Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Eh-hum # 66

After the passing of Pope John Paul II, former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin died in hospital today (Tuesday morning) at 76 years old. Aside from being the former spiritual leader of the Philippines's Catholic community, he will be best remembered for his role in both People Power I and II (the ousting of Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada repectively). While he was very much revered by most Filipinos, critics called him a "politician-priest" because he interfered in state affairs. But the cardinal defended his actions, saying in his retirement speech in 2003: "Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of our nation." Saint or not, he will surely go down in Philippine history as a man who's not afraid to express himself.


Its been a while since I wrote something relating to Philippine socio-political issues (however, the posts were not really an in-depth analysis of such concerns; just my opinion). I need not discuss in detail what is happening right now, just a few key words: Jueteng, Wire-Tapping, Election fraud, destabilization plots. I will make this one short.

Oh yeah, these issues have been the center of media-attention and as we move on, it gets messier and messier to the point that it becomes confusing. For example in the wire-tapping issue, first there was Paguia, then Ong, then Doble who claims that the Erap Estrada's mistress, Laarni Enriquez is also involved. Geewhiz. Both the Senate and the House have started, and will continue, hearings/investigations on such issues (Senate on Jueteng, which will resume on the June 24; and today, a House inquiry on the wire-tapping issue and the alleged election fraud by Arroyo).

Generally speaking, these hearings were conducted to shed light on these scandals, which seems fair. But, one cannot help but notice that these congressional hearings were not just for the public's benefit; it can serve as a convenient vehicle for the Opposition to discredit the Arroyo Administration (to demand for her resignation and for them to move in). Am sure they will be saying: No, this is for the Filipino, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, right. As they say (in the describing the U.S.) there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests. And yes, both the Administration and Opposition have permanent interests.

The Arroyo Administration is not doing very well in the ratings (Oh yeah, how do these surveys work? I have never been interviewed for such surveys. What gives?) because of these issues and it raises a lot of questions. Nonetheless, I will not be calling for the ouster of Arroyo in the streets; I rather have a constitutional ruling on these matters. I am weary of them solons grandstanding or asking stupid questions (paging Loi). Moreover, there is no guarantee that the country will be better off, if and when the President is impeached,
especially since both Marcos and Estrada loyalists are alive and kicking And besides, the opposition has not given one freaking concrete and feasible suggestion of what will become of the government or the country when Arroyo does resigns.

I like to end this with a few questions to our dear, dear solons: Shouldn't you be looking into our country's problems and drafting relevant resolutions or bills on how to deter such issues? Will we only be seeing you in action during such hearings when the media are present? Also, for those party list congressmen/women (who are mostly militant groups), since you don't represent any district, how are you spending your pork barrel (thanks to Dubids for this one)? I hate to think that the money, coming from the pockets of taxpayers, fund your rallies (it has always been baffling to me that these rallies are complete with banners and huge paper mache figures eventhough the poor are the ones conducting it).

As Jesus Christ said: Who among who have not sinned, cast the first stone.

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