way to get to it is to travel to another planet entirely.

Malacanang cannot claim to be fighting against corruption unless it is fighting against itself or is engaged in a Mafia style rubout of inferior corruption syndicates so it can monopolize corruption -- which, by the way, was what the Marcoses did.

It seems unlikely that any truth or credible findings will turn up if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has herself or any of her minions investigated for corruption. In Japan and other nations whose leaders have a higher sense of honor, leaders faced with grave evidence of corruption either resign or commit suicide or both. Will we see that in the Philippines?

In any case, the investigation at the Senate will plod on as usual as Senators continue to ask the same questions over and over and over and over. Senator Loren Legarda, for one, had stepped in during a hearing and asked questions that were already asked by previous Senators. For a former broadcast journalist, she doesn't seem to be too keen on the practice of monitoring and keeping abreast with the latest developments before opening her mouth.

But anyway, what we are really hoping to hear from Neri are exactly the answers to the questions he refuses to answer. What we want to find out from him is whether President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo told him to approve the NBN deal despite having told her that Abalos had offered him a bribe of P200 Million. What we want to find out from Neri is if he knows that the President herself would benefit from kickbacks, whether directly or indirectly.

This is as much as I can blog right now, gotta make that trip to the senate. I will certainly blog some more later, so keep checking for updates on this blog.

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