ANOTHER PERSON WAS killed Monday night – a priest, 72 year-old Fr. Tito Paez, whose only fault, it seems, was to take up the cudgels for the marginalized. Authorities have been insisting that crime is down and the country is so safe now that it’s all right to take evening strolls. Well, the night wasn’t safe for Fr. Tito.
Over the weekend, Larry Gadon “exposed” the “news” that an “oligarch” was poised to bribe the Senate to ensure Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s acquittal. Gadon later admitted this was unfounded and was scolded by some Congressmen for “crying wolf.” Nonetheless, they continued the proceedings instead of outright dismissing him and his complaint as a huge nuisance, like they should’ve.
Also during the weekend, the VACC’s Dante Jimenez hysterically “revealed” that 3 children in Region 3 had died after being immunized with the Dengvaxia vaccine. This news was unconfirmed and was later denied by the VACC’s own Region 3 coordinator. Despite this, Vitaliano Aguirre III resolved to investigate the matter, as if the DOJ had nothing better to do. Of course, it is seeking culpability in the past administration.
On Tuesday, we were treated to a trifecta of doubletalk in all the branches of government. That has to be a record of some sort. Witness:
At the Supreme Court, in the final session of oral arguments on the petitions against the war on drugs, Solicitor General Jose Calida brazenly spun the total number of drug users in the country, the Tokhang ops, and the astronomical death toll since Rodrigo Duterte began his reign of terror, completely ignoring the data presented by the Justices.
At the House, Court administrator Midas Marquez maliciously insinuated that CJ Sereno had purposely delayed the grant of survivorship benefits to 29 applicants, despite his later admission that the action on this matter depended on the SC en banc and not on the CJ alone.
And at the Palace, Harry Roque finessed PISTON president George San Mateo’s arrest as “adherence to the rule of law,” which is a laugh, because the DOJ has on numerous occasions blithely disregarded the rule of law. (Note the DOJ’s exoneration of Nicanor Faeldon and company in the 6.4B shabu case, Leila de Lima‘s continued detention, and the downgrading of the charges against Marvin Marcos and Bureau of Immigration commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, to cite a few instances.)
What I’ve listed above is the usual tripe this regime and its supporters have force-fed us almost daily for over a year now. They do not respect the truth. They do not respect our intelligence. They do not respect our right as citizens of this country to receive the truth, as we expect to do from public servants and self-professed “patriots.” This, to me, is a patent betrayal of the public trust.
We are seeing in the Sereno impeachment a clear example of how circumstances are engineered to produce a desired result. Who desires this result, we can surmise; it is someone with billions to lose, whose cronies are willing and now are able to deliver the goods.
There is also his comrade, the “Punisher,” whose narcissism demands total power, even if he must usurp it. He pays lip service to the rule of law; in reality, the law is in his way; it is a hindrance; it must be pushed aside. He likes to say “I am a lawyer” – but what he really means by that is anyone’s guess. I suspect he likes its chilling effect – that’s his fentanyl fiction. The fact is lawyers are 10 centavos a dozen; it’s how they lawyer that counts.
Then there is the dragon lady, the tiny dancer who likes to lead and in fact once said it was her destiny (!) to do so. She’s got her lackeys in position and they are stepping to her rhythm. There they are in the House in full annoying array; and there they are in the SC, deciding predictably in her favor; and there they are, lurking in the Palace; and hey, there they are in the AFP too, lobbying for her boys. The former “duster”-wearing invalid has got her mojos back in force; she’s highstepping now in heels and glad rags. What a remarkable recovery.
Here’s the thing, you see. If we don’t call them out, they’re going to have their way. You know as well as I do, they are shameless.
Look at this small item I stumbled on:
There’s something horribly wrong about this, don’t you think? A human rights violator, now a human rights board member? Read the story, and you’ll find that this new appointee replaced one of the members (not the Chair) – no reason cited. This means someone now is out of a job. Upon digging a bit, I discovered that the new appointee’s father joined the PDP-Laban along with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last October. Very interesting, not so? Now, of course, to be fair, I’d want to ask several questions before concluding. Is the new appointee qualified for the post? Why was the board member replaced – was there cause? What are the implications of this 11th hour change in membership for a board that is set to expire in May 2018? Who is the appointee; who is his father? What are their connections, and – let me be blunt – what is their value? These are the things I would ask, and I think so should you.
Because, you know, these things are happening all the time. Rodrigo Duterte has not hidden his views on patronage politics; he’s all for it. That’s life. But when the rights of hardworking public servants are trampled on (as may be the case in the human rights board), and the beneficiaries of their service are possibly compromised, we the people should make a fuss.
One more thing: the deceptions foisted on us are meant to cover up severe violations of the rule of law and the rights of their targets – whether these be the tokhang victims, CJ Sereno, Leila de Lima, or perhaps in the future, even Noynoy Aquino. As has often been said, if they can curtail the rights of even sitting public officers, they can curtail the rights of everyone. That’s not a mere platitude.
So get involved. Don’t be afraid to make noise. It’s not only our privilege as citizens, it is our duty.
Last Monday, the Coalition for Justice, a broad spectrum of groups led by the Evangelical sector, issued a statement in support of CJ Sereno. It declared:
We thus call on the Filipino people to stand up for what is right and oppose this patent injustice. We call on our fellow citizens to stand with Chief Justice Sereno in the face of this partisan attack on judicial independence. We ask our people to echo her call to come to the defense of the Rule of Law. The time to make a stand is NOW. The time to fight for what is right is NOW.
I echo that appeal with urgency. As Justice Marvic Leonen said: “We are complicit when we are not critical. We are part of the conspiracy of the powerful if we remain silent.”
We must call out deception, corruption, and the subversion of the rule of law whenever and wherever we see them. It is our mandate as sons and daughters of Inang Bayan, and we must be dauntless. When we loudly denounce the betrayal of our trust, we purge the lurking demons and bring in the light. This is the only choice. it must be done. Silence is not an option.
“…but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:2
“So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” – Galatians 4:16