Sunday, June 14, 2009

Will she run?

The Philippine Inquirer on Sunday devoted its headline to a non-news item: “Allies welcome GMA bid”, an indication that the newspaper’s editors have been bitten by the political bug, or worse, have fallen into the trap laid down by Palace factotums to get everyone else hyped up about a Gloria Arroyo run for representative of Pampanga’s second district in Congress.

Of course, her allies should welcome such a move. Or must, considering the President’s hold on them, which is by their balls. Had the Inquirer carried as front-page news, for example, a statement from one ally who opposes the move, that ally would have been dead meat by now, politically.

Look at Nasser Pangandaman of the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Pangandaman, who was reported by the Inquirer to have categorically stated that La Lola Loca would run in 2010 in her home province, very quickly denied—for mortal fear of the President—that he said that, using the age-old “I-was-quoted-out-of-context” palusot.

The denial was sought.

“It was more of an option”, former (in)Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales said. After him, Palace officials tripped over each other to explain Pangandaman's loose tongue, that if there had been a prize for the title of denial king, jurors would have a hard time picking who to award it to. Although, we are sure, Raul Gonzales would line up to get it.

Gabriel Claudio, GMA’s political adviser, said Pangandaman called him to say he was “misquoted’.

Edgardo Pamintuan, another ally, said Pangandaman denied that he said what he said.

I expect some more allies coming out of the woodwork to tell us they have talked to Pangandaman who have denied, again, that he said what he said.

Deny, all of them except Pangandaman. But did you notice how close the word “deny” to the Tagalog word “dinaya”?

The Inquirer said it called up the embattled agrarian reform secretary but he did not answer or return calls. Hiding for mortal fear that other allies of the President might stab him at the back once he peddles again on loose talk? Or, was he afraid they will pull out from his throat another denial to pacify the opposition—and convince us that indeed, Gloria is not running?

Gloria is running. And lying. No doubt about it. No ifs, no buts. If she doesn’t, just to prove wrong many, including this blogger, well, that’s her lookout. She is still a liar.

I remember a representative from Nueva Ecija who answers to the name of Antonino who said last week that if ever Gloria is to run, it will be to shield herself and her family from various lawsuits that will be hurled against her when her car no longer sports Plate Number One.

I pity the people of second district of Pampanga, if this would be the case. I pity them because their representative will only use them as a hedge, an insurance, a safety net, a tuktukan, to save herself.

This Rep. Antonino, a conspirator in the ConAss conspiracy, did not called up anybody in the Palace to say he was quoted out of context, and not one among the allies ever said the congressman denied what he said.

Why is that? Probably because it is true. With her nine years of bad governance, of consecrating corruption and coddling the corrupt, of pursuing a personal agenda rather than the public good, and of perpetuating human rights violations across this benighted land, I doubt that none among the 90 million Filipinos will drag her to court.

So, who is afraid of a Gloria in the House?

Let her run and let her win. In the House, she will discover how lonely it is to be one among many, not the only one, who has to stand in line in Malacanang to beg for the President’s largesse.

There, at the House, she will be exposed. Not that she can’t debate with anyone, but the fact that she has to debate with other representatives will be a reversal of her nine-year run as the commander-in-chief, not the plebe, when no one questioned her wishes and her word was law.

Let her run and let her win. In the House, maybe she can join other members in proposing that the Constitution be amended without the participation of the House. Maybe she could be elected as speaker. Or whatever, as long as it lends her power.

Why not run for a seat in the Senate instead? Although a co-equal of the House, the Senate has a national constituency, and there, she can propose farm-to-market roads in San Juan, or a monument to her name, or grandstand like what many in the Senate are now doing. She can also write pieces of legislation speaking favorably about her term in Malacanang, something which history books will most likely deny her. She can also rake in coals through public hearings and inquiries those who criticized her when she was President .

Run, Gloria, run. Just don’t leave Mike behind.

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