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Kris-Crossing Mindanao

Goodbye, ‘daang matuwid’

There was a warrant of arrest and a hold-departure order to his person. Yet, he was able to leave and had eventually evaded the most rigorous international police dragnets abroad. When he returned, his first stop was Malacañang. Panfilo Lacson, senator of the republic, seems to have his rosy future tailor-cut for him for distorting the laws of the land, thanks to Noynoy Aquino who has now restored his full benefits. Lacson is palsy-walsy with the present powers-that-be. That is how governance works in this land.

I was never a fan of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I never voted for her. But inasmuch as I made my own choices according to the democratic principles that this nation has taught me and my forefathers, I also believe that one does not fashion the laws of this land according to one’s partisan biases. All past presidents had toyed with our laws. All past presidents gave their own versions of daang matuwid as they saw it. And all of them broke their word.

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I thought Noynoy was different. The great benefit of the doubt was truly his.

For a while, Noynoy made us forget that breaking the laws of this land was the problem with this country. We had naively thought he did not have the glib tongue of his predecessors. We had thought for a while that here was a president who could finally depart from the traditional politics of his predecessors. We were even willing to play coy and cloud our memories from his landed, cacique background and his self-interested role in silencing the Hacienda Luisita opposition where blood was spilled more than once.

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Eight thick, bound volumes of the guilty Comelec findings, each as thick as a Metro Manila telephone directory, could not have been read thoroughly by Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Jesus Mupas, all in the space of less than a day. Put that in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Mupas must be more than a genius that we must now celebrate as a hero. At least two Comelec commissioners voted no, pleading that they have not read the entire report.

“Go where fair play takes you,” Leila de Lima once said in a television interview. How does one now expect Mupas to decide fairly? What was contained in that yellow pad that a Mupas staff member was holding, which the press saw? What instructions did Mupas receive from Malacañang? What does the “Hello, Judge” tapes, if any (and I am sure there are), reveal?

This is what we are teaching our future generations: that it is perfectly okay not to follow the Supreme Court; that civil liberties are not sacred; that the judiciary can be dictated upon even when millions of Juan dela Cruzes wait for years for their own day in court.

Meanwhile, while we were not looking, a Danding Cojuangco lackey has been appointed to the United Coconut Planters Bank. Expect one of the greatest injustices of the Marcos dictatorship to be consigned to oblivion. We had previously seen shooting buddies of Noynoy abuse their public office. Have they been punished?

The whole point is that we cannot dignify public office with the same means with which Arroyo now stands accused of. There certainly is a right way. This way is not.

Somebody once said we had a juvenile for a president. One member of the Presidential Security Group explained why the President was late for an official function: “He was still playing video games with Josh when we left.” That has already been denied by the President. But in the midst of a nation waiting seriously to know how an important operation of law was being performed—putting accountable one former president—one hears presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda picking public fights with the Supreme Court administrator. That is truly juvenile.

Should anyone wonder why we are still, and will be, under a regime of a culture of impunity? This government is not doing things right, according to the rule of law. Wait till the tables are turned on them. I am sure they will cry foul.

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That is how the game works in this country. That is why elections are nothing but an opportunity to exact vendetta on political enemies. That is why we have Ampatuans who are merely a creation of that system. And that system is now being perpetuated by Noynoy Aquino.

A few days from now is the second anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre. Let us rather forget that it happened. Let a thousand Ampatuan butchers flourish in this land. Let a thousand Noynoy Aquinos be cloned. For everything is status quo. There is no daang matuwid. It is simply a fairy tale that was meant to be a good sound bite from Quirino Grandstand.

The culture of impunity exists precisely because of national leaders who bend the laws according to their political agenda.

Shame on you, Noynoy Aquino, for betraying our hopes for an end to the culture of impunity. Vote Leila de Lima for senator in 2013.

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