Friday, July 30, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


During his presidential inauguration, Noynoy Aquino lambasted those arrogant ones, mostly politicians and top government officials who used sirens or “wangwangs” unnecessarily like taking their wives to a shopping spree. They even called them in a way little kings of the city or translated in Tagalog, “mga naghari-harian sa lansangan.” After the speech, police and other law enforcement officials quickly moved to confiscate the crazy gadgets.

Just recently, President Noynoy once again lambasted the previous Arroyo administration of depleting the 2010 budget from 1 trillion plus pesos to a few scores of billions, stockpiling an oversupply of unnecessary imported rice laying rotten in government warehouses, and flagrant bribery being conducted between bus operators and officials of the MetroManila Development Authority under the past administration.

Again, government law enforcement and investigating authorities jumped up and down and started to go after the culprits. Even the Ombudsman whose head is known to be protecting the former president from any criminal charges issued a summons to a Mr. Lorenzo, former Arroyo agriculture chief, to explain the notorious multimillion peso fertilizer scandal.

Yet the main culprit as it would seem to be under the principle of command responsibility is the former Philippine president who skipped Aquino’s State of the Nation Address by traveling to Hong Kong. I don’t blame her for doing it. Who would anyone in his or her right mind be made captive of an event where your sins against the Filipino people be recited by the incumbent president elected with the biggest mandate?

Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who is a newly elected congresswoman came back from her short trip abroad and would resume her lawmaking career. Remember, her first bill was to change the Philippine Constitution, perhaps to reduce the elements that constitute the act of treason.

Noynoy’s nanny said in public that the strongest point of this current president is he does what he says. And he said many times what he will go after the corrupt regardless of stature or personal relationships, from the highest post to the lowest.

I would like to suggest a minor change in his approach in dealing with the corrupt: from “reconciliation with justice” to reconciliation and justice with punishment.

Friday, July 16, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The ugly sores of corruption afflicting the Philippine government left by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is slowly being exposed by the new government of Noynoy Aquino as gleaned from recent Philippine press reports. The OMBUDSMAN, the special government agency created by the Constitution to prosecute corrupt government officials who stole the people’s money, is now being revealed as the “special agency” used by the previous administration NOT to prosecute corrupt government officials who were political allies of the former president.

To any simple political theoretician, it is very hard to reconcile injustice with justice. When President Noynoy Aquino during his inaugural address used the phrase “ reconciliation with justice” as the hallmark of his political policy toward known unjust presidents like Marcos and Arroyo, does he mean forgiveness within the definition of the Christian doctrine?

I believe Noynoy’s mother, former president Cory, did try to experiment with the theory of “reconciliation with justice or through justice.” As a devout Christian, she indeed believed in the Christian doctrine of forgiveness. And God helped her keep democracy intact despite the seven coup attempts launched by rebel soldiers? Still if Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines chose to continue fighting Philippine democracy by exiling himself in another country after receiving forgiveness, that was his call. Cory Aquino did what her forgiving heart dictated. And God once again blessed her by preserving freedom in the Philippines

God truly loves a forgiving heart. Yet it is still hard for a forgiving heart to forget the sins inflicted. Some sinners do not deserve forgiveness such as the “children of the Devil.“ Only Jesus Christ can forgive and forget the sins of a person.

Anyway, President Noynoy somehow explained in his speech that he forgives those who inflicted harm on his person, but not those who sinned against the Filipino people by stealing what belong to them. In this regard, I am on his side.

The saga of the Filipino people continues.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The return of those who escaped from the Arroyo brand of justice such as the renegade marine of the Oakwood Mutiny, Lt. Faeldon, and former Agriculture secretary Cito Lorenzo sends a very good signal for President Noynoy Aquino’s campaign against corruption and injustice. If or when Senator Panfilo Lacson voluntarily appears from hiding to confront his accusers, the best of the new Philippine government is yet to come. Let us hope.

Everyone and everything have their own time in this world. In the political sense, the minorities symbolized by the election of the first African-American president, Barack Obama, are experiencing some semblance of recognition in the United States. Who died for this cause? Isn’t it Martin Luther King?

In the Philippines, those who fight for human rights and some who gave up their lives for it are experiencing some sort of rewards for their noble deeds. Among the known and unknown martyrs for the good fight for human rights, isn’t Ninoy Aquino the widely accepted icon for this cause? His only son, Noynoy, just got elected to the presidency with a big mandate from the people.

When I left the Philippines in the early 70s for a new life in the United States, I saw two human rights lawyers together somewhat waiting in a line for something inside a building. I greeted them cordially as former political science classmates at the University of the Philippines and they returned my greetings with a nice smile despite the recent imposition of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos. They were Jejomar Binay and Edcel Lagman.

Mr. Binay just got elected to the vice-presidency of the Philippines while Mr. Lagman still aspires to be the House Speaker. During the Arroyo regime, the two chummy-chummy human rights lawyers were no longer together politically. I believe they followed separate visions of the future.

Now the time for true justice in the Philippines has come. I hope again. For there is no substitute for hope but only hope. As mere mortals, the “powers that be” are subject to the highest power from Above, God.

With hope comes action and I urge every believer in justice to pray and work together that justice prevails under the new Aquino regime.