Monday, May 4, 2009

Change we never get

It’s been two years since Jonas, son of Joe Burgos, the late founder of this paper who dared fight the dictatorship even when it was not yet fashionable to do so, was snatched by men suspected to be from the storm troopers of a military general who believes that the only way to fight the ideology they hate is to maim and kill those who rightly or wrongly, subscribe to those “unthinkable” beliefs. His mother Editha, along with his siblings and other relatives, cry to the highest heavens for justice that to this day this government does not care to dispense.

Four months ago, Lilian de Vera considered herself “one of those blessed and happiest people on earth”. She had a kind husband, and their “union was blessed with a daughter who not only became the main source of our happiness…more so, she was the center of our lives”.

“A perfect family with simple delights, dreams and aspirations…until that fateful night of December 5, 2008”, Lilian de Vera now laments…”the day my husband and daughter were taken away from me in a very violent way. That Friday night of December 5, 2008 marked the beginning of all the terror, anguish and misery in my life. “

“All that was shattered (that night) when my husband and daughter were shot to death by men in uniform…the same men who were sworn to protect innocent people from bad guys…whose sacred duty was to preserve the lives of the public against harm and danger”.

“My husband’s face was unrecognizable because he was shot in the head at close range while kneeling with his head bowed…my daughter’s young body was riddled with bullets, with one hitting her head, blowing her brains out… “

“My husband and daughter are gone…….forever. The pain I feel for their loss is too much too bear. And the only thing that motivates me to go on with life is the mission to seek justice for their senseless killing. If the people who were responsible for their death will be punished, if I could bring them the justice they so richly deserve, my pains would be alleviated. The misery I will live by will be lessened. My husband and daughter will be vindicated and I will learn to live the remaining years of my life in peace,” Mrs. De Vera now states.

Will she get the justice she yearns for? Will this regime, which lives each day because of the bayonets that support it, because the generals and officers that prop it up seem to have lost all the ideals and values that they learned in the academy, even bother to render Lilian de Vera the justice she deserves?

Days ago, Trina Etong committed suicide inside the house she shared with husband Ted Failon and their family. Police investigators used the tragedy in order to demonstrate to the public, and the media, the kind of naked power that they possess. The power to harass, the power to intimidate, the power to make life difficult for those who dare oppose, those who dare stand up against the excesses of this abomination they worship as legitimate government.

There was method in what seemed like madness. There was a chilling message that the storm troopers of Boysie Rosales wanted to deliver. You don’t mess with this regime, because they have virtually covered all the bases. They have perfected the art of governing badly, yet each day that passes, despite absence of requisite public esteem, they entrench themselves deeper in power.

Yet for all the evil, for all the abuses, why does it take karma an eternity to happen?

After the travelling House of Pork comes back from Las Vegas, with two weeks left before they go on a long recess, they will most likely huff and puff to vote for Cha-Cha. They will now be joined by some 25 newcomers, about 18 of whom are certainly negotiable, if not already transacted. The last of the hold-outs from among the old-timers will up their asking price, and will likely get it, because this is “it” for the Arroyos and their Rasputins. Anyway, government gives a boundless ROI. Besides, what they will now throw at the House of Pork is money of the people, leavings even from what they have kept for themselves and “their” posterity.

If they hurdle the magistrates of the Supreme Court, and they are extremely confident they will, then whether the system is changed now or after the 2010 elections matters little. They will manage to execute what they have sought out to do, which is to keep themselves in power, because the business empires they have amassed needs a “protective” government to nurture and protect the monopolistic privileges they have thus far accumulated. Even assuming they are unable for want of time or the absence of circumstances to perpetuate themselves via diabolical “change”, they will see to it that they install, through the usual manipulation of electoral exercise in May 2010, a “transactional” leadership which shall forever expunge any possibilities of prosecution for crimes they have committed against the people.

Over the past few days, it was bruited about that a declared presidential contender, who identifies himself as “opposition”, would have a “secret meeting” with Dona Gloria somewhere in Spain or perhaps Syria, where a presidential crony runs a major port. Whether true or not, such talk merely brings to mind the issue of the principles and the credentials of many who style themselves now as opposition, who deserted their former ally and “boss”, the president herself, when it became politically convenient to do so. These same people used to worship FVR, then dumped him for Erap, then stabbed Erap in the back for GMA. Now they’re back into the forgiving arms of Erap. So a new “transaction” with Gloria once more, is certainly in the realm of probability, if not likelihood.

And this next transactional leadership will then take its turn at the swill. This is the cycle that consigns everyone but the extremely privileged to benighted lives in this ever-benighted land. This is feudalism perpetuated in the guise of democratic form.

It is time to change the system. Not the way this regime and others before it wish, but the way that system ought to be changed. That is the only way. Not cosmetic electoral change manipulated by money and networks and the abuse of power. But genuine, meaningful change wrought about by reformers unafraid to buck tradition, unshackled by personal agenda, and ready, willing and able to undertake the necessary cathartic reforms that are needed to being this nation back on track.