Editorial: Gusto Ko Happy Ka!

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


ONE of the powers of the President is the granting of presidential pardon to convicts.

Pres. Gloria Arroyo pardoned former Pres. Erap, a convicted plunderer.

The aspirant widely expected as the next President, VP Jejomar Binay, is believed that he would extend presidential pardon for three senator-allies in the event of their conviction.

It is within this set up that detained Sen. Revilla and Sen. Estrada, possibly Sen. Enrile who has yet to be arrested, find a quantum of solace in their predicament. The hope is there that sooner than later, "Pres. Binay" may spring them out of jail.

Basing on the sense of urgency and determination of the administration to secure a verdict of conviction for the three "cosas", it is largely held that the three will land behind bars- but not long enough. If this happens the trouble the nation is undergoing now is only an exercise in politics and not a quest for justice.

From his body language Mr. Binay keeps his cards close to his chest. He does not give a hint or the slightest idea about this issue -- and certainty -- of pardon.

While a future act of the future president is yet hypothetical, the people demand the vice president's position on the matter. This will be an inevitable issue in his campaign.

***

How much does the average Filipino accept as monetary compensation in exchange of a two-year jail detention?

Respondents from my random inquiry pegged the price of losing temporary freedom at P5 million. Consider that in Balut, Tondo people sell their kidneys at P200,000 per. Here a gun for hire costs you a measly P10,000.

Sen. Revilla must be in cloud when he mulls the cost of a two-year or so detention as against PDAF kickbacks placed at P224 milliion. Sen. Jinggoy's state of mind should be euphoric with his own P183 million. Sen. Enrile can no longer enjoy his P172.8 million on account of illness and advanced age. Like Silas Marner who delights in counting his stash of gold coins each night, JPE may find endless joy in contemplating his fortune day after day.

There are many average Filipinos like myself who, if and when we stumble on serendipitous wealth, say Pl0 million, may get catatonic or overjoyed that we suddenly drop dead.

The suspected plunderers had the appearance of the cat who swallowed the canary - in quiet impish smirk and visible prosperity

***

While President Noy wanted compassionate treatment of Enrile, his advisers suggested that the old man be placed in the PNP custodial center, adjacent the cell-room where Ms. Gigi Reyes, a co-accused and rumored girlfriend, will be detained. "Gusto ko happy ka!"

P-Noy's soft stance for Enrile stems from two reasons: JPE was Aquino's former Senate colleague, he was also instrumental in the Corona impeachment. The president will not oppose a hospital arrest for the "aging chickboy."

Enrile's closest friends, supporters, and some (naughty) PNP officials, too, are hoping that the senator accept his detention at the custodial center, probably adjacent Maam Gigi's room. Pati naman kayo, gusto ny'o happy kayo?

Manong Johnny does not know how blessed he is under this circumstance (of detention). Here he will awaken to the wisdom of old age, "a time for bringing life to perfection, holiness, and fulfillment of God's will."

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 30, 2014.

Opinion

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