Conspiracy Theories — Pinoy Style
This entry is supposed to be posted the day the “executive clemency” was given to our country’s former prexy but I was not able to get down and really finish it so, I hope this entry will not cause any confusion to anybody who might stumble upon my blog. As if someone ever will. LOL.
I am at a point where I have gone numb. Over the past few days, I’ve been throwing possible conspiracy theories at my mom and she’s been rolling her eyes every time I do that. Some are products of a seemingly cynical mind, some are figment of a very hopeful spirit.
As one of those who felt vindicated when the guilty verdict was released by the two justice halls, the news of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s issuance of an executive clemency for former President Joseph Estrada is a tad too disheartening. While I understand that human nature, especially that of the Filipino, makes us look kindly at older people, regardless of how guilty and legally-declared corrupt they may be, I feel that it’s too soon. I, myself, would have wanted the former president pardoned and, well, forgiven—really. But that’s just me. And I figured that he should at least have stayed in the Bilibid Prison for some time, say, a year, or even six months. And then he could be granted that clemency, but not this soon.
So back to those controversies…
1) JDV/FVR vs. GMA — JDV used to be consistently a play-it-safe-traditional-politician. He’s known for being an avid Lakas loyalist. FVR, on the other hand, has always been a major player in most major turning points in the political arena in our country, way back in 1986 to the Edsa 2 success to the possible GMA ouster soon. The two of them “adopted” the number one turncoat in our country, GMA in 1998. When they coalesced, they became the team to beat. Lately, GMA’s KAMPI has been having problems with LAKAS members especially in the LGU.
a) The Speakership of the House this year — Congressman Pablo Garcia, former governor of Cebu, is a known stalwart of GMA. Cebu sealed GMA’s victory in the last presidential election—honestly? You decide. Members of Kampi made noise about nominating Garcia and for a moment, the usually nonchalant JDV appeared flustered. But he won anyway.
b) The ZTE Deal — Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Give me a politician who has never tinkered with his office’s budget. I know Joker Arroyo cuts down on his office’s expenses and he is known to a few as the senator whose office has the largest savings every fiscal year. He pays for his own travel expenses and other stuff. Well, I’m a Joker Arroyo fan so I may be biased. Many say that he may have gotten money from wherever and stashed it somewhere. Well, I couldn’t care less about that anymore. It boils down to my first sentence in this paragraph. So anyway, as Miriam Santiago said during that infamous session where she walked out afterwards, it’s a case of half-truths and doublecrossers. Joker also earlier remarked that it was a mere case of “commissioners.”
Now, one thing has baffled me greatly. JDV seems to be making his son do the dirty work for him. He feeds him with statements like the “screaming” GMA in a private meeting, etc. I mean, they seem to be talking openly about these things. GMA’s attitude towards JDV seems to be “unaffected” with JDV’s son’s accusations. But every day, the young De Venecia detonates one bomb after the other and the opposition senators are giving him their time of day as if his accusations could actually alleviate the country’s poverty. JDV has always been cunning. But he’s not exactly the brainy and brawny type. So that makes me think of someone who is–FVR. According to Teodoro Agoncillo, Filipinos are by nature regionalistic (think Desperate Housewives, then think Wisteria Lane). FVR and JDV both hail from Pangasinan and they have always been “tight”. I mean if they’re still “ok” within their coalition, shouldn’t this issue have died down by now? But the young JDV seems to be unstoppable. He does not seem to want to give up to the point of now including GMA into the questionable ZTE deal. I don’t get it. If there’s really a case, why not take it to court or something? The senators are not paid daily or per session so why are they letting this drag on day by day? I mean, there’s Doble who keeps on changing his statements depending on his moodswings and they like talking to him as well but the ZTE deal seems to be a more interesting deal for them.
c) Cash Gifts — I have been “baptized” by political waters so I’m not new to cash being casually handed over, slipped under piles of forms submitted for registrations and whatnots, or slipped directly into pockets, or even of sacks of bills being brought in for “supporters and volunteers”, and so many other things that political parties are known to play around with. Now, Gov. Panlilio, bless his heart, is a neophyte. Despite all that he may be, he is still a priest who thinks that he can exorcise corruption in the government by taking his frock off and donning a government official’s casual garb. Now, he get’s “baptized” and receives his first (or is it?) “bundle of joy”. Not knowing what better way to deal with it, he pressed the button and said, Deal! Happily, he went home to his constituents and said, ok, we have money, now let’s do create some waiting sheds (that’s me speculating, folks, but based on his earlier pronouncements).
Makes me wonder…could there be a plot to squash Arroyo somewhere? Has she outlived her usefulness? Or is she too smart to play marionette?
2) GMA-ERAP — It all started with the pardon. Then with ex-president Estrada calling GMA, Madam President. Then the let’s-clap-our-hands-for-her-for-if-not-for-her-I-won’t-be-here-blah spiel in San Juan. Then Erap’s I-will-support-her declaration. Could it be that with GMA being the cunning woman that she is is reassessing her aces and chess move strategies? Could she be thinking of using the knight instead of the rook?
I personally feel that it’s too soon. Filipinos are naturally forgiving and forgetful so I am not particularly surprised when the executive clemency was issued. But I did not expect it to happen far too soon. As an EDSA Dos attendee, I feel bad. As if it was all for nothing. But the people who have realigned and supported Erap for the sake of going against GMA are now making noise about the whole pardon thing!
Look at these people. They have called for GMA’s resignation, impeachment, etc., but they have always looked kindly on Erap. Probably because we always have the heart for the underdogs and when Erap was still “in prison” he was an underdog compared to GMA. But not anymore. Those who are pro-Erap are celebrating and are somehow swayed by Erap’s let’s-clap-for-her call. These leaves us with those who rode on Erap’s “poor state” to be in the limelight. Now we see who’s who and who’s with whom. Now, people are showing their fangs. They want Erap thrown into jail and GMA with him. I don’t get it. Yes, the present president who has never batted an eyelash for so many parodies and name-calling against her, is taking the fall. I’m not saying she’s perfect. But for someone who’s been the object of so many impeachment campaigns and so many political and personal attacks, she has kept hold of the reins. She must really be something. Marcos fell after people finally realized what was going on and took to the streets. And he’s really smart! Not to mention over five feet! But this petite lady is a force to reckon with. I do not like her personally. But hey, we’ve, at one point in our lives, worked with someone we do not personally like and approve of effectively. That team behind her, her image handlers and whatever they’re called is one kick-ass team. Well, it all started with using the Nora Aunor look-alike come-hither and then that pose, remember her then senatorial campaign posters that ultimately catapulted her to the number one slot? One thing I know for sure, she is a woman. She reshuffles her cabinet members the way I rearrange our furniture. And with Hilary Clinton taking the lead from Obama, who knows what could happen next with her association with the Clintons and all? For people like me who work with people overseas and thus getting paid in dollars, the present state of the peso is not a laughing matter. But it makes you pause for a moment and think that this is not something that is just for a show. The peso has been stable for over a year now.
I’m a positive thinker. I learned never to entertain negative vibes. So I always look at the brighter side of things. I try, at least. Now, GMA is very vocal about the call for unity and healing from Day One. And I think she’s being consistent to that. So while I am not jumping up and down my seat with the latest development with Erap, I would like to believe that this is indeed in line with her thrust. Well, let me say one more “Salut!” to her speech writers. Anybody who has heard her speeches and SONAs would know what I am talking about.
Going back to my psychedelic imagination about conspiracies–couldn’t it be a ploy to strengthen her artillery since FVR and JDV seem to be dropping her?
I’m really just confused. After all, I’m not a political analyst. I am no longer an activist. I don’t believe in just one ideology but I believe in cosmic justice and retribution. Above all, I am an advocate of humanism. Having volunteered for various UN and independent non-profit organizations, I have come to appreciate the little luxuries that I have and the small blessings that come my way. After talking to a Burmese missionary around 5 years ago, I have come to appreciate the small liberties that we get to enjoy. So I guess all I want in my life is to just to be able to walk freely and talk about what I feel with utmost candor. And I guess I am enjoying all that. But as a human being, I cannot be contented with just that. I want more. And I’m sure the rest of my countrymen wants more as well. But do we really know what we want? If GMA is ousted, who do we think is the best person to take her place now? De Castro? Villar? JDV? Roxas? Escudero? Legarda? Aquino? Erap? Trillanes? The Chief Justice?
Weeks after that fateful release of Erap, GMA had a close-door meeting with FVR and JDV and even if the younger JDV gave residual publicity somersaults, the ZTE issue and all the other things behind it seemed to have closed their doors as well.