Pure evil

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

The three Sandiganbayan justices handling the cases filed against Senator Jinggoy Estrada have inhibited themselves from the case. This is said to be the first time an entire division of the anti-graft court divested itself of a case it was hearing. But as unprecedented as it was, the allegations as to what prompted the mass inhibition was not as shocking as one normally would have believed -- that it was due to intense pressure from above.

One national newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said the pressure reached all the way up to Malacañang, in the form of direct public pronouncements by senior officials that all three senators charged in connection a pork barrel scam -- the others aside from Estrada are senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla -- would eventually be found guilty.

Actually, long before the Sandiganbayan justices inhibited themselves, and long before the newspaper reported the alleged reasons for the inhibition, it was already known to everyone but the most dense and blind that the administration of Noynoy Aquino is leaving no stone unturned to secure the conviction of its political enemies, starting with then chief justice Renato Corona.

Noynoy has very strange ideas swirling in his head. Elected on a minority vote who gullibly believed in his supposed fight against corruption, he promptly embarked on an anti-corruption campaign against his enemies. His belief is that if he can make examples of his enemies, parading them as victims of his anti-corruption campaign, that would be enough to convince everyone of the sincerity and seriousness of his campaign.

But selective prosecution, no matter how deserving of prosecution his selected targets are, is persecution. Worse, it does not address the problem of corruption which is supposed to be what the prosecution is all about. On the contrary, it furthers corruption even more because corruption is not just about stealing money. It is, on the other hand, more about making a travesty of morals.

Noynoy may not be stealing money himself, although that remains to be seen in light of the multi-billion-peso Development Acceleration Program that he and his budget secretary hatched to hijack money from defined projects in the budget. But he is stealing the innocence of the nation by corrupting its capability to believe in something with sincerity.

Noynoy is the worst president this country ever had. He is even worse than Marcos. Dictatorial as Marcos was, he at least did everything within the extreme limits of what the law can allow. With Noynoy, no law has his respect. Never in the history of this country has a legal travesty been perpetrated on the whole nation live before the cameras than the impeachment trial of Corona. Never has a president threatened the Supreme Court to a virtual street fight.

Noynoy is the greatest hypocrite this country has ever seen, pretending to be the epitome of pureness and goodness but never lifting a finger against his own friends and allies who are just as corrupt as those he accuses of corruption. The national newspaper did not name who was exerting pressure on Sandiganbayan justices by making public pronouncements about finding his enemies guilty. But if you heard Noynoy talk, you know who the newspaper was alluding too.

Noynoy has no sense of propriety. He is rude and uncouth. He scolds the very people who invite him to their happy occasions. He agrees to be the poster boy of government in its anti-smoking campaign despite being a chain smoker himself. Can you find a more reprehensible hypocrite than that? He pretends to stop at red lights ostensibly to be one with the people, yet has done nothing to speed up the land distribution of his family's hacienda to its poor tenant farmers.

Estrada, Enrile and Revilla must be held liable for their participation in the pork barrel scam. But they are not the only participants. There are dozens of others who ought to be in the same pickle barrel as the three senators. But the thing is, these same others are mostly friends and allies of Noynoy. And that is why he applies the brakes hard in his anti-corruption campaign when it comes to his friends and allies.

Take the case of the national police chief, who is a very close friend of Noynoy. Had the police chief been his enemy, Noynoy would have climbed the highest mountains in the land to condemn the man and not stop until he does so. But because the chief is a friend, Noynoy has not said a peep until the last moment, and a very teeny weeny peep at that, about the chief accepting his suspension.

Most Filipinos have long agonized under a culture of corruption that has stripped them of their real worth and dignity as a people. Filipinos can no longer shine under the glare of their own worth because they often get eclipsed by those who simply buy their honor and respectability. How Filipinos have longed to have the yoke of this misery lifted.

But they have been betrayed by the very first person to make anti-corruption a real electoral campaign platform. It would have been a less bitter pill to swallow if Noynoy simply abandoned his promises. At least Filipinos are used to that kind of thing. But to take them on a charade, to pull their leg by pretending to crack the whip on corruption but only against his enemies while at the same time protecting his corrupt friends -- that is just too much. That is pure evil.

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