YOU have to like PNoy’s inaugural speech.

You have to like the “firsts’ he did on his inauguration day like following traffic rules that lesser bureaucrats routinely violate in an arrogant show of power. You have to like the “yellow fever” and the social content of the words spoken or sung during that truly meaningful inaugural. Everything boded of change that from where we are in the pits could only be for the better.

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I liked best the call for reconciliation with justice and hence the formation of a truth commission under former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr., a man of unquestionable integrity. Oligarchs usually do not mind trampling lowly citizens down when they flaunt their power with arrogant disregard of the nation’s laws and the laws of common decency. It is a great feeling to know President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, like many of us, is also tired of officials who abusively and insensitively throw their weight around.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is still in the eating. But I just have to be delighted at his ability to hit the right chords to start his new administration. This is indeed a new beginning for us who have high but reasonable hopes that what we have seen and heard so far is only a prelude to even more significant changes in the direction of responsible governance and concerned citizenship.

When people demand for justice from their rulers, they are often not listened to but are instead persecuted as leftist agitators.

Yet when rulers are out of power after years of abusive and corrupt governance, they quickly appeal to the people’s goodness with the now trite “forgive and forget” line. In the past, they have often succeeded in sweet talking the people into forgiving and forgetting.

As a result, abusive and corrupt officials often get away literally with murder because of this clever and wily appeal to something close to the heart of peace-loving Filipinos. This false concept of reconciliation has spawned a culture of impunity that must now be stopped before it does any more irreversible damage to our national life.

If the Marcoses, for instance, are staging a comeback, you can blame that on the government’s and the people’s failure to punish anybody from the cruel Martial Law regime. But that might already be spilt milk if the truth commission does not revisit the Martial Law years anymore. Putting closure, however, to at least the many issues crying for justice in the just-concluded Arroyo regime would be a good start.

By filing a bill for Cha-cha, Gloria Arroyo has hit the ground running in what can only be surmised as the initial stages of an attempt to regain power. For one so unrepentant, atonement must be exacted and justice upheld.