‘Mischief, bad fish’ in Vatican, Malacañang-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
BE IT mischief or bad fish, both stink; the longer they don't see light, the more foul the smell.
Be it in the Vatican, the seat of power of the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church, or in the 263-year-old Malacañang Palace, scandals are initially denied by perpetrators or victims.
In time, pangs of guilt and sheer exhaustion eventually take their toll. A few though insist, to their grave, they didn't do it.
The gay sex and blackmail scandal at Holy See, unwrapped only a few days ago, took a three-cardinal panel and a nine-month investigation to identify depth and contours of the sordid mess.
A "neither-confirm-nor-deny" first reaction from Vatican soon turned into a blanket accusation of falsehood. It's not likely to be settled unless the new pope, whom an enclave hopes to elect in April, will be cast not from the usual mold of pontiffs who guard unsavory secrets as fiercely as they protect the Holy Grail.
In Malacañang, on Feb. 4, 2000, then president Joseph Estrada signed "Jose Velarde" on bank documents that would invest an alleged P500 million kickback.
Erap Estrada, already convicted of plunder, to this day stoutly denies he was Velarde.
Of course, he was not Velarde, just as businessman Jaime Dy, a crony who took the fall, was Velarde.
Thirteen years later, people still recall the stink from the case which continues to drag in the courts.
Anywhere, be it in the Palace of a president or in a Pope's seat of power, instincts and mechanisms tend to do the same work of covering up the grime and deodorizing the smell.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2013.