Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Batasan Bombed

At 8:15pm tonight, the South Wing of the Batasan Pambansa was rocked by a big explosion. Initial reports were sketchy and reports of casualties were conflicting. The ceiling of the South Wing collapsed from the blast. Three solons were reported hurt, Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela, Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves and Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar. Reports also said that Ilagan's driver, Marcial Talbo was killed.

This is the second blast to hit Metro Manila. The first was the blast that occured in Glorietta 2 (after the testimony of Joey de Venecia implicating GMA and her husband in the canceled ZTE deal). The explosion that hit the Batasan tonight comes in the eve of the senate hearings on the bribery that took place in Malacañang last month. It also took place at a time when issues about GMA's "Impeach Me" deliberations were to take place. The question that comes to mind is are these two blasts related?

With the way things are right now, issues are hurled at the people to divert our attention. Scandals have been rocking the Arroyo regime. Expose after expose of corruption have been coming out. The administration has been trying to convince the people that it is clean. But the people are not buying their assertions.

Memories of the days before martial law comes rushing back. Lawlessness was used to justify its declaration which led to the rape of the nation. The magnitude of the corruption in the Arroyo administration is so staggering to the senses that the only way for her to stay immunized is to stay in power way beyond 2010.

With mounting calls for her resignation and holding of snap elections, the embattled GMA has no recourse but to declare martial or to push for a shift to a parliamentary system. The Glorietta 2 blast has yet to be resolved. It could have been a trial balloon to see if Gloria has enough support ask for emergency powers. We all know that congress, even before she can open her mouth had said that there is no need for such.

I suppose that to bring it closer to "home" and get the congress's attention, she has to push the right buttons. Tonight's blast at the Batasan maybe the prelude to a more drastic action from Gloria. As she convenes the National Security Agency, one would wonder what would be next? Has she finally gotten the congress's attention? Will the senate go along with it? Will a blast or even just an attempt at the senate do the job?

We cannot be complacent with GMA. We have to be suspicious of the goings on around us. May it be the political noise or the violence, we need to be wary of the undertones. GMA is capable of anything, and she has proven this time and again. Even foreign pressure does not easily rattle her. The sly, scheming despot is just too wily to be dismissed.

The days ahead would tell us where we are heading. Will the future senate hearings play an important role in settling the final scenario? Would Gloria be successful or would the people see through her plan? We can only speculate for now but anything is possible. For now, we can only hope that we will wake up tomorrow and find out that we can still enjoy what remains of our dwindling democracy.

*As I was writing this, Wahab Akbar finally succumbed to his injuries.