Watching JDV cry wolf?
There ought to be sufficient enough legal and political basis for JDV’s final endorsement of the impeachment complaint against PGMA as would conveniently meet the requirements of form and substance considering that he knows all the rudiments of legislative proceedings despite not being a lawyer but one consummate legislator of unparalleled record in congressional history. So it is only expected that this impeachment complaint will hit ground – tearing as it does at the very thin moral fabric – of our social existence. The higher dictate of conscience appears to JDV’s first and last battle cry – win or lose. If he wins, GMA walks down the river like those proverbial ‘bankang papel’ drifted by the political current of the times. If he loses, JDV has enough in his survival kit to put steel bars behind his back. No matter the legal intramurals – JDV does not jail.
Everyone knows where JDV is coming from. As blood is thicker than water, old Jo comes to his son’s rescue who blew the lead in an apparently dubious financial transaction in what was the so-called ZTE scam that involves $329 million and saw the hands of top government officials in the cookie jar, matter-of-factly. The retaliatory act of an offended government resulted in JDV being unseated from the speakership of the House of Representatives and losing his crown from the leadership of his own political party, LAKAS. The retaliatory act of an offended queen of the Palace – likewise – has resulted in his son being charged with certain crimes relative to the ZTE controversy with JDV himself not off the hook. Fact is, JDV will be implicated in the $1 billion North Rail project, a transaction that is reported to have been syndicated by no less than him.
JDV is in a clear moral and political dilemma – he cannot cast the first stone. Paradoxically, not one columnist, broadcaster, editor has embraced JDV’s new found crusade – to expose corruption or wrongdoing in government. Nor will his endorsement create a ripple in our political waters. Rather expectedly, his endorsement of the impeachment complaint against GMA whom he has redeemed from all constitutional coups to unseat her – will not change the voting configuration – in the Lower Chamber. JDV has to swallow the bitter pill – as he is given the dose of his own medicine – to be himself the victim. He certainly knows that in that “Old Boys’ Club’ that is the House of Representatives, the notoriety of numbers is king. Reduced to numbers game, there is no room for conscience at all and therefore JDV’s ill-attempt to espouse moral conviction will all be for naught. There is no such thing as higher national interest at the House of Representatives come to think of it.
Is JDV merely sourgraping? Partly, he is. Is JDV under attack? Partly so, pray tell. Will Congress put him in the witness stand, be crossed or re-crossed? It might be a waste of time so far as the Big League sees it. Will he be expelled as a member of Congress? There are tricks in the book that can allow it. At the very least, JDV’s son might be jailed that will pressure him to kowtow to the whims of Malacanang. Who will erect the wall of conscience beyond partisan politics? At both Senate and the House, no one can. Always, JDV can work out of the box. Perhaps, interfaith religions as well as significant segments from international community can give him the tap at the back. No matter how JDV figures in the likely event he loses in this ‘power play’, still his presence matters, his statements will gather adherents. What could my good friend Noel Albano be doing as a damage-control assistant? It bears watching.
JDV must have already waged a secret signature campaign in the ranks of Congress. But stripped of power and influence, he can only do so much. Nor can he possibly have any other offer higher than what Malacanang can likewise offer. If JDV will not make any dent in his endorsement of this impeachment complaint, it is simply because it does not look like there is any higher national interest here. There is no such thing as bound by a sense of duty here – to expose corruption or wrongdoing in government. There is no such thing as the courage to speak out no matter who gets hurt. Much less is there a thing like conscience or reason in so far as legislators is concerned where patronage politics is the name of the game.
In both chambers of Senate and House, JDV has lost all his former protégés and allies. Ironically, they will not come to his aid – he will be disowned. Chiz Escudero dismissed JDV’s act as entertainment when in still in Congress, he is one of JDV’s resident operatives to strengthen the culture of political gangsterism. Everything for JDV is bound to fail – it will backfire. At the end of the day, JDV has lost a lot – a house burned, a child killed in the fire of a bullet-proof house, a status of ‘primus inter pares’ as speaker of the House of Representatives embargoed via a coup, unseated as president of LAKAS-CMD, stippled of all power and authority.
Where signs indicate, JDV will not tilt the balance of power to his side. PGMA remains unbootable. The First Gentleman has always been fully insulated from his perceived wrongdoings in government however seemingly overwhelming the evidence are against him. Everyone loyal to PGMA always receives the lifeline, when they need it. Joc Joc, Neri, Esperon, Abalos, Villar, to name a few, are sacred cows in our body polity – immune as they do – from all accountability. And definitely, even if JDV withdraws his endorsement, accepts an offered concession, he will be unable to extricate himself from the snake pit. Poor JDV, he lost.
PRIMER C. PAGUNURAN
UP Diliman, Quezon City Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org