‘Dragon’ betrayed own crusade vs corruption

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10:35 PM December 25th, 2011

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December 25th, 2011 10:35 PM

I am surprised that Sen. Joker Arroyo, one of the strong voices against injustice, turns dumb when it is the Supreme Court that commits injustice.

In a swipe at President Aquino for excoriating the Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the senator said: “Even during those times when we cannot expect justice from the Supreme Court, we never got personal. We were careful not to attack it even if it gives an unfavorable decision. But now, just because it issues a TRO, it is branded as a lapdog of Gloria. Is that the situation now, that they are free to attack anyone? We should be careful there.”

He was referring to the Marcos regime during which, according to him, the late Sen. Lorenzo Tañada advised his opposition colleagues to “never get personal with the Supreme Court.”

Is Senator Arroyo afraid of the high tribunal? Why does he seem to put the Court on a pedestal of power and infallibility? The gravest peril to democracy is when the people play blind, deaf and dumb to a gross injustice committed by the high court. It would also be a great disservice to the country.

When P-Noy criticized the Court for giving the former president an opening to leave the country on the pretext of seeking medical treatment, he was not being personal. He was just articulating the fears of the people that she might never return to face the charges against her.

GMA is facing six cases of plunder, among many other criminal charges. She is now under arrest for her alleged involvement in fraud during the 2007 elections. Fortunately, she was stopped from boarding a plane by immigration authorities on the basis of a watchlist order issued against her by the Department of Justice and later by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court on a charge of electoral sabotage.

The impartiality of the Supreme Court has been questioned by many people because of several rulings perceived to be patently unfavorable to the Aquino administration.

For instance, the Court declared unconstitutional the creation of a Truth Commission that was tasked to investigate the corruption scandals during the Arroyo administration. And against tradition and jurisprudence, it upheld the “midnight appointment” of Renato Corona as chief justice.

Is Senator Arroyo saying that nobody may criticize the high court for its rulings? The senator has projected himself as a fearsome “dragon” going after bad government and corrupt public officials. His battle cry when he ran for reelection was “Pag corrupt ka, lagot ka.” But on which side is he on the issue of keeping GMA in government custody so that she can be held to account for the host of cases filed against her?

The senator’s actuations on the issue of the TRO, which would have allowed GMA to leave the country, is a betrayal of his avowed crusade against corruption.—ANPERLYN VERGARRA, anper.vergarra@yahoo.com

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