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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chess Match With GMA...Anyone?

And by GMA, I mean Grandmaster Arroyo, "Grandmaster" being a term appropriated for those who have excelled in the game of chess. (See for the techincal definition of a Grandmaster, as defined by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.)

I would not want to have a chess face-off with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters UK/Stringer)

She has proven herself to be incredibly adept in reading what her opponents would execute three or four moves later, and preparing her garrison for what would come next.

Last night's standoff at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport merely served to highlight her skill in reading her own fate, thereby giving her a clairvoyant advantage. (

In less esoteric terms, nakapaghanda siya.

By positioning her knights and rooks in their advantageous - to say the least - positions, it has allowed her and her family ways to jump over possible impediments to her "right to travel" (suddenly a term that everyone is using in conjunction with constitutional rights).

All eight Supreme Court justices who voted to allow her the right to travel to seek "medical assistance" for a non-life threatening condition are her appointees.

You be the judge.

As soon as the TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) was announced, GMA "suddenly" had three different flights "ready", two million pesos in bond money (one of the prerequisites of the TRO, and if we do a comparison, I'm guessing asking two million pesos from GMA would be like asking .005 cents from an ordinary person like me, to put things in relative perspective), a coterie of lawmakers and lawyers - and that ever composed but sometimes leaning-on-the-dramatic spokesperson of hers - by her side, and a doctor's appointment scheduled for November 17 in Singapore.

You be the judge.

GMA being filmed in a wheelchair with that contraption around her, transported around in a wheelchair, and in one segment, they were inching her wheelchair down the stairs, when they could have used the escalator which was just adjacent to the stairs, or asked to use an elevator, if they were truly after her "ease" and "comfort".

You be the judge.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima now threatened by Arroyo's lawyer to be charged with contempt for defying the TRO, because she ordered the authorities to prevent the Arroyos from leaving - at least until the government's oral arguments can be heard, which was scheduled for November 22 - when she merely used DOJ Circular 41 to put them on a Watchlist, a circular that was created and used during Arroyo's adminstration. (See the details in this excellent piece by Raissa Robles:

You be the judge.

And, let's get a passage from Ms. Robles' article, to appreciate the bigger picture:

"This Tuesday November 8, 2011, lawyer Estelito Mendoza filed an urgent petition with the Supreme Court on behalf of Arroyo to declare DC 41 unconstitutional and to void it."

Teka nga.

A circular concocted by GMA's adminstration is now being petitioned by GMA's lawyer to be declared unconstitutional. It begs the very obvious question - it's practically screaming - if this particular circular is unconstitutional to begin with, why did GMA's adminstration create it in the first place?

You be the judge.

This current political telenovela we're seeing right now is - P-Noy supporters, please look away now - largely, in my estimation, the result of no charges or cases filed against the Arroyos until this very day. I seem to remember P-Noy making statements to that effect, that one of his biggest thrusts should he be elected would be to take the people who have plundered this country to court.

I have yet to hear of a SINGLE charge filed against GMA herself.

And, playing the devil's advocate, even if charges were filed against an ordinary citizen like me, I would STILL be presumed innocent until anyone can prove otherwise in a court of law.

Imagine how something like not having charges filed against her would embolden someone like GMA to make travel plans, as they say in today's parlance, "on the fly" (immediately).

Eh, wala ngang charges, eh.

Unlike GMA, though, most of us who are - silently or otherwise - cheering for de Lima know instinctively that what is legal does not mean it is necessarily right. And while it punches a hole in my gut to see GMA thwart the justice system this way, de Lima is constrained to follow the Supreme Court's TRO, as an "officer of the Court", as SC spokesperson Atty. Midas Marquez has said.

Like criminals who have used minute technicalities and loopholes in the way laws are written to get away from attaining true justice and serving their proper dues, GMA has somehow used the very underpinnings of our Constitution to serve her ends without being made accountable for the massive irregularities and endless questions and doubts accumulated over her nine year stay in Malacanang that still have no answers.

Justice - true justice - sometimes cannot be found in august halls where laws purportedly see their very incarnation and purpose in action and realization.

Let me repeat: Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right.

I still refuse to play chess with GMA.

1 comment:

  1. The DOJ's preliminary investigation asked GMA to submit her comments regarding the charges of electoral fraud on November 10th. She never did submit her comments. Now it will take more time for DOJ to show probable cause because they have to grant her due process. The filing of the case would still have to wait in the meantime.