April 18, 2006

"Second rate, trying hard. . . "

As far as political gimmicks go, its not even original.  The first dictator did it—several times.  I’m referring to commuting sentences of convicts on a special occasion.  Marcos did it on his birthday,  on Imelda’s birthday, on the anniversary of the new society—just so that he could put a benevolent sheen to his dictatorship.

What did that wise man say about old dogs and new tricks.

The current dictator has taken a page from the old one, which somehow leads me to admire Imee Marcos’s riposte about the current dictator being a “second rate, trying hard copycat” for its candor, if not its media-impact (One would wish that neither Imee nor the current dictator would try so hard though.)

The Easter message of the dictator mentioned a new policy of commutation of all death sentences.  Now, all the legal scholars—acknowledged, unacknowledged, self-proclaimed or otherwise—have spoken at length about the commutations being flawed constitutionally because:  1.  they trench on the judicial power to review death sentences, 2.  they are broad and sweeping and may impair the rights of the truly innocent on death row (yes, there are those) and 3.  commutations cannot be given on a blanket basis because they would involve only those sentenced by final judgment to death and would have to be determined on individual merits on a case to case basis.  So I won’t bother too much with these.

What I do mind is the dictator using lives to simply toady up to the Catholic church and get the church’s nod on charter change.  If the dictator had suddenly come to an epiphany in the cool mountain air of Baguio, I am certain that the Holy Spirit would have told her—just have the death penalty law repealed.  Now, that would underscore a serious commitment to the sanctity of life.  Oh, and I’m sure in the next whisper, the Holy Spirit would have told her—forget about charter change and just resign.

Unfortunately, from media grabs of the lent retreat, she sat beside Totoy Wangwang (aka Raul Gonzalez) and, despite what she may claim, the Holy Spirit doesn’t sound like Raul Gonzalez—perhaps another spirit, certainly not the Holy one.

I blogged about this before—I’ll believe it when I see it.  Certify the bill to repeal the death penalty (of course, there’s nothing to prevent her stooges from inserting another constitutional provision in their proposed constitution on this; but that’s another story altogether.) and stop resorting to cheap—and unoriginal—gimmicks.


Anonymous said...

I've tried my best but I can't help but find this post a little too condescending and I cannot seem to reconcile that it came from the same writer of Changing Me, Rising higher than the source and Love, repeatedly.

Ted said...

@anonymous. thank you for your comment. if there's one thing i'm very passionate about, its abolition of the death penalty. and i resent arroyo's political gimmickry using the death penalty as capital. i also resent arroyo's use of religion to perpetuate herself in power--and believe me, she will: use religion and perpetuate herself in power. i will not apologize if you find it condescending; as i mentioned in the blog posts you mentioned, i find it most difficult to love those who are unloveable--gloria arroyo is definitely unloveable. i am human and weak; i hope you do not take that against me. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

It takes a lot of courage to admit weakness and I sincerely find that admirable - which is why I liked very much your post "Changing Me". Now I am also human with frailties and weaknesses of my own and I am not in a position to take your humanity against you nor against anyone for that matter. I may have found your last post a little condescending but I may be wrong. I just felt that I had to comment on your last post out of a belief that one can be critical without being condescending. God bless you too. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Ted said...

@anonymous. What can I say? Gloria Arroyo brings out the WORST in me. Certainly, something for me to repent from, so soon after Easter Sunday. Thank you for pointing out that I can be "critical without being condescending"; perhaps, I'm being too pavlovian when it comes to Gloria Arroyo such that I react automatically. I do know however that its not hardwired into my system because I am a vessel of grace and of love--broken, imperfct and certainly unworthy though I am, in my humanity to be such.

toni.angeli said...


totoy wangwang


wernicke said...

Sir, I perfectly understand you if you, assuming but not agreeing, sounded condescending whenever it comes to GMA. I was appalled too when she made that announcement - pure gimmick, that's what I thought as she can simply certify a bill abolishing death penalty. Even if I do not agree with Death Penalty, I found her gesture opportunistic. Sigh.

But this too shall pass. Gloria shall pass, I think you wrote that in one of your blogs.

Incidentally, I watched the DVD of Pope John Paul II's life. One of the scenes showed young Karol being told by a tailor, at the height of the Nazi occupation of Poland, that evil consumes itself but after it is gone, it will only be replaced by another evil if love does not triumph. I quite agree. Look at the Philippines. Maybe, the love to do what is right, individually, love of country, love of countryman, and of course, love of God would bail us out of this limbo as a Nation.