Saturday, November 19, 2011
Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrested, has justice been served?
If this were one of those low budget, no concept Filipino massacre films that might have starred Kris Aquino, the epilogue would probably we flashing on the screen and the air would be filled by the musical stylings of some poor composer who probably gave up asking the film producer for his royalties.
Most Pinoys are duped into paying good money to watch such films, that are almost always falsely claimed to have some kind of moral lesson.
Some people celebrated Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's arrest for electoral sabotage charges filed at the Pasay Regional Trial Court. Perhaps the fact that it was 'electronically' raffled off to Judge Jesus Mupas, who had previously been penalized for sitting on cases and is currently saddled with 500 cases, should add even more glee to already the hysterical schaedenfraude frothing in the corners of some media outfits and government offices.
The way it looks, the case against Congresswoman Arroyo seems set up so it can drag on and all the while, she'd have to remain under arrest - either at her house, at the hospital or perhaps, the Pasay City jail.
Surely, there can be no sympathy for the accused even as people watch images of her in a sickly state. Surely, she could be feigning sickness just as she feigned innocence amidst the many charges of grand scale corruption lobbed against her administration.
After all, didn't we all hear the 'Hello Garci' tapes and all the other stories of how she manipulated the elections in 2004 as well as 2007? Weren't we all watching as the Senate conducted probe after probe that, for the most part, claimed that the former President was the mastermind of some of the biggest corruption allegations in our history?
The Fertilizer Fund Scam and the NBN ZTE Deal, in fact, were epic investigations spanning the terms of two Senate Blue Ribbon Chairmen.
Don't we all remember that?
The fact is, a lot of us do. But, perhaps, not enough.
The 'Hello Garci' hearing was as much about every single politician, local and national, who used various illegal means to ensure their victory at the polls. It was an indictment against those who planned and participated in the wholesale corruption of our country's electoral process. It was a condemnation of all those who stood by silently or covered their eyes as one of our most fundamental democratic rights was gang raped, bludgeoned to death, runover with a back hoe, heaved like a sack of trash into a pit and then buried.
Hello Garci was not just about politicians, it was more about us and our great capacity for tolerating the wrongs that we see as long as we can benefit from it - one way or the other.
If Filipinos have one talent that soars above every other talent that they are supposed to possess innately, it is going with the flow.
Going with the flow and jumping on the bandwagon was what led people to elect Joseph Ejercito Estrada as President and going with the flow led to his downfall.
If we were all somewhat right in the head when former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada was being impeached on Jueteng and other charges, the crowds that gathered for EDSA DOS wouldn't have materialized after senators left the impeachment trial on account of an unopened envelope.
We all forgot about the rule of law back then. We all forgot about due process. We forgot about all the principles that make democracy stable and able to function.
We forgot that the Impeachment Trial was not a court of law in the traditional sense, but a court of politicians - yes - lying, cheating, stealing politicians.
We simply held our hands up, surrendered to the impulses of the moment, and went on a tililing rampage.
Back then, the people who trooped at EDSA, probably thought, nothing could be worse than Estrada.
Years later, the people who supported the ascent of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as President under a Constitutionally doubtful process, would abandon her as soon as it seemed to be the right time to do so.
Cabinet members resigned without having to admit to any participation to any wrongdoing that made it possible for Gloria to shovel tons of money into the hands of corrupt Comelec officials, teachers, military men, local government officials, and voters.
Those who ran under her party coalition, had received generous support from her, and got elected would later try to erase any affinity that they had forged with her -- some having a more difficult time than others.
If it isn't obvious to you, let me spell it out...
We were unprincipled participants in a grand ruse motivated by political opportunism in 2001 Erap was thrown out of the Palace, when Gloria was installed, and when the 2004 elections were cheated wholesale.
And now, here we are. . . Going with the flow, duped into supporting the selfish interests of those in power.
Did the events prior to Gloria's arrest demonstrate that the main actors and their followers in this current political drama show that they had developed a capacity to wield principles?
Without being guided by principles, the ensuing action against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is not justice but retribution delivered out of vindictiveness.
Over the past few days, we saw the Aquino administration ruthlessly use the very same tactics they criticized the Arroyo administration for. They used the previous administration's Immigration Watchlist Order (which they already knew to be unconstitutional) against Gloria Arroyo, an instrument whose requirements weren't even satisfied - the suject of the watchlist order must be charged with a crime. Despite the TRO issued by the Supreme Court, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered the Bureau of Immigration to prevent Gloria Arroyo from leaving and effectively denied her Constitutional right to travel freely.
Already, Gloria Arroyo has been deprived of her rights without seeing a day in court, just as she had once people thrown in jail for rebellion charges.
If that's justice, then it is justice in a barbaric and capricious way.
(More aggravation to follow.)