People prowler | Inquirer Business

People prowler

/ 01:06 AM November 21, 2011

Now the fight between the Aquino (Part II) administration and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo moves to the field of public opinion, something short of another people power.

Uh-oh. I am not sure that it is good for business, although the preoccupation with public opinion should make both sides busy for quite some time, even way after the noises in media over some legal niceties die down, including the involvement of the Supreme Court in the legal circus.

As our contacts in business noted—dejectedly, I guess—the Supreme Court has other more important matters on the table, not the least of which are cases involving billion-peso projects that promise to create thousands of jobs.


Down here in my barangay, however, the guys are already sneering at the pathetic attempt of the Arroyo camp to elicit public sympathy.


For example, in that dramatic scene at the NAIA terminal last week, the Arroyo camp just had to bring in Gloriaetta on a wheelchair, complete with all the medical gizmos around her head and neck, plus a loud screaming ambulance.

It was definitely a dramatic scene designed for media. I am afraid it did not work. The Arroyos now can hardly expect public sympathy. Had they wanted to, the Arroyo camp could have avoided the drama at the NAIA terminal and all the media brouhaha.

News outfits, including mass-based radio stations, reported—and “live” at that—the airport authority already granted the Arroyo couple (i.e., Gloriaetta and former First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo) permission to board their flights straight from the tarmac.

It was obvious that the Arroyo camp needed to make that huge dramatic scene at the airport for public consumption. Media was there, right? Live, right?

But also mentioned in the live coverage of the NAIA drama was the fact that the Arroyo camp actually booked six—yes, six—flights for the former First Couple.

The booking was timed with the release of the controversial TRO from the Supreme Court.


Thus we now know that those six—again, six—airline bookings were made a couple of hours before the Supreme Court issued the TRO.

Really, they could not wait to leave the next day?

The Arroyo camp claimed that the couple was not going to just prowl abroad or something. They had to travel abroad for medical treatment for Gloriaetta. Hmmm.

It is true that the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) already went on record that this country had more than a hundred medical specialists who could treat Gloriaetta. The PMA also noted that the former President’s condition was not life-threatening.

That they had to leave a couple of hours after the Supreme Court issued the TRO somehow tells us that the husband and wife were in a hurry to get out of the country.

And the only reason must be the truckload of cases that the Aquino (Part II) administration was preparing against them.

Now, the Supreme Court imposed a couple of conditions for the TRO. One of them was that the Arroyos should immediately cough up the P2-million bond. The Arroyo camp did put up the bond in no time.

Down here we could not help but wonder where the money came from. Really, none of the guys down here in my barangay could produce P2 million just like that.

There were reports that Chief Justice Renato Corona had to cut short a trip abroad to vote in favor of the TRO against the DoJ watch list order.

We also know that the Supreme Court was supposed to hear the “oral arguments” regarding the “watch list” issue sometime this week, which in effect is the case on whether the Arroyos may leave the country.

Thus, eight justices of the Supreme Court decided that even before the oral arguments could be presented before them, they should already allow Gloriaetta to leave the country.

Why would the Supreme Court need to hear the “oral argument” if she already would be gone by then?

Now those eight justices, as reports indicated, got their Supreme Court appointments from Gloriaetta during her time as the Lola at the Palace.

Legal niceties aside, including the opinion of some high-profile individuals in the academe, the public opinion is that those eight justices took the side of GMA as payback for their appointments.

During the NAIA drama, there was also an on-the-spot report—remember that it was live coverage—that the Arroyos also chartered a flight. Surely the reservation was pretty expensive. And so it hit us simply as a gang-land style of quick escape to another country, away from the police and the possibility of jail.

Curse Justice Secretary Leila de Lima all you want, and the Supreme Court can cite her in contempt fifty million times, but she scored a lot of points in public opinion by ordering immigration officials to prevent the Arroyos from leaving.

The fast was that, when De Lima ordered the watch list, which in effect prevented the Arroyos from leaving the country, Gloriaetta herself was already facing more than 20 cases of plunder and electoral fraud before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Word also went around that the DoJ, together with the Commission on Elections, was about to complete its investigation of an electoral sabotage case against Gloriaetta.

Look, it was already clear that cheating—massive cheating—took place in the 2007 elections. The supposed beneficiary of the cheating, Senator Miguel Zubiri, already resigned from the Senate.

Also, the complainant in the electoral sabotage case is Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who was already proclaimed the last winning candidate in the 2007 senatorial elections.

There was cheating all right! The only question was whether or not Gloriaetta was part of it, similar to the “Hello Garci” scandal that almost led to her ouster as President of the Republic after the 2004 presidential elections.

Somebody must face the music, in other words, and this is the public opinion line that the Arroyo camp will surely try to destroy. It is not an easy campaign.

For now the Aquino (Part II) administration is enjoying a high popularity rating, precisely because our leader Benigno Simeon (a.k.a. BS) is perceived to be clean. You know, no corruption.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

It is the same perception that can support the Aquino (Part II) administration in its fight for public opinion as it insists that the Arroyos must not leave the country to face the plunder, graft and corruption, and electoral sabotage charges against them.

TAGS: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Judiciary, Philippines, supreme court

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.