Humpty Dumpty had a great fall


I received a text message, which I passed on to others, of course, which contained a hidden message. The nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, was a really popular one for decades although it does appear that technology and the onslaught of new data has made Humpty Dumpty not as popular anymore. Anyway, the hidden message is not in the rhyme but in the identity of Humpty Dumpty in the Philippine context today. My take is that the source of the text message was referring to Mike Arroyo, the First Gentleman of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In that same text message was a quote from another nursery rhyme, “I went to London to visit the Queen, but London Bridge is falling down.” The reference to me seems quite clear, that London Bridge symbolizes a faltering royalty, and the queen is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Between Humpty Dumpty and London Bridge, the Philippines remains attached to Western lore and personalities.

I also noticed that the grammar was somewhat flawed, or deliberately predictive. As I observe, Mike Arroyo or FG, has not had a great fall, but he could have one soon. The same is true of Gloria; she seems safe but not that safe. Her recent operation may prove much safer than the path that is beginning to unfold, the path of truth seeking the light by its own power.

The Truth Commission reflected the gut demand of Filipinos who have been blinded and blighted by the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the role that FG Mike Arroyo played in it. The majority of the Supreme Court found the Executive Order creating the Truth Commission as unconstitutional. I disagree, of course. What I found as perverse is that the spirit of the Constitution has been put in a strait jacket that is known as the form of the Constitution, a pitiful example of word over meaning, of procedure over substance. But then, again, I am a mere citizen and the Supreme Court is much more than that.

However, my sentiment and view are being affirmed while that of the Supreme Court is being defied by recent events and, I predict, by more events to come in the immediate and near future. The truth knocks on the doors of Philippine society, not only in the halls of the Supreme Court. This is rare but not that unknown. When truth coming from the guts of the citizenry insists on revealing itself, it can remove sitting presidents of the republic despite their control of official power, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In the two peaceful people-powered revolutions of recent history, the truth and the people themselves, the Supreme Court was not the final arbiter but simply forced to swallow the supremacy of citizens in the exercise of direct democracy.

What did the Truth Commission seek to do? It wanted to unearth the crime and treason of an officialdom that abused its power and wielded it to amass wealth and corrupt the national soul along the way. Midway in the rule of Gloria and her FG, I read in the newspapers a report quoting a lawyer who said he believed that half of judges were corrupt, meaning they accepted bribes to favor certain litigants. I found shocking what was said, and what it did not say. If there was truth to the claim that half of judges were on the take, I would assume that half of lawyers were bribers, too. Most shameful of all was the relative quiet of the Supreme Court in the face, not only of that statement, but in the opinion of the public that justice can be bought. It means that there is questionable justice, except to those who have the capacity to pay.

When the Truth Commission was shot down by the Supreme Court, the truth simply pushed legal protocol aside and began to rise to the surface. From Heidi Mendoza and Col. George Rabusa, the truth is marching on to 2004 and 2007 poll frauds as reported by players themselves, election officers who participated in subverting the people’s will. We are informed through live television about a dirty deal about used helicopters sold as new, and the connection of Mike and Mikey Arroyo to the use and, perhaps, ownership of those helicopters. Latest is the resignation of Migz Zubiri from the Senate, an offshoot to all the noise about cheating by the administration in the 2007 elections.

In the whole scheme of things, what are cases of corruption here and there, even as shocking or entertaining as they can be? If there was corruption in the nine and a half years of Gloria and Mike in Malacanang, and people themselves in surveys conducted quarter after quarter, year after year, believed corruption was rampant, the wording of the Truth Commission saying that it intended to examine the Arroyo regime remains valid, justifiable and practical. From experience, the PCGG has several cases unresolved over the hidden wealth of the Marcoses that it never bothered with the term of Diosdado Macapagal before the presidency of Marcos. In other words, when corruption is massive, it can take more than a decade to resolve all the cases that will be filed against Gloria and Mike and their cronies or fronts. How could the Truth Commission realistically think of investigating the Estrada, Ramos and Cory presidencies?

It is my conviction, grounded on what I know about life and what I see as affirmation from current events and trends, that a people’s need for the truth cannot be denied anymore, that it has reached an intensity that it will reveal itself even without formal prodding by courts and despite the Supreme Court’s view of what is unconstitutional. We are on a tipping point in the Filipinos’ evolution, when the elite who have wealth, who have power, who have advantage, will see the ordinary Filipinos emerge from the shadows to claim their birthright. And they will succeed because many among the elite are now refined enough to care and even share.

That is why London Bridge is falling down, and why Humpty Dumpty will have a great fall.

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  • Anonymous

    Very funny… The ascending of Arroyo is with the help of the elite. The elites ousted Erap. and when FPJ ran, the elites maneuvered to help Arroyo win the election. The elites benefitted from Arroyo. Arroyo would also get her fair share by stealing money. Now, people think, the elites now are caring…Funny, really funny. They are not caring, they are jesters. Now jesters to a new king. 

    • Jose Ma. Montelibano

      the elite always benefits ahead even though sections of it may be very or harshly prejudiced in the rotation of  power. on the other hand, the class war and bloody revolution being offered in the last several decades have not succeeded because of its own unacceptability to the majority of filipinos. it seems then that filipinos have to find their own unique way to deal with its situation, and i believe it will find it and make it happen in this and the next generation.

      • Jao Romero

        have you noticed that countries that had civil wars in their history were rich countries? (discounting the now recent depression) what do you think is the cause of this phenomenon?

  • Lee Rivera

    Although I agree on seeking the truth but seeking it outside of the institutions and systems we’ve built will do us no good. It’ll open pandora’s box, why? Provinces are not as weak during C. Aquino days, when Manila revolted against Marcos, everybody followed. EDSA 2 was a revolution, but they forced it within the context of our system (see decision of SC on Erap’s resignation, the conclusion dubious), why? Provinces are more powerful and economically independent and have begin to ask, why is Manila not following rules and we are expected to follow? Further, it strengthens the resolve of our rebel brothers, why would they then follow a system that we don’t even respect?

    Only God can create a perfect system. We must humbly accept that our political system is limited but this is the system we’ve democratically decided that we will follow. We must work through that limitations unless somebody can think of a better system.

    Progress comes with political stability. Another EDSA and the international community will not forgive us and look at our system as a joke.

    • Jose Ma. Montelibano

      when people decide, and there are enough of them or they are very representative of the majority sentiments, they will act with little regard for institutions which have been judged as inutile. that is the challenge of governments, to make institutions functional, credible and seen as necessary. it government or institutions utterly fail, people revolt. history has volumes of this process.

  • karby amabo

    Let us just go straight to the point.  CJ Renato Corona is now sticking out like a sore thumb.  He should resign now before he damages the SC any further,

  • Xavier Boy

    I think the story will be more similar to the nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill”…

  • Anonymous

    Sir you mentioned about the affirmation of the Supreme Court as unconstitutional the Truth Commission  that should have paved the way for a faster pace of ferreting outy corruption in the country… Well, what do we expect from Corona, the midmight appointee of Gloria Arroyo as Chief Justice? That guy doesnt have any moral fiber in his body… like the Arroyos.

    • Athena Christa

      But it really is unconstitutional. No matter who the CJ is the fact still remains that the Truth Commission is unconstitutional.

  • Reynaldo Quijada

    You write so well but since you are related to Pnoy, ang hirap i -appreciate ng mga write ups mo Madame. Sana sa government media ka na lang kung pwede.

  • Serge Imperio

    truth has its own way of revealing itself. 

  • Anonymous

    Enough is enough….it is about time to send anyone who is found guilty of corruption to go to jail. Go P-noy Go.

  • Steven Hark

    Our SC is a joke. They cannot make a simple decision – it is “yes” today, “no” tomorrow, “maybe” the next day, and God knows what the day after. A bit like Ring a Ring of Roses. The “decisions” over the new cities are clear examples of the state of our SC – and at the end of the day the decision to “finally” create those new cities IS contrary to the law as it stands. So maybe – yeh – just maybe,the SC will revisit the Truth Commission decision.

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