FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio
A BILL TO REDUCE THE ELEMENTS OF TREASON?
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.