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Cause and Effect

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Cause and Effect
Ronald Roy   — November 30, 2011

Human events are intrinsically enmeshed in a cause-and-effect matrix that began when Adam turned, gawked, and liked what he saw in Eve.

This was followed by the first sin with a bite into a forbidden apple, which unleashed the dark forces of evil, which led to the first murder (by Cain of his younger brother Abel), which brought about the first incest (between who else but Eve and Cain), which led to further incestuous and other arrangements that spawned down the ages human communities, civilizations, cycles of war and peace, and now: questions like what to do with the Most Villainous Pariah that is Gloria Arroyo, and why you are reading this Musings column.

What caused you to peruse this paper belongs to the past, and you have no control over that event since it is past. But you have control over the rest of the day because what you now read will somehow impact on your circle of human relations in family, play or work, and they in turn, so affected, will behave in a manner that will influence others, and so on and so forth.

That you have read far into this column reveals a curiosity that will bear on your ensuing behavior, one way or the other. It is therefore unalterable that: the past is the cause of the present, and the future is the effect of the present.

If we accept this proposition as a fact of life and not just a theory, we must then review the past to understand why our eco-socio-political lives are in such a mess, and consequently be enabled to now choose the best remedies for building a better future.

I begin with a past event: an offer I received from an emissary of Doy Laurel to assume the presidency of the National Centennial Commission (NCC). Doy, the NCC’s chair, was a close friend and kumpadre of mine.

But I declined the offer because, one: I had always seen the NCC project as an ostentatious swansong of then outgoing President Fidel V. Ramos, given its unconscionable budget of ₱1B, and two: the offer came at a time the stench of corruption had started to escape from NCC’s executive offices.

The miasma was so powerful a roach would have flipped at a mere whiff of it, and so stupefying newly elected Pres. Erap Estrada vowed to get to the bottom of things—a promise that must have caused FVR to quietly swear to prevent an investigation.

Well, Erap had no sooner assumed the presidency than he was unconstitutionally booted out by a cabal widely believed to be headed by Ramos. Thus, courtesy of Ramos, Arroyo took a free ride to the presidency.

At the height of the “Hello Garci” scandal, Arroyo quelled calls for her resignation, thanks again to FVR, who simply told her to stay put. Indeed Arroyo was so grateful to him she utilized her bottomless reservoir of sovereign funds to prevent a ventilation of the reek.

It now behooves “Amboy” Ramos, the statesman that he claims to be, to capitulate to public scrutiny and accountability. After all, he had himself so often in the past moralized that no one, not even himself, was above the law.

If he does not walk the talk—arguably, nobody expects him to do so—will P-Noy dare to take to task the West Pointer who is neocolonial Washington’s point man in this benighted country?

As Erap appears to be the most logical norm on which to resolve numerous issues pertinent to how the pariah should be treated as a former de facto president, her apologists’ arguments become more ridiculous as more things being dug up from the past portray Erap as a victim of her rank ingratitude and greed for power.

For instance, when then Justice Secretary Nani Perez twice offered Erap freedom to leave the country in exchange for a sworn statement that he had freely resigned from the presidency— wasn’t his refusal to accede a persuasive showing of his innocence of jueteng charges, let alone his documented proof that the jueteng “take” of ₱200M was used to fund the Muslim Youth Foundation he had set up?

Parenthetically, should we view Erap’s pardon by her as an act of magnanimity, rather than as a measure of mollifying his millions of agitated supporters, let alone her guilt feelings over how an FVR-led clique had unjustly railroaded an innocent man out of office?

And shouldn’t two electoral victories of the past, those of his wife Loi and son Jinggoy, be taken to mean his vindication—an absolutely stark contrast, indeed, to the portrait of an exceedingly reviled pariah?

How will the Honorable RTC Judge decide? To be sure, his discernment must be based not only on the strictures of law and morality, but on the sinews of courage as well. He has here an enviable opportunity to define his magistracy as Solomonic.

Judge Jesus Mupas will do well, e.g., to disregard the un-senatorial babble of a bipolar (tripolar?) woman and a failed “putschist” that the jailing of the pariah might draw international repercussions. Holy macaroni! Can’t these two limelight-grabbers see that it is precisely Arroyo’s jailing that will boost tourism, foreign investments and other eco-socio-political benefits?!

The Supreme Court’s decision favoring the workers in the Hacienda Luisita case is such a Solomonic verdict, particularly  as it quenches the farmers’ thirst for relief after a 43-year drought of undeserved landlessness, no thanks to a brazen breach of contract by Don Jose Cojuangco, Cory’s father, in a manifest disparity between the rich and the poor in a still smoldering feudal system.

Sans extraneous details, Don Jose Cojuangco signed a loan contract in 1958 with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). He got the ₱10M he needed to buy from Tabacalera y Cia the property known as the Luisita Estate, on condition that at the loan’s maturity in 1968, he would parcel out the estate to the workers. When the loan matured, he refused to honor the condition by assailing it as unfair, immoral, unjust, etc.

In the civil case that followed, it was clearly a lost cause ab initio for Cojuangco who was humbled in the lower court after a series of delaying tactics and motions for reconsideration. It was the same story when he elevated his adamance to the Court of Appeals.

But then, while the case was pending before the superior court, EDSA exploded in 1986 and— voila!— Cojuangco’s obdurateness proved rewarding!! Repeat: Voila!!

One muses if Cory has fully earned the honor to have EDSA renamed after her.

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