Friday, April 23, 2010

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


“WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE MINDS OF MEN”


Whatever bloody and sinister hand caused the acquittal without a trial of two suspected murderers of more than 50 innocent Filipino civilians in the province of Maguindanao some five months ago could also cause a failure of the May 10 presidential elections in order to hold on to power. The Filipino people whose forefathers like Rizal and Bonifacio gave up their lives for freedom and honor should not allow such an evil hand to rule their lives by cutting it into pieces.

The Philippine’s chief law enforcement officer, none other than the Secretary of Justice, issued the release order for the two murder suspects belonging the Ampatuan Clan with close ties to Malacanang. He was shown on television shedding tears when victims of the massacre protested his decision and finally lodged a disbarment complaint against him. His tears may indicate a manifestation of fear if he changed his decision or a feeling of being torn by two opposing forces - public opinion and common sense against his benefactor, Malacanang perceived to being blackmailed by the wealthy and trigger-happy Ampatuans.

If public opinion fueled by the media is pointing its finger to the justice secretary’s boss, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as the person with the evil hand, then such charge is just too serious to ignore and that calls for a very serious investigation. The outgoing president should initiate it promptly in order to clear her good name if it is so. If not, there may be more serious things to come.

When President Arroyo placed Maguindanao under Martial Law after the mass murder, I approved of it because it would hasten the arrest and detention of the ruthless butchers of innocent men and women, most of them were journalists. Most people are now thinking that she may have nudged her justice secretary to fail to prosecute two prime suspects of the murder as payback for some political debts incurred in the 2004 presidential elections. If that is true, then she would finally find herself truly in hot boiling water.

I may now think that my approval for the martial law imposition in Maguindanao was based on a wrong expectation. It now seems to indicate that such imposition would be a shrewd ploy to charge the Ampatuans of rebellion without murder and consider the massacre victims as mere casualties of war.

As a once in a lifetime opening lines of a television drama says, “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men. The Shadow knows.“ Let me now add the following: of women, too.

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