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Ronald Roy
No matter how “plunderous” the crime, no convicted prisoner is beyond redemption. This Christian concession covers all felons serving sentence, including former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who seems to have turned a new leaf in life by transforming himself into a lay minister to nurse the spiritual needs of fellow inmates at the New Bilibid Prison.
It is recalled that the retired major general was convicted by a military court and meted out a two-year sentence for breaching Articles of War 96 and 97, instead of Plunder, by the Sandiganbayan because of a highly controversial plea bargain with the previous Ombudsman (GMA’s alleged surrogate Merceditas Gutierrez) in which he offered to restitute the unconscionably small amount of ₱135 million out of ₱303 million of people’s money.
It rubs me the wrong way that an alleged plunderer—who appears un-inclined to return what he purportedly stole from the sovereign people— would now be preaching the 5th Commandment: Thou shall not steal.
I don’t mean to rush-judge Mr. Garcia but, holy macaroni, would this not be obvious positioning for a grant of presidential clemency for good behavior if he did not restitute? So, what’s new in deceiving others with ostentations of piety?
The Gloria Macapagal Arroyo once said, “I… am… sorry” only to tell us later “I conversed with God last night, and he told me I was the only one he could trust to run the country. So, I will not resign.”
I don’t know how psychologists describe this mental disorder, assuming of course it’s not a case of demonic possession, but you’d better believe that invoking God sometimes works wonders for the invoker’s rapacious designs. Remember Grigori Rasputin, the Russian monk who ran circles around the naïve Tsar Nicholas II and his family?
Filipinos are perhaps among the world’s most religious peoples, if practices—ranging from the bizarre Lenten flagellations to devout 2000 Hail Mary’s in one session—are any indication.
Supplications for divine assistance for sundry personal concerns and national disasters are commonplace, as are prayers before and after meals and corporate meetings. It’s a pity though we sometimes forget to pray as one people while grappling with intimidating threats to our democracy.
Vox populi vox Dei—The voice of the people is the voice of God— is the fallacious argument which electoral winners advance especially against protests of election irregularities. Similarly, the impeached Chief Justice complains those who demand his ouster are like the Jewish mob that egged the wishy-washy Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus of Nazareth, as if Mr. Corona were the Son of God.
It therefore makes no sense at all to call the sovereign Filipino people a mob, when all they want is an end to corruption— indeed, an ardent wish to promote their welfare. It follows then that the applicable Latin adage here is not vox populi vox Dei, but salus populi est suprema lex— the welfare of the people is the supreme law.
The Sovereign voted P-Noy because they believed in his anti-corruption slogan, although they most certainly didn’t think he would fulfill his promise to jail Gloria and her cohorts by ousting Mr. Corona by hook or by crook.
Well, that’s just too bad for P-Noy, because he now appears to have himself culpably violated the constitution and betrayed the public trust in his slovenly, indecent and un-presidential haste to remove Mr. Corona from office.
The unfolding events as of this writing suggest that P-Noy may find himself at the receiving end of an impeachment complaint— a humongous embarrassment, indeed, for one who assumed the presidency with a phenomenally high approval rating over a year ago.
P-Noy ought not to have taken for granted the Sovereign who voted him their President. Yes, the Sovereign often make mistakes, such as by electing candidates who turn out to be anything but dedicated public servants. Needless to state, these errant public servants will have a stiff price to pay for betrayal of the Sovereign’s trust, one way or the other.
Will P-Noy be impeached, tried and convicted, given the circumstances surrounding his allegedly unconstitutional railroading of Mr. Corona’s impeachment? Academically and technically speaking, absolutely!
Although he has the vast resources of the presidency to forestall this, it will be in the manner in which he utilizes his options where the Sovereign will ultimately discover if they had put in office a hero or a heel.
It is entirely possible, however, that the Sovereign would have no one but themselves to blame for not having prayed hard enough, if at all they did, before casting their ballots in the 2010 elections.
Escalating events portend a year of eco-socio-political upheavals of catastrophic proportions. The poor remain neglected, the rich and the powerful are richer and more powerful, the fence-sitters increase in number, while the voiceless are now more muted.
We pray a lot, yes, but almost never for our ailing democracy. We often pray for the wrong things, too. Have we forgotten our Preamble?
Let us, the Sovereign, now implore the aid of Almighty God for enlightenment and guidance, as we seek to know: one: kung ang korte suprema ay pugad ng katiwalian, two: kung and Palasyo ay pugad ng diktaturya, three: kung ang kongreso ay pugad ng mga nagpapasuhol, four: kung ang hudikatura ay pugad ng mga negosyante, and five: kung ang bayan ay pugad ng mga tanga.
If any, or all the above, God help us to deal with the forthcoming catharsis of destruction, for only from its rubble will rise a democracy reborn.

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