Wednesday, January 02, 2008

While You Were Sleeping

2007 came and went without much effect, on the apathetic Filipino at least. The past year was drowned in more scandalous issues against the government. The year started with the usual fever that goes with elections. Politicians took time off and were too busy with their political lives as the elections drew near. The usual incidents such as ambushes and political killings accompanied the event. Several big names and dynasties occupied the polls. The expected rigging and cheating with Koko Pimentel being the biggest victim.

When the smoke of the elections cleared, the COMELEC showed how institutionalized and blatant cheating is. Despite evidences linking its officials to irregularities, nothing prospered and the operators did their jobs with impunity. As expected, congressmen wielded their "powers" and stormed their way into office. The senatorial race became a protest vote with Gloria's candidates being trounced in the polls. If it wasn't for Garcillano's protege, Bedol, Migz Zubiri wouldn't be in the senate today.

The scandals became bigger and more daring. Joey De Venecia exposed how Abalo's maneuvered the ZTE-NBN deal. Big names were implicated and even Mike Arroyo was included in the list. Miriam blew her top and blamed China for inventing corruption. The senate hearings showed who among the senators are really dumb or at least bad actors. Joker and Enrile showed how they do not deserve to be senators but very effective comedians.

The scandals did not stop but increased as Gloria's "Impeach Me" exposed the severity of corruption. Several opposition congressmen were offered bribes to sign the impeachment complaint of Atty. Pulido. When that did not work, Local officials and congressmen were given "loot bags" to pressure JDV into speed up the process and inoculate GMA from a more substantial complaint. As usual, the opposition was unprepared and Gloria is safe for another year. But the ghost will surely haunt her as Among ed Panlilio came out to prove the bribing. GMA's allies this time had to resort to the absurd just to protect her.

Twin bombings hit Metro Manila. The Glorietta 2 blast and the Batasan blast killed dozens of innocent bystanders. The PNP in its usual ineptness has yet to resolve both incidents. As usual, instead of an earnest and thorough investigation, they took the easy way out and just tagged anyone they found convenient and ruled out other possibilities.

Justice died when pardons flew left and right. Estrada though found guilty of plunder never spent a day in jail because he is 70 yrs. old. One of Ninoy's assassins also was set free. As of late, child rapist Romeo Jalosjos walked out of prison. The DoJ had to act quickly as the repercussions of his pardon threatens Gloria anew.

Of course who would forget the Manila Pen standoff. Senator elect Antonio Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of a court hearing and held a press conference at the hotel. Malacañang acted quickly and showed the people how several APCs and hundred of troops are needed to serve an arrest warrant for contempt of court. The government also showed how media should be(man)handled. The following imposition of a curfew set alarm bells ringing.

The Halston report on human rights abuses took away whatever credibility the Arroyo administration had in the eyes of the international community. The report of Transparency International and anti-corruption groups proved how corrupt GMA's administration is. Despite the economic growth boasted by GMA, the numbers of those going hungry increased. Poverty levels rose and a disturbing rise in school dropouts was recorded. Social programs remain unimplemented despite their urgency. The farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon finally gained a foothold in their decade-old fight for their claim on a disputed land.

The country slept through all these and now face a new year. Will the people still be in hibernation or would they finally wake up and say no? Will you once again sleep for another year while Gloria and her cohorts rape you?