KKK | Inquirer Opinion
There’s The Rub

KKK

First off, let’s separate grain from chaff. Though there’s a large grain of truth in the charge of “KKK,” or “kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan,” it’s also full of chaff. In fact, the chaff is overrunning the grain.

The chaff comes in the form of the GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) camp prosecuting it exceptionally vigorously. For obvious reasons: That camp is awaiting prosecution for corruption by the P-Noy (President Benigno Aquino III) government. Then and now, GMA has preferred offense to defense, offense defined in more ways than one. Her rule rewrote the book on offensiveness.

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Last week, Edcel Lagman, a GMA stalwart, went on the offensive. He said he was all set to file a bill calling for the investigation of five of P-Noy’s kaibigans. They were Rico Puno for bribery, Virginia Torres for meddling, Jojo Ochoa for owning a P40-million house, Cesar Purisima for filing tax evasion charges against political enemies and Margie Juico for irregularities in the PCSO, including transferring the PCSO headquarters from the Quezon Institute to the PICC.

Just as well, last week, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, yet another GMA stalwart, went on the offensive. “We’ll have a Philippines governed by the friends of P-Noy …. He is not worthy to be president. That job is not for him. The earlier he is out of his post, the better for us.”

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What can one say? Lest we forget, the GMA camp has distinguished itself for one thing and one thing only. That is lying. Lying is its middle name. No, lying is its first name, its last name, its married name, its alias, its acronym, its name of all names.

You’ve got a congressional investigation to file, by all means file away. I don’t know about Puno and Torres, I leave them to their devices. But Ochoa has already answered the charge against him. The house is owned by his brother-in-law and it was acquired well before P-Noy became a glimmer on the presidential horizon.

So what if Purisima is filing tax evasion charges against political enemies? He ought to. The reason they are political enemies is that they are corrupt, and P-Noy’s agenda, contained in his election promise, is to fight corruption. They should be thankful the only thing that has so far been filed against them is tax evasion. That is the last thing they should fear. The first is a Truth Commission that should ferret out the truth about their atrocity. Purisima is not damnable in selectively filing tax cases against them, he is laudable. The GMA camp was singularly evil, it ought to be singularly punished.

As to Margie Juico, that takes the cake. I myself have heard the various accusations against her in anonymous text messages and tabloid commentaries. About accepting bribes, coddling gambling lords and abetting rather than suppressing jueteng. Yet none of the accusations has carried any shred, iota, or wisp of evidence. No document, no photograph or recording, however doctored, no eyewitness to testify to the wrongdoing. Just innuendo repeated again and again, with the circumstances constantly changing like a bad dream, in the belief or hope that a lie passed on from mouth to mouth eventually becomes truth. Well, it won’t.

What’s especially vicious about it is that Juico, whose name has been untarnished since she served as Cory’s Social Secretary, has been exerting herself trying to rid the PCSO of the dregs of the earth, the ones who have turned it into a snake pit over the years. The charge of irregularity in the transfer of the PCSO to the PICC comes only from the slimy Manoling Morato, who has insisted, despite warnings from the public engineers’ office about the QI site now posing a danger to occupants, that it is perfectly safe. Indeed, who has insisted, despite the rent in PICC being cheaper, on staying put. He is the one who ought to be investigated for having the hots for the place. What kinds of deals has he made?

Additionally, Lagman ought to relocate his office to QI if he buys Morato’s word against the engineers. With killer earthquakes happening where and when you least expect them, he should have a staff enjoying the exciting adventure. Or turning the question of whether the building would crumble or not in the event of a tremor into a betting game.

As to Pueblos, for all his being GMA’s “religious spokesman and apologist,” as a lay group called him after he led the Mindanao bishops in shooting down any attempt to make GMA resign, he provides in a grotesque trick-mirror sort of way a way to see the problem.

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Unlike GMA, P-Noy is not illegitimate. He did not call up a commissioner to ask him to make him win by a million votes over Manny Villar, he did not conscript cutthroats like the Ampatuans to blank out his opponents, he did not jail the generals who tried to testify against him for fraud. Unlike GMA, he does not have a spouse or friends coming anywhere close to the cast of characters that figured in the NBN scandal—Benjamin Abalos demanding a couple of hundred million for electoral services, Mike Arroyo unwilling to moderate his greed, Lito Atienza, Mike Defensor, Sonny Razon and their police cohorts who kidnapped Jun Lozada.

While at that, unlike Erap, P-Noy does not have a midnight Cabinet, in whose company he drinks himself silly and signs all sorts of contracts shoved in his face. As kabarkada, karantso, kakuntsaba goes, you would rather have the pals of Erap and Gloria run the country than P-Noy’s? A bum and a fake are better than the one we have now?

That is the chaff side. The grain side is that the people did not bring P-Noy to power just so he could be an improvement over GMA and Erap. Just so he could be the lesser evil. The people brought P-Noy to power so he could be worlds apart from them, so he could bring light where there was darkness. The voters mounted an Edsa so they could have the opposite of Kasinungalingan, Kasakiman, Kawalanghiyaan, which is Kabutihan, Katiwasayan, Kasaganahan.

Having kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan in tow won’t bring P-Noy—and us—there.

But I leave that for tomorrow.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, politics
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