Really, Gloria is EVIL!
LIKE a theft in the night. That is how a tyrant is made. His rise through power is always accompanied by awful travesty and grand deception. At the end of the day the unsuspecting people who hoped they installed a “savior” would realize they were fooled, and it would be too late to act.
Tyrants’ best allies are deception and ignorance. Deception serves as smokescreen to keep the people in the sideline. Deception seeks to prevent the people from thinking, because the antidote to fascistic bromide is reason while ignorance keeps the people to their unperturbed state, unaware of how their leaders run their country like hell.
That is how Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippine’s “evil” president, came to power. After the imperial Manila toppled former president Joseph Estrada who was accused of and convicted for corruption charges, the Filipino people regarded Mrs. Arroyo as their people power “hero” who promised to bring economic prosperity to the corruption-ridden nation.
In her inaugural speech, Mrs. Arroyo said she accepted the presidency of the Republic because “it is now time to heal and to build.” She also said she believed in leadership by example.
Those who ousted Erap could have thought his replacement— a woman and a catholic devout— is less corrupt and more democratic than her predecessors. Some people might have though that it would be easier to control a woman president while others might have relied on the idea that it would be easier to twist her like a puppet doll. But all of them miscalculated Gloria, the daughter of late president Diosdado Macapagal. All of them misjudged the dimunitive leader. Their worst sin is, sad to say, underestimation.
They had understimated Mrs. Arroyo. They never thought what the President would become after helping her extend her term by rigging the ballots in 2004. They must have forgotten that a greedy politician is only after self-interest and self-preservation. What they never knew is the president’s idea of self-preservation is beyond imagination.
All of them, including the old-rich Lopez family that benefited from “sweetheart deals” in the early years of the Arroyo administration, underestimated Mrs. Arroyo. Most of them thought they could control her. Rep. Jose De Venecia also made grave mistakes by giving full support to the president. Perhaps he realized that under Gloria’s term, his cha-cha (charter change) ambition can be achieved, thus paving the way for his becoming the country’s first prime minister after Marcos. In his valedictory speech, the former house speaker became bitter and strident in enumerating the good deeds he had done to his former boss in the past.
The Hello, Garci scandal is one of the worst anomalies ever happened in the country. The ballot-rigging controversy became the very source of all major anomalies, irregularities, and corruption that rocked this God-forsaken nation under the Arroyo administration. That single wholesale plunder (election cheating) became the exponent of all evils under the current regime.
Among its evil creations are the multi-million peso fertilizer scam, the wanton disregard of the sanctity of the ballot, the kidnapping of some people who witnessed massive election irregularities in the 2004 polls, the unprecedented election violence and killings, and the Arroyo administration’s posturing of power and flagrant obstruction of justice.
But the network of corruption didn’t stop there. Since the Hello, Garci scandal caused ginormous setback to the Arroyo administration, Gloria had to bribe congressmen into killing the impeachment charge filed against her, issue Executive Order 464 to gag her officials from appearing at any inquiry concerning the 2004 election cheating, declare state of emergency through Presidential Decree 1017, distribute over 100 million-peso dole out to close political allies in Malacanang palace. Still, the corruption bucket didn’t stop there. The cost of Gloria Arroyo in power is not just wholesale and bureaucratic corruption– both the plunder of money and conscience- but also the prostitution and wanton, unscrupulous, flagrant, deliberate, and official disregard of the Constitution by the President and her ever loyal men.
Under her term, the Department of Justice headed by Gloria’s muchacho Raul Gonzales became the government’s official attack dog; the office of the Ombudsman under Merceditas Gutierrez, a former classmate of the first gentleman, became the “Protector of the ZTE-deal People”; the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and PNP were also reduced to a private army of the first family; the House of representatives (I intentionally dropped letter R) also became Gloria’s loot-makers and effective killers of impeachment complaint.
This reminds me of the sham Pulido complaint filed in the lower house last year by Lawyer Roel Pulid0 who, like Mike Arroyo and Gutierrez, is also an Ateneo graduate. This is not the first time Pulido engaged himself in such a mess which could cost him his career. His name was also mentioned in the Hello, Garci scandal being the former counsel of Hello, Garci witness Shari’ah Circuit Court Judge Nagamura Moner. Pulido again made “extraordinary legal services to the President” by filing a “sham” impeachment complaint last year in order to derail the attempt to unseat Mrs. Arroyo through impeachment proceedings.
Enter ZTE-NBN deal attended by multi-million dollar bribery and unfair provisions. Many believed that since it’s the “last hurrah” of disgraced and disgraceful Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos, the proceeds of the kickback would serve as his “reward” for his self-less service to Mrs. Arroyo, her generous but “evil” boss.
Of course when it comes to wholesale plunder and bribery first gentleman Mike Arroyo is assured of his fatty share. It now appears that it’s an SOP under the Arroyo government to see to it the heavyweight first gentleman gets his share in the government’s anomalous transactions.
Now an overwhelming majority of the people, according to a survey conducted by Ibon Foundation, want President Arroyo ousted from power.
But how can you oust an “evil” leader if the people have now grown tired of mounting another people power revolt?
“The people are now too numb to support another revolution,” said Malacañang boys. That’s the irony of it, the now prostituted Malacañang palace gladly takes comfort in this situation/assumption.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is right in saying that Edsa II was a disappointment because “it installed a President who later on was judged by surveys as the most corrupt president.”
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the influential CBCP, said “we went from one frying pan to a worse frying pan.” While I agree with most of the pronouncements of the CBCP, particularly its call for moral revolution, I’m opposed to the idea that we have to rely on these bishops to guide us on matters of national affairs, that we have to let them think for us because of their respectable social standing.
It may be true that the people have already lost the courage and trust to support another peaceful revolution. But that doesn’t mean Mrs. Arroyo and her personal and political family are safe from another people aprising. That doesn’t mean, too, that they can just do whatever they want and however they wish to run his country. That doesn’t mean, too, that the people have more trust in the government. These are binary opposites. Although the crude and inept palace boys are trying to do just that.
First, high-ranking people in the government, including the elite civil society and the Catholic church, might have thought it’s better to help extend the term of Gloria than to have another president. That’s self-preservation.
Second, when issues of corruption and cheating in the 2004 sprouted, many high-ranking government officials, said “let’s give her a chance.”
Third, when some Gloria appointees resigned en masse, the same people, including paid lawyers, media people, and reluctant and/or interested businessmen, joined forces to keep Gloria in power. This time their argument is that “this country is not ready for another revolt.”
Fourth, as a result, Gloria and her personal family became more boastful as they realized they wield so much power that they can run this country like their personal fiefdom, since most people in the government are easy to bribe and are afraid to lose lose their jobs- since a few influential businessmen have turned cronies while others are afraid of a regime-shift- and since the people are already tired of another Edsa.
Yes, we are fooled, and the Arroyo anomaly should serve as a moral lesson to the next generation.
However, we must not forget that at the end of the day, when Gloria and her men, including her family, are no longer in power, it would be our time to give them an idea how it feels to be powerless.