Saturday, February 23, 2008

The arguments for inaction

Passion For Reason
By Raul PangalanganPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst
Posted 23:14:00 02/21/2008

You’ve heard the sensible argument: “‘Hanggang 2010 na lang naman.’ [It’s only until 2010.] Why the rush?” My answer: If Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stays in power until 2010, she will remain in power after 2010. She and her cabal have transgressed the law so often now while they are in the saddle. There is simply too much at stake at too high a risk for them to dismount and freely relinquish power to a new president. Imagine her thinking: Why will I allow myself to be in Joseph Estrada’s shoes? Surely she dreads the full wallop of karmic revenge.

Even if we go through the ritual of a presidential election in 2010, at the very least, she will ensure that a brand-new ombudsman will be in place to immunize her and her family from culpability for the next seven years. In other words, she will continue the prostitution of our republican institutions.

Just look at our law enforcement agencies. Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. testified under oath about a $130 million commission and Neri about a P200 million bribe (who reported it to the President, who in turn did nothing), about his kidnapping by the very police sworn to protect us, and now about the half-million pesos given to him by a Malacañang lawyer -- and what do they do? They talk about charging Lozada’s wife with perjury! Susmaryosep. By the time Ms Arroyo goes, she will have debased the Republic, and made a total wreck of our constitutional order.

The second argument is: “Away ng mga fixer lamang ’yan.” [“It’s just a brawl among fixers.”] Why indeed should we involve ourselves in a brawl over illicit commissions? My answer: Precisely because it takes a thief to catch a thief, and we must embrace this long-awaited fissure within the ruling elites. In fact, I’d like to see Rep. Jose de Venecia explain why the conspirators in the national broadband network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp. kept on insisting on “the NorthRail template,” the exact same swindle that ZTE wished to emulate, except that NorthRail was De Venecia’s baby and ZTE wasn’t. So the fixers are raring for a fight? That’s good news for all us victims. We must celebrate, we must fuel, we must spark the outrage.

The third argument is a sequel to the second: “Let us settle for the lesser evil.” I’ve actually found this argument most enticing, especially since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is by far the most highly educated of our presidents, and she wonderfully looks the part. The only problem is, going by what Romulo Neri allegedly said, she is “evil.” The law says Cabinet members are the alter ego of the president, and when the alternate ego brands the original ego as “evil,” he should know whereof he speaks. At the rate she’s going, just about every other option is the more “moderate” evil.
The fourth argument is: “Respect the rule of law lest you open a Pandora’s Box of power gone berserk.” My response: You mean, any more berserk than Arroyo’s Mafia sense of power? Whose Strong Republic is forceful in hounding its enemies, but weak in punishing its friends?
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