The man in the throes of death, my war veteran grandfather once said, is in truth the most ruthless. Incapable of strategy or design, he fires off one blow after another indiscriminately and savagely. Hitting everyone and no one, buoyed by the kind of crazed determination reserved for the dying. And then slowly, he succumbs to the peace of death.
How else can you describe the machinations of the GMA administration in the middle of this crisis but the pathetic flailing of a battered regime down on its knees? They get wind of news that a whistleblower is bent on telling the truth, they send agents of the state to whisk him away as he steps out of the airplane and then believe they can get away with it by making him sign a false affidavit. In order to take some steam off the Senate hearings, the Office of the Ombudsman (quite incidentally, headed by a former classmate of the First Gentleman) suddenly and mysteriously roused itself from its lethargy to conduct a preliminary investigation on the ZTE deal. Then the Supreme Court ruled that anyone, anywhere can play the Garci tapes and need not fear sanction. Flooring everyone with his profound understanding of the rule of law, the Justice Secretary staunchly declared that regardless of the ruling of the Supreme Court, it is still illegal to play the tapes. And now we see that pathetic unity walk reminiscent of Erap’s infamous walk-cum-boksing weeks before he was kicked out of office.
They’re floundering, she’s floundering — and with good reason. The anger is building up, like the roar of crashing waves. I was in the big mobilization in Makati, in the mass at La Salle Greenhills, at the Ateneo for the noise barrage and the outrage is palpable. $130million kickback at a time of great poverty and hunger is not just obscene, it is graphically so.
But GMA’s problem, to my mind, is the fact that the only allies she has left are those who profit materially and DIRECTLY from her continued stay in power. Pity indeed, the ruler whose support is based on purchase and transaction. Hitler had people who shared what he believed in, however warped. George Bush has his hawks who maintain that a war in Iraq is not only necessary, it is also moral. Ferdinand Marcos — while he had his cronies who profited hugely from the 20-year dictatorship — had a loyal cabal who fiercely believed that Martial Law was the correct trajectory to development.
Gloria, in contrast, runs a government that pays in order to continue existing. It is leadership with strings attached. And like all men who sleep with whores know, transactional gratification carries no promises of forever.