First Gentleman

First Gentleman

RP has never had a First Gentleman in her long history until one day, GMA was catapulted to power by People Power 2, sworn in by no less than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court before a couple of million crowd, and supported by an adventurous-elitist segment in the military establishment.

So come Mike Arroyo into the national scene – first ever in a country led by males than females. Cory and Gloria are presidents by accident and by incident. In both cases, military is the single ingredient for body polity to be able to oust former male presidents and replace them with what seems to be the new ruling elite – women power. And considering the series of coups that have been plotted against both women-leaders, no such successful coup to topple either Cory or Gloria came about. Maybe, the whole AFP or PNP has a strong ‘mother instinct’ in them – amen.

Good thing about Cory is serving only one term and a second term never crossed her mind. But Gloria completed Erap’s unexpired term of office, got reelected in what is clearly shrouded in mystery brought about by the ‘Hello Garci controversy’, and wanting to stay in power for perpetuity by a constitutional overhaul. And if being governed is an endurance test, people scoring high in every form of punishment brought about by a clearly corrupt regime – must have sent extreme luck for Gloria. The more people endure, the more the couple enjoy the loot, matter-of-factly – and their crony capitalists friends if not their rabid political allies. But so be it. Mayor Binay describes Malacanang as den of corruption.

The whole national life is bound for the worse. Not few otherwise viable corporate businesses operating in the country have left thereby finding many people unemployed. The trend of job embargo is still crawling in other affected companies. This pull out makes the population of the unemployed dramatically increased. To think that every employee has any x number of mouths to feed, what will become of these families with this crippling reality?

Even the supply of rice has become of a problem on the production side of the scale that made it (ir)rational for government to rather import than produce the basic staple for our own domestic consumption. And in the unseen process, government stands to gain in having tons of this produce from Vietnam to RP. Not few fund managers think that it is better to be import-driven vis a vis the crippling effect of US economic downturn.

Everything is in near shambles. Even before the Senate can make a final wrap up on NBN-ZTE fund mess, the fertilizer fund scam, here they come running after the First Gentleman like missiles to see the real traces, if any, of his alleged involvement as reported by the World Bank – in all these cases implicating, directly or indirectly, the First Gentleman. And of course, these are always reduced as black propaganda by GMA’s spin doctors. This almost instinctive reductionist bent to parry every kind of negative response from the public no longer makes any bit of sense.

And here we have a president who has been snubbed by US President Barack Obama for the 3rd time without success, however much she craves for that propaganda-rich photo opportunity with the ‘man of the hour’ in the world stage. Probably, GMA is not taking no for an answer so she tries every trick in the book to get a word from Washington, D.C. through Sen. Clinton who heads the State Department. Where it indicates, visit to RP is not in the original timetable of the state secretary. But as they say, there are many ways to skin a cat.

It is difficult to say that in Obama’s inaugural speech, RP is not one of those countries being referred to. Let us call to mind what Obama did say – “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent; know that you are on the wrong side of history; but we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Or why would Ermita even has to advance the notion that GMA is not who is referred to by messianic Obama?

The entire problem with the First Gentleman, as the husband of the president, being implicated, as reported, in all these forms of involvement in corruption is the fact that – by implication and extention – it is GMA herself who is into it. It is hard enough to project as matter of official policy such campaign against corruption or corrupt officials when her own husband would have to own to some degree of involvement in these concerns – as supposedly more thorough investigation could extract – beyond mere and almost vicious bureaucratic denial.

It is no longer of any moment if Malacanang has to call the WB report as black propaganda or hearsay. Or what is so hearsay or black propaganda about the work and people behind the World Bank that has already established its reputation all over the world. Or how indeed can a World Bank allow itself to loan $30 million to a country in distress if that country would be unable to pay its loan back or where the resulting scenario is that the money loaned is owed by president as distinct and separate from the state or government itself?

And a comedy of errors is taking shape. The Ombudsman would as much as even tell us it cannot have any jurisdiction over the First Gentleman, being a private individual. Fine, it cannot. And yet it can run after the few others mentioned who were then public officials at the time the alleged corruption has been reportedly committed. That sets dangerous legal precedent.

PRIMER C. PAGUNURAN
UP Diliman, Quezon City Email: nielsky_2003@yahoo.com