Sunday, February 22, 2009

The anarchy of impunity

Lintang Bedol has been “wanted”, ostensibly by the Comelec he worked for since June or July of 2007. A PNP official, Joel Goltiao, assigned to his lair, had been scouring (according to him), all the warrens of Maguindanao and neighboring provinces, so that Bedol may be brought to justice, as per the delayed orders of the Comelec. This Lintang na Bedol has been adjudged by everyone and his mother as having been the “evil” genius behind the “evil” operations of Zaldy Ampatuan and his clan, who, in trying to show their indispensability to the “evil” administration of Dona Gloria y su esposo.

It is now February of 2009, more than a year and a half since, and a Comelec commissioner informs the Commission on Appointments that they “discovered” of late, that this Lintang na Bedol is now lost in the wilds of America. The Bureau of Immigration, who issued a hold-departure order, is clueless. Of course, Goltiao and his policemen, who never ever really searched for Lintang na Bedol, are silent, even more clueless. For all we know, it was Goltiao and his forces who escorted Bedol through the backdoor, and from there the linta must have flown the coop.

Why aren’t we surprised? Why is it so matter-of-factly to the dishonourable men who run the Commission on Electoral Cheating? Magku-computerize pa daw, e tumapak lang sa isang linta, hindi pa kaya. We are hopeless. Crime pays, and pays exceedingly well in these benighted parts.

So do you expect the police operatives who kept shooting at a half-dead suspected car napper, the mayhem caught live by an ABS-CBN camera, to be meted justice for the rub-out? Perish the thought. After all, people have such short memories, and his superior officers in that institution of impunity called the Philippine National Police know this all too well. You think you could run to the Department of Justice, where a half-senile pit bull is propped up by a mafiosi of fixers supervised by a syndicate of quattri consiglieri? Perish the thought once more.

This is the Philippines of Gloria y su esposo, where an anarchy of impunity reigns, where bad is good, where the art of lying is virtue, and the science of stealing is enshrined as obras pias. Recall that Romulo Neri described his boss as “evil”. In normal dispensation, the person described as “evil” would have been insulted deeply, and sought retribution for such assaulting description. But no! Apparently she felt elated, she considered “evil” as encomium. And Romulo Neri, instead of being slapped, was promoted to one of the “juiciest” postings in her government.

Surreal? Of course not. “Blessed are the “evil”, say the lord bishops Ramon Villena, Diosdado Talamayan, Fernando Capalla and Juan de Dios Pueblos, her hallelujah chorus. Why, if these characters had their way, they probably would certify Dona Gloria y su esposo for beatification by the Vatican.

Look at the Ombudsman. She wonders why the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines and the Coalition against Corruption and a myriad other organizations whose sense of decency has been assailed by the prevailing culture of impunity, is asking her to resign. How could she? She has been of utmost service to Dona Gloria y su esposo. She has been faithfully, and mercifully absolving all those that they wanted to absolve, or keep indefinitely frozen, in her walk-ins at that pink building on Agham Road. She is duchess of impunity, gatekeeper of the culture where true evil is unseen, and her masters’ “evil” is propagated.

She is protected by a fixed term of office, and when some people upbraid her, she can always run to her Senate counterpart, that “insect” repellent called Miriam, and be insulated from the stings and bites of do-gooders. Sure, they can try to impeach her, but there’s Legacy’s patron, along with his majority of thieves in the House of the Bought, who will thrash whatever challenges to her term can be conjured by her detractors.

Thus is the culture of impunity enshrined in this benighted land. And we all suffer from the anarchy it breeds, the anarchy it institutionalizes.

Is there anyone to run to? Not the Supreme Court, even if you have a Chief Justice who is a bedrock of moral intentions in a land plagued by the immorality of greed and the impunity of crime. Many in his Court are not yet done paying the wages of their undeserved appointment by the “evil” they pay homage to.

Not the Senate, which can only rant and rave, often worn down and wearied by the harangues of a Miriam or the silence of lambs among the actors and absentees who plague that chamber.

Perhaps one could implore the armed forces, the soldiers of the people, who the Constitution mistakenly describes as “protectors of the people”? Perish the thought likewise. Its generals are just awaiting retirement, so they could in time escape what their consciences find revolting and what the Academy taught them, once upon a time, to be wrong. Its idealists languish in jail because they dared to challenge the legitimacy of the illegitimate commander-in-chief.

Why, that commander-in-chief will soon appoint her favourite, despite his inadequacies and his excesses, simply because he fawns upon “evil” with canine loyalty, to be the Chief of Staff of all “her” armed forces. And you think the sons of the Academy who were bypassed despite far better credentials will howl?

No. They will just mutter under their breath. Theirs but to follow. Theirs but to fight and die. Theirs not to question why or how, whatever the resident “evil” in our lives, should deign “best”.

Wait till Dona Gloria’s “classmate” in her adopted class at the Academy is appointed Chief of Staff. Then she will unleash the tactics and the forces that will keep her “forever” in our lives.

As the FSGO keep saying --- we are ruled by a curse. And for as long as we cannot muster the courage to fight evil in all its forms, in all its personifications, we just have to suffer through the anarchy of impunity that bedevils our society and our polity.