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Bandwagon Mentality

Bandwagon Mentality
Ronald Roy — 2012 June 12

A month ago, I dreamt that the impeachment verdict, whether of conviction or acquittal of CJ Renato C. Corona, would bring about a restoration of checks and balances among the three branches of government, and catalyze a reformist attitude for the entire country to surge forward with the sovereign Filipino people on the saddle for a change, and all public officials and employees taking orders as their abiding servants.

But while my dream was but Abraham Lincoln’s articulation that “democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” it remains the only valid vision for a people who aspire for peace, happiness and contentment in an environment of freedom.

The recent impeachment trial of the Republic’s fifth highest official, rather than being a welcome eye-opener or a humbling wake-up call for introspection, has instead become a missed opportunity for some “leaders” who prefer  to remain mired in the old ways that perpetuate our festering eco-socio-political ills.

Take the case of erstwhile Chief Justice Hilarious Davide, Jr. (Junior for brevity) who is recommended by Chuck (Ozaeta) as a model on whom to base the choice for the next occupant of the post vacated by former CJ Corona. I mean no disrespect to you, Chuck, but, hello, you cannot be conceivably serious!

During a recent ABS-CBN interview, Junior brazenly lied that, in the impeachment trial of then President Erap Estrada, he did not order a lockdown to prevent the walkout “because it was led by the private prosecutors over whom I had no control” —the truth and fact being that, at a given signal by a Representative, the said walkout was staged by all the Congressmen with the private prosecutors being co-mingled with them at the tail end.

Nobody remembers Junior banging his gavel at the height of that walkout or declaring a mistrial. What is indelibly etched in memory is that he unconstitutionally presided over a hurriedly convened ceremony by swearing into office the power-grabbing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Eventually, he would collect his 30 pieces of silver by becoming GMA’s Special Envoy to the United Nations for all the 9 ½ years she was in purloined power!!

And now, he is back to lecture us on how the former top magistrate should have run his office to avoid impeachment. Oh my God, it’s cheeky guys like Junior who should not be lionized by media in aid of their attempt to further demonize an already removed Chief Justice.

The former top magistrate is already consigned to a quiet life campaigning for a new paradigm of public transparency and accountability. I suggest we all give him a break and leave him alone, if we do not wish to support his crusade.

I find it utterly hypocritical and immoral of Junior and his likes to propose that the next Chief Justice should be the exact opposite of former Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. Rather, I suggest that the next judicial top honcho be the exact opposite of Junior and his likes.

It seems Junior has a knack for self-promotion by degrading Chief Justices. I remember Junior going all over town to lampoon his immediate predecessor, CJ Andres Narvassa, for what he imagined to be “irregular and questionable accounting records” pertinent to the construction and renovation of Halls of Justice all over the country.

CJ Narvassa meekly took it all on the chin, and he didn’t receive a single apology from Junior who was eventually proven wrong on hearsay reports.

It’s an old trick called egotistical muckraking, Chuck. If one wishes to rise above his peers, all he needs to do is to take cheap shots at them. The trouble with Junior’s methods is that they are crude and puerile, the sort that the Judiciary can do without to energize itself against a savagely overbearing Chief Executive.

There are other ways of promoting one’s public image at the expense of others, and I’m glad texter #2426 has brought up the case between Sen. Koko Pimentel and Migz Zubiri. I am deeply disturbed by UNA’s decision to include Zubiri in its senatorial lineup for next year’s midterm elections, and leaving Pimentel the option to join the ticket or not.

The decision smacks of an indecent preference for winning candidates over the hallowed principles of electoral democracy. Who cares if Zubiri is a winning candidate?! Isn’t the “winnability” of candidates the very scourge that usually afflicts the public offices they covet, especially if they are unprincipled?!

UNA’s decision makers should be reminded that the quarrel was not so much between Zubiri and Pimentel, as it was between Zubiri and the electorate whom he cheated in Maguindanao, when he ran for senator in an incredibly fraudulent landslide for all of GMA’s bets, a landslide topped by—of all people—Chavit Singson!!

To this day, Zubiri unabashedly mocks truth by insisting that he too was cheated by Pimentel inLuzon! Who needs people like Zubiri in public service?! Are his ilk the kind that our enfeebled country needs as it now stands at the crossroads of a new paradigm? I rest my case.

Christopher (Oyson), of course I’m gladdened by the three acquittal votes cast by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Joker Arroyo and Bong Bong Marcos. I praise them for their principled defiance of a power-mad de facto dictator. They deserve commendation from our nation for the flickering hope they have rekindled to resuscitate a comatose democracy.

On the other hand, many of their 20 confreres are suspect as to the rationale behind their conviction votes. At best, they are suspected to have cast “convenience votes” prompted by a wide range of speculative dynamics like personal interests, re-election bids and trending inclinations whereby, after the 11th vote showed 9 for conviction and 2 for exoneration, the remaining 12 reportedly “joined the bandwagon to please the people”.

Holy macaroni, is this bandwagon mentality the best lesson we have eked out of a nerve-wracking five-month first-ever-completed impeachment enterprise in our benighted country?! Maracas de Caracas!!

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