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A Son’s Broken Arrow

A Son’s Broken Arrow?
Ronald Roy

I had least in mind traffic violations as a dramatic theme to highlight President Aquino’s inaugural address. His voice resonated throughout the land as he asserted his newly acquired authority to enforce traffic regulations. He declared those wang-wang days were over and that he would himself lead the example of obedience to street laws. The cheers were thunderous and deafening. He was in command, and we rejoiced dancing, singing and feasting into the early morning hours of July 1.
Having a new president was all that seemed to matter the day before, even if his speech was wanting in the reason why he was there and his predecessor was not, and in the reassurance he had not forgotten his electoral vow to end the regime of an evil ruler.
But now that the party’s over, we pause and reflect on our role as his masters—a role he recognized when he intoned the ancient democratic tenet “Kayo ang boss ko,”–and we sigh with relief we are at last the masters of our own fate after an electoral termination of a despotic nightmare that lasted for close to 10 agonizing years.
But as we reflect we are disturbed by the nightmare that lingers. We recall it each time the President’s mother led a street march denouncing the tyrant’s Charter-change (Cha-cha) gambit to perpetuate herself in power. We recall with a profound grief how those marches must have taken their toll on her fragile health. We sadly recall how her quixotic struggle ended beside the tomb of her son’s martyred father, and we poignantly remember then Senator Aquino standing with his four sisters at their parents’ gravesite, perhaps wondering where justice had gone.
We muse with a fresh hope that the great democratic justice can be retrieved. Although delayed and denied for over a century, that justice now awaits its revival by the power and authority we vested in Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III last June 30. With him, it is probably now or never.
It therefore comes as a shock that the President’s reaction to a congressional Charter-change bill filed by Rep. Gloria Arroyo and her son Rep. Dato Arroyo was a nonchalant formation of a group that would study their proposal. The possibility sucks and blows the mind that Noynoy Aquino might not now be the same man who was sworn in as our 15th President.
It is incomprehensible that he seems to find appealing a Cha-cha proposal which comes like an apple from the Garden of Eden. He appears unable to see–through the fruit’s mouth-watering shiny cover–its rotten core where an evil worm lurks in anticipation of a reinvention of Gloria Arroyo as Prime Minister, with himself standing behind as a demoted ceremonial functionary.
It does not amuse me that the President has tapped Hilario Davide to head this study group based on his so-called juristic experience and proven personal loyalty to his late mother. The President’s choice of Davide is appalling because of documented accounts of his unfitness for further work in the public sector. For his own sake, Davide should be retired. He should be prevented from re-entering public life for the sake of the service, and for the sake of the revered memory of the President’s mother. Ano siya, sineswerte?
People now wonder what might have transpired by way of a dialog between Aquino and Arroyo in that limousine ride from Malacañang to the Quirino Grandstand. Was there a quid pro quo deal that might explain Davide’s stroke of good fortune? After all, the man’s fealty to Arroyo was nothing less than canine for all the time the small woman was in power.
Alas, would it likewise be fate’s cruel joke upon us that the President has tapped the same man to head a Trust Commission with full powers to organize it? I understand it has been conceived as a fact-finding body patterned after South Africa’s Truth Commission that investigated apartheid-related human rights violations. And if memory serves well, all that commission accomplished was getting confessions and apologies from violators. Are we pursuing the same sort of reconciliation that was achieved in South Africa—reconciliation without justice?
Might the President not have unwittingly opened the backdoor leading to a possible escape route for Arroyo and her corrupt allies? Concerned citizens however still feel that the President will form his Cha-cha study group and Trust Commission with personalities of probity from the private sector. In this regard, Mr. President, I have the honor to recommend former Solicitor Frank Chavez, former permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Lauro Baja, Law Prof. Alan Paguia, and Law Prof. Jose M. Roy III, erstwhile Chief of Staff of then Chief Justice Andrei Narvasa and Commissioner/Executive Director of President Estrada’s Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reforms.
Interview them, Mr. President. They could have interesting tales to tell about Hilario Davide’s unfitness to manage a public office at his age.
(arnydolor@yahoo.com; Tel # 7106701, Cel # 09186449517)

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