ALL ADMINISTRATIONS since Cory Aquino, unlike those in other countries, did not have a strong resolve and missed the historic chance to clean up the mess of autocracy and kleptocracy. Letting the Marcoses get away with plunder and corruption and other political-economic transgressions against the Filipino people would be a monumental error that would reverse the gains of People Power and destroy what little faith we have left in this democracy. It is a virtual indictment of our supposed democracy that our institutions, with all their vast powers, have to bow down to and crumble before private, self-aggrandizing interests of the remorseless greedy who wield immense wealth and influence.
The Marcoses are the epitome of the heritage and culture of impunity for big fishes. Their likes have abused the legal process and its slow and archaic character. Their being back in power showcases how traditional electoral politics (which takes advantage of an immature and vulnerable political culture), the lack of keen sense of history and the political accommodation and horse trading among the elite leadership and their proxies have been exploited and cultivated as a means of politically rehabilitating trapo (traditional politicians) over time.
The Marcoses have been laughing their way to the bank, with no little help from their arsenal of lawyers—then and till now—in order to use every “trick of the trade” to amass ill-gotten wealth, and then to frustrate a noble quest to recover them. It is a source of impeccable inspiration. Where then will the people turn to if their government defaults on them, or sells them out? What a shame if not a tragedy—or both! We have no choice but to call ourselves “Les Misérables,” and to hear the people singing the song of angry men.
—EDRE U. OLALIA,
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, [email protected]