Wednesday, October 24, 2007

FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio

ACCIDENTAL OR SPONSORED TERRORISM?

In the wake of a resuscitated public clamor for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign following the expose of possible bribery of local leaders and congressmen in Malacanang, an explosion occurred in Glorieta 2, a popular shopping area, that caused the death of 9 and injury to 100. The Philippine media echoing the immediate reaction of the people raised the probable connection between the two incidents. We cannot blame the people for expressing such an attitude towards the Arroyo Administration because unpopular governments in general such as the Marcos government during the 70s and 80s resorted to state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who is a former Naval Officer and head of a military revolutionary group called MAGDALO passed a Resolution calling for an in-depth probe of the Glorietta Blast on the probable involvement of de facto President Arroyo and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon. As an exceptional military officer, Sen. Trillanes was trained in special military operations particularly knowledge in in psychological warfare and urban guerrilla tactics. He has his own reasons for initiating the resolution because of his familiarity with what he described as secret Malacanang documents reportedly circulated among top military commanders authorizing military-sponsored bombings of airports and power facilities in 2003 designed to blame the violence on the Muslim Independence Liberation Movement (MILF), a violent group of Filipino Muslims that advocates secession from the Philippines.

Given the conflicting reports from the Police and Army investigators as to what caused the Glorietta Explosion – whether it's an explosive device or an inflammable gas leak – I think a full-scale congressional inquiry is in order. Remember, here in our country, it took a congressional inquiry and an independent investigation to clear the facts surrounding the 9/11 World Trade Center Explosion in 2001.

FULL PARDON FOR ESTRADA?

If ever former Philippine President Joseph Estrada who was convicted of Plunder and sentenced to almost a life sentence behind bars would be given full and unconditional pardon by de facto President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because of Estrada's final submission to “Her Excellency” as the legitimate President of the Philippines, then it could be said that Estrada's guilt is not stealing the Filipino people's money in millions but his refusal to recognize Arroyo as president.

Having been detained for six years, Estrada who was a movie star in the Philippines famous for playing the role of a strong defender of the poor against the cruel gangsters before he joined politics, must have been mentally tortured. It is always expected of such a victim to give in to the wishes of the torturer in any given normal situation unless the victim is of an extraordinarily rare character like that of Jose Rizal at least or the Lord Jesus Christ at most.

I would not blame “Erap” (Estrada's popular nickname) for his final submission to the “powers”against his will because as a mere mortal, he surely prefers to enjoy the remaining years of his life with his beloved family that to be a dying inmate surrounded by the cold wall of a prison cell in Muntinglupa.

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