Thursday, June 4, 2009

Like thieves in the night

I told you so.

Several times in this space, I have been telling our readers why there will be no elections the way we understand our elections to be. I detailed months ago Gloria’s options. And these options go all the way until way past May 10, 2010, when elections for a “new” president are supposed to take place. This is one little lady that will never sing, and, like Ferdinand Marcos once said he “does not intend to die” (but did, eventually), Dona Gloria is not likely to croak her swan song (croak is “kokak”, according to Mar Roxas, and is the way “PaLaKa” sing).

Remember when she flew to Hainan in China, ostensibly for the Boao conference sometime ago? In the wee hours of early morning, she witnessed the signing of the national broadband deal between the ZTE Corporation and her DOTC. Then, as quietly as she slipped away while esposo Jose Miguel was in extremis at the St. Luke’s Hospital, she came back to the country, and the Malacanang Press Office issued a press release saying that Dona Gloria brought home the bacon, “investments” kuno from Cathay.

That press release is a classic. It read --- “Like a thief in the night, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo…bringing investments worth billions of pesos…”

The other night, almost till midnight, an unusual sight in the House of Thieves (huwag magalit ang hindi kawatan) happened. It was jam-packed with representatives of the benighted, almost like a State of the Nation Address, but without senators of the realm in attendance.

You could see on the television screen how some unknown congressmen would inflict their sordid presence in the boob tube, hovering beside or at the back of members of the opposition, as if telling Tito Iggy and Brod Mikey, or Brod Dato, or perhaps the monitors of Malacanang, that they were present and accounted for. (Hindi pa ba binibigay?)

They were about to railroad House Resolution 1109, a resolution similar to an eulogy of condolence for a deceased member, or a profusion of felicitations upon Manny Pacquiao, which was on surface, all verbiage with neither substance nor form. No less than Didagen Dilangalen, proclaimed congressman of the lone district of non-existent Sharif Kabungsuwan, in his usual shrill staccato, demanded that the period of debate be cut short. Railroad na! Oye, ladrones --- vamos a bailar la cha-cha, pronto!

(A reader sent me an e-mail wondering how Digs could do such a do. “Hindi ba Erap loyalist siya?”, he asked. Don’t ask me, I replied. Ask Erap.)

And just before the stroke of midnight, by acclamation, the representatives of the benighted passed HR 1109. And therefore, by their act, create what lawyers call a “justiciable issue” that would merit the attention of the High Tribunal, which would be called upon to rule whether a constituent assembly could be called by the House of Representatives divorced from the other house, the Senate. A unilateral act done by one house upon the orders of Malacanang, obviously. To precipitate what could be a constitutional crisis, with the levers all controlled by Byzantium upon the Pasig.

That’s how thieves push the envelope. Conveniently, Dona Gloria, tsarina-to-be, was looking at the treasures of The Hermitage in St. Petersburg by the River Neva, perhaps even the Summer Palace of the Tsars of Russia facing the Gulf of Finland. Feeling like Catherine the Great, eh?

“She had nothing to do with it. It’s an independent act of a co-equal body. We cannot dictate upon the representatives of the people…” and all that balderdash would next be heard from the stinking palace beside the stinking Pasig. The Dona, after all, was away.

Last week, she presided over the formal merger of Lakas and Kampi, with CMD as an after-thought, saling-pusa, kung baga. And she told the benighted land that the ménage-a-trois, the merger, was indubitable proof that elections will push through in 2010, contrary to the doomsday scenarios of critics and nay-sayers. Look at her face, as she fidgeted in the dais. Yes, zoom in on the body english, the facial expressions, the look. Further comment I reserve.

Days before, Herr Puno, the DILG secretary, announced that he would seek the vice-presidency of the “republic”, and many were fooled into believing that election fever had began.

And even before that, Kampi chair (or whatever he is) Luis Villafuerte announced that he was withdrawing his signature from the resolution 1109 he himself authored, signatures upon which were pushed by no less than the “primera familia” members in the lower House no less. Cha-cha is dead, for now, many thought.

I had a sinking feeling in the gut that all these were make-believe. That all these were feigned, subterfuge for a political golpe. I told some friends in the FSGO that something just seemed unreal. That a fast break could yet happen just before the bell would signal a recess for the house of thieves.

She will be back this weekend, after Seoul and Jeju and St. Petersburg. She would be beaming, I expect. Once again, “like a thief in the night”, but this time, in Her House, in the land of the benighted.

* * *

Well, a century or so after Peter the Great and after Catherine of the boudoir (oh, if only Hayden Kho had been alive then, and if videograms were available), and years after the Romanovs Nicholas and Alexandra consulted Rasputin the monk on statecraft and other affairs, soldiers loyal to Lenin executed the entire family of royals at Ekaterinaburg). What lies in store for the people of the benighted land, as Dona Gloria y su familia attempt to rule, forever and ever?

* * *

Meanwhile, Fidel Valdez Ramos is fuming at reports that “over a bottle of cognac”, he had been mollified by his once-loyal Eduardo Ermita and his once-loyal Gabriel Claudio, now acolytes of Tsarina Gloria.

“Don’ take it hook, line and sinker. That is their version. Hindi naman porque uminom na kami ng cognac ay okay na at may kasunduan na”, El Tabako demurred, after Gabby Claudio announced to media that all’s well that end well in the PaLaKa coral. “I know how to be a good host, even if I don’t drink ultra-expensive Chateau Petrus”, the Ilokano from Asingan told a common friend. “Abangan…”, the former president said with a wink.

Then, someone who claims to have been so authorized, Ed Malay, announced before some kapihan somewhere that FVR and Erap are due to meet in the days to come. He even specified that it would be before this week is over, as Erap will sashay into Middle Eastern sands staring Monday.

Well, FVR said again that the same is untrue. “Whatever for? What is the agenda?”, he asked. The “sphinx” remains inscrutable.

Meantime, El Erap, in Pinky and Ricky’s “Opinyon” says that even Noli is welcome into the crowded opposition. Does this guy think at all? Everybody and his mother claims to be opposition, dadagdagan pa niya?

And the people? “They just lie there, and they die there”, as the song entitled Mona Lisa intones, for a people whose present and future are toyed upon by the immoderately greedy in the altar of unbridled power.


Maynila said...

My feeling sunk as I heard Senator Lacson announce his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential elections. He cited lack of funds to wage a decent campaign as principal reason for his withdrawal.

I agree with the reason, but not the soundness of the consequence.

It was a quixotic run for the presidency in 2004 for Sen Lacson. As in the present case, he did not also have then the funds and the machinery to bring him to victory. Whatever little he had at that time was even taken away by erstwhile supporters who deserted him and jumped over to FPJ's camp as soon as FPJ announced his candidacy.

Without entertaining any hope of victory, I still campaigned for him along with others to help promote his cause for the weal of the country. Many did, too, and these efforts yielded more than three million votes for Sen Lacson.

This was gratifying. These millions have found their beacon of hope and proudly cast their votes for him. Kahit na malabong manalo! To these idealists, it was enough there was Sen Lacson to personify for them a leader they truly believe in. Someone whom they can bravely cast their respective lots with.

Now that beacon has dimmed. Whom do we go to now for that imagery of upright leadership, patriotism, daring and incorruptibility?

Alas, money is really so potent it can take away even a dream.

La Patria!

Anonymous said...


agree ako dyan

sayang di maswerte ang bansa natin..many of our people still have a hard time piercing thru on the true motives and ideals of our politicians.. binoto ko sya dahil mukhang mabait, mukhang matulungin.. dahil nag donate ng school bldg..etc, etc.. dapat bobotoin ko sya dahil may pagasa akong nakita sa kanya na may magagawa sya para sa kinabukasan ng aking anak..

wat our country esp the less fortunate needs is someone who has the political will and knows what needs to be done.. Corruptions especially the endemic institutional and cross sectional is without a doubt, ( and i challege anyone to repute this) the single biggest hurdle to improving the basic services..
things such as affordable and quality education for all, books that are cheap and error free, roads that can last 50 years instead of evry election cycle..medicines that are effective, cheap and not expired and available all the time , and not during a presidents/secretary visit only..a place where children and their parents can roam around without fear of getting harrased by law enforcers, much less criminals.. expecting good Basic services from their barangays, city, municipalies instead of begging for it.. and not hving to pay grease money from traffic violations, to drivers licenses, to putting small business, etc.. the list goes on

sen lacson is the only one i can see who can inspire and deliver what he say he will do.. we dont need a president who is friendly to all, approachable, etc.. what we need is someone who can deliver the right solutions.. effective..practical..and addresses the root causes of it all.. corruption