EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND THE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY


It was another bad week for the Philippines. The Supreme Court

just strengthened the culture of impunity pervading The Queendom by expanding the scope of executive privilege.

This is in relation to the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) signed in 2006 but still awaiting ratification by the Philippine Senate. The long and short of this agreement is this: It will make the Philippines the trash can of Japan. OK, let us grant that there are perks for the Philippines. But still, a trash can is a trash can. No Japan-made perfume can annihilate the stench of garbage. No Japan-made chemical can purify polluted air. No Japanese technology can reverse death from cancer or other illnesses that come from garbage. Jobs are good but we need life first. And hey, here in Baguio City, our garbage problem has reached unmanageable proportions and we are panicking. How can this country host Japanese garbage?

Now, the Supreme Court dominated by The Queen's political appointees said that the Filipino people need not know what transpired during the treaty negotiations. Senators should wonder about how they will ratify a treaty the full import of which eludes them.

The Queen must be grinning from ear to ear. And why not? She has a blanket she can use at will to block the public's vision range.

We are still smarting from disappointment over the March 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding Romulo "The Poodle" Neri's right to invoke executive privilege, a shield to dodge questions from the Senators investigating the mega-anomalous ZTE Broadband Deal. It is a really shocking deal not only for the overprice and bribes, but more because The Queen knew about them all along and because the First Gentleman appears to be the head of the syndicate to rob the Filipinos big time! With the Neri decision, The Queen can fill her hamper to the brim with very, very soiled laundry, wash it within walls immured from the public eye and come out clean as though her hands did not touch dirt. With this decision on the JPEPA, she can cook a recipe laced with poison without having to divulge the ingredients to the forced eaters. Barraged with queries, she can just shrug her shoulders and say, "Secret of the trade, folks!"

Let me summarize in blunt terms what the Supreme Court said in its Neri and JPEPA decisons: "The Queen and the queensmen do not owe anyone the truth!" Not even if the truth will set us free from tyranny.

During the dark years of Martial Law, the Supreme Court remained a bastion of truth and justice, although there were intermittent confused intervals. Now, it is an instrument of the reign of terror. I have never been disappointed in The Queen because she never had my trust and confidence to begin with. But the Supreme Court, having arrogated unto itself the role of sentinel of The Queen's dirty little secrets, is breaking my heart into tiny pieces.

Quo vadis, Philippines?

xx---------xx

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago about justice.


Sun and Truth

The sun we know is always up
When day is day and night is out
Progress, on its power depends
Life to the grass and bees, it lends
It makes the flowers bloom so fair
The earth looks like true beauty’s lair
Behold the orange euphorbia
And the bright pink bougainvillea

But sometimes I get disillusioned
Even the day loses vision
When the thick clouds spread their white doom
The sun retreats to its dark room

Just as the truth is its own power,
Under its watch the kings quiver
Truth they say always sets us free
It protects, leaves innocence be
But when gold throws some confusion
Truth projects the face of fiction
Just as the clouds cover the sun
The weight of gold can push truth down

The courts of justice can be tools
To make truth lovers look like fools
Falsehood becomes justice’s anchor
Truth weeps slowly and leaves the door

Do not fully trust the absolute
Like the sun’s power and the truth.

Post a Comment