March 15, 2008

Myths, lies and half-truths (Part II)

When the National Security Adviser recently declared "the worst is over" one would wish that, for the good of the nation, he was referring to the orgy of corruption, bribery, coercion, killings and disappearances, even treasonous acts that have been the hallmark of the Arroyo administration.

But on the contrary, he was referring to this regime's worst fears that the mounting wave of protest and demands for truth and accountability would turn into another demonstration of people power that would unseat Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and install a new government.

Mr. Gonzales is trying hard to sound like a disinterested analyst reading the current political situation. He even made the not so erudite prediction that there would be a waning of protest with Holy Week and summer vacation coming up.

He however noticeably failed to weigh the significance of the series of protest actions that have been sustained for several weeks since the Lozada exposé -- from forums and “Masses for Truth” in schools and churches, to localized noise barrages, to public declarations and streamer hanging by various groups, to small and medium-sized demonstrations involving hundreds to thousands of people, to the huge rallies that have been drawing crowds in the tens of thousands with a much broader representation of Philippine society.

Neither did he mention any prospects for a clear and definitive resolution of the controversies hounding his boss. Malacanang's hypocritical stance that Mrs. Arroyo is leading the fight against corruption rather than abetting it and being its prime beneficiary rankles a public that independent surveys have consistently shown to have overwhelmingly adjudged the Arroyo regime as corrupt and deceitful. Add to this more recent poll of the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. (PERC) survey showing that the Philippines is perceived by expatriate businessmen to be the most corrupt Asian economy.

It is not surprising that Mr. Gonzales and the Arroyo camp would gloat over the seeming inability of the regime's critics to ignite people power. What is deeply disturbing, however, is the regime's track record that when protests die down and the mass media becomes less vigilant, it is encouraged to engage in ever bigger and more anomalous deals including the sell-out of the national patrimony and sovereignty. This seems to be the lesson emerging from the controversy over the joint exploration contract entered into by the government with China that experts say has jeopardized the Philippines’ territorial claims over some of the disputed resource-rich Spratly Islands.

Neither is it surprising that Mrs Arroyo would be pleased by the Senate's failure to squeeze out the truth and acquire evidence, much less an admission of any wrongdoing, from Mr. Leo San Miguel, erstwhile “surprise witness” of Senator Panfilo Lacson on the anomalous National Broadband Network deal. This unexpected turn of events has undoubtedly boosted the regime's confidence in its ability to cover its tracks and preempt damning testimony from would-be whistle-blowers through intimidation, if not cooptation.

These latest machinations and maneuvers of the Arroyo mafia underscore the limitations and even futility of purely “legal, constitutional processes" that Malacanang wants to dupe the people into believing are the only acceptable ways of ferreting out the truth and attaining accountability. Nonetheless, Messrs. Neri, Razon, Atutubo, Gaite and San Miguel may have withheld damning testimony, just as Mrs. Arroyo’s shameless allies in the House of Representatives have managed to block impeachment moves, but the people have begun to see the truth behind all the lies and dirty tricks.

It is wishful thinking, if not self-delusion, for the National Security Adviser, with all his unaudited intelligence funds, and the rest of the GMA camp to believe that Holy Week and summer vacation can induce mass amnesia and delete all of the regime’s sins from the public’s collective memory. The shame of it all is that while the whole of Christendom prepares for cleansing and atonement of sins, the regime sees in the coming Lenten season, not an occasion to right itself , but an opportune moment to wiggle out of a tight fix.

To the extent that GMA regime has indeed succeeded in preventing full and untrammeled disclosure of the truth, it has also evaded accountability and prosecution. What it cannot prevent more and more is the public discernment of the truth behind all the lying and stonewalling. More and more it is becoming extremely difficult for the regime to escape public judgment and condemnation.

This is not the first time both the cocky Mr. Gonzales and his boss will be proven wrong in their mendacious, precipitate and self-serving predictions. Such arrogant posturing can only add fuel to the fire of outrage, protest and resistance spreading rapidly across the nation.#


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home