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Power Politics

Power Politics

Ronald Roy— 2013 January 23
Going by James Freeman Clarke’s statement that “a politician thinks of the next election, while a statement, of the next generation”, there is no room for doubt that the use of power would be better left in the hands of a statesman than in those of a politician.
Power builds but it also destroys; it edifies, but it also corrupts. As I scan the political landscape, I cannot see anyone whom I can call a statesman. What has happened?
Have we become a society beyond salvation like the ancient Palestinian towns of Sodom and Gomorrah? They were destroyed by God because of the decadence of their people. Is this the same fate that awaits us? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not, if we believe in the power of prayer and the magic of hope.
Like it or not, and despite all that’s been said about a so called “conjugal partnership” decades back, the wife of strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos is a case in point. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, at the height of her political power as then Governor of Greater Manila Area; will long be remembered as the most celebrated patroness of the arts—ever.
As a politician, she wielded her power to good use in such areas as, one: music (contemporary pop, mainstream jazz and classical) where searches for talents were frequently launched and musicians encouraged with scholarships and subsidized concerts, two: fashion, where Filipino couturiers like Inno Sotto, Joe Salazar and Christine Espiritu were helped to gain international prominence, and three: promotion of things native, such as fabrics, and delicacies and foods for all social levels, and, in general, enterprises which she believed would define the Filipino on the global stage.
Mrs. Imelda Marcos was the visionary rara avis that authorized the construction of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Folk Arts Theater, the ill-fated Film Center, the Coconut Palace which presently serves as the vice president’s headquarters, and, of course, the BLISS homes for the poor.
No doubt, the documented history of Mrs. Marcos’ power-anchored achievements will continue to hold sway against the onslaughts of hostile politics, particularly those that are expected to come from P-Noy’s camp as the anniversary of the 1986 EDSA revolution nears.
P-Noy’s vindictive nature, which runs through his parents’ veins, has so far not failed to wreak havoc on those who dare to oppose him, or on anybody for that matter if by doing so he wins favor from the mob out there and, as a bonus, gets a popularity boost in the process.
A classic case of this sort of power politics was last year’s impeachment and removal from Office of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. Words do not suffice to describe how the Enrile Impeachment Court (EIC) turned out to be a monumental disgrace in the eyes of an overwhelming number of lawyers in the country, if only for one reason: Chief Justice Corona was removed from Office for an offense that was not impeachable.
Mr. Corona’s alleged failure to comply with the SALN Law was not among the Articles of Impeachment, but they convicted him just the same. And the hypocrisy and anomaly of it all is that numerous of those who prosecuted and convicted him would turn out to be SALN Law violators themselves.
I agree, texter #1646, that the former CJ’s conviction will always be remembered as a devious artifice meant by the EIC’s senator-judges to offer his head on a silver platter in exchange for P-Noy’s support for their re-election bids and other considerations. They too can play dirty with their own brand of self-promoting power politics.
And the horrifying thought, texter #1646, is that no solution appears to be in sight. The citizens don’t appear to be interested in asserting their sovereign rights, their arms folded in ostensible apathy. Could this be the cultural malaise that Edmund Burke had in mind when he gave the immortal caveat that “for evil to reign, all good men need to do is nothing”, or the words to that effect? Well, as the saying goes, we get the kind of government that we deserve.
Power so intoxicates and dulls the mind that no person should be trusted with its unbridled use. I am afraid P-Noy is so afflicted with this condition that the malady has become infectious. Look around his official barkada, and ask if the virus has not contaminated Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, just to cite a couple.
Certainly, Patty (Gonsalvez), I wasn’t at all surprised by de Lima’s “No Shootout” conclusion on the violent Atimonan checkpoint incident. I’m sure she had calculated that her rubout theory would jibe with the president’s heads-must-roll mindset—which may actually be a ploy that he employs to project himself as a heroic crime-buster. In fact, as a lackey, isn’t de Lima supposed to laugh when P-Noy jokes, or look worried when he coughs or, in general, respond in accordance with his body language? The Ombudsman seems to be no different.
The complaint lodged by Carpio-Morales against the beleaguered Roberto Ongpin—erstwhile Trade Minister of Ninoy Aquino’s nemesis, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and alleged crony of former FG Mike Arroyo—appears more persecutory than anything else. I say “persecutory” because, one: her Office has no jurisdiction over private individuals like Ongpin, and two: her Complaint was predicated on the false claim that the DBP loans granted to him, some of which were collateralized by PhilWeb shares, were “undercollateralized” because those PhilWeb shares were “unlisted” when, in truth and in fact, PhilWeb has been a listed stock for 13 years.
Frankly, if Ongpin has committed any crime, he could go to hell for all I care. But, in the instant case, he does appear to be persecuted—nay, oppressed—for being denied due process by P-Noy and his cohorts. Ongpin explains how he is being denied this constitutional right, as follows.
In last year’s Senate Blue Ribbon hearings looking into his case, BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla stated under oath that the DBP loans granted Ongpin were in good order, being “prudent” and “positive”, and even resulted in a windfall of profits for the bank. However, Espenilla subsequently contradicted himself last November when, as Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) chair, he signed an ex-parte decision before the Court of Appeals stating under oath that, based on the “behest loans” released to Ongpin, the latter’s bank accounts should be frozen.
P-Noy’s oppressive style of politics became more blatant when the Office of the Solicitor General joined the AMLC in a petition for a freeze order, even if they did not have any evidence of probable cause; and this utter lack of evidence was indicated by their admission that they would be needing six more months to study the case!!! And all because Ongpin was Marcos’ Trade Minister and is Mike Arroyo’s friend??? Holy Macaroni!!! Ang kakapal!!!
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