Sunday, August 07, 2005

August 7, 2005

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was cited as the “fourth most powerful woman” in the world by an American magazine. I believe she deserves the number one spot over U.S.Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in terms of availing herself of the most potent tool for power: tons of MONEY not necessarily hers.

Not only two witnesses, but more have testified under oath before a legislative body and have publicly declared that Arroyo used money from “jueteng lords”(illegal gamblers), government funds, and the people’s tax money to remain president by bribing a Commissioner of Election Virgilio Garcillano and other Comelec officials, Army and Police officials to support her presidency, Supreme Court justices to do her bidding, Congressional leaders to obstruct the impeachment process, and executive departments to discourage political dissent and may even allow Garcillano, her partner in electoral fraud, to escape from justice.

What is now in serious trouble in the Philippines is justice. Two or three witnesses are enough to convict an accused criminal. This principle of the “testimony of two or three witnesses” required for conviction dates back in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is a recognized principle in common law. If President Arroyo is a Catholic, then she should know this biblical precept. She already made a good first step in confessing to her” lapse in judgment” by talking to a Comelec official. But then she reverted to lying when she said she won the elections and did not cheat. Yet more witnesses of which some are from her presidential staff came forward to expose her sin. These witnesses have been asking her to repent and resign.

Still Arroyo, like Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, failed to see the “the writing on the wall.” When asked to answer the accusations against her, she opted to remain silent the same way convicted Mafia boss John Gotti tried to defend himself from various murder charges. On Gotti, his close associate and friend, Sam “the Bull” Gravano, testified against him in a court of law using a wiretapped recording. So justice finally caught up with the most powerful gangster who also used “gold, goons, and guns” to maintain power. In exchange, he went to prison and stayed there until his death.

Bribing witnesses and tampering with them to change or stop their testimonies are criminal acts against justice. Richard Garcia, a witness in a Congressional inquiry, changed his story about Arroyo’s involvement in the “jueteng scandal” after talking to some of Arroyo’s henchmen. According to Bishop Cruz who brings in the witnesses to the jueteng inquiry, others are now scared to testify against Arroyo. These are the latest accusations against the “fourth most powerful woman” in the world. And more than two witnesses have already testified against her.

Arroyo’s initial admission of committing a “lapse in judgment” not to respect the constitution in an election year is a symptom of a serious behavioral pathology for a national leader. She may be incapacitated to perform the duties of president of the Philippines and faithfully follow the Philippine Constitution. If she persistently violates the Law of Nature and the Law of God, she may suffer the painful pangs of justice. So let the biblical story of King Saul teaches her the proper step to take and escape the wrath of God.


About the author: He is the first Asian American and Filipino American to run for the U.S. Congress from New York in 2004. He is a retired officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services. He worked as intelligence analyst in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Division of Intelligence and Research from 1968 to 1972 until Marcos imposed Martial Law. He taught at the University of Manila School of Foreign Service from 1968 to 1973 until he immigrated to the United States as an alien with outstanding qualifications. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from the University of the Philippines.


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