Charges have been filed against ex-President Arroyo for complicity in the ZTE internet scandal. The cost of the project ballooned from an original P 150 million to P 330 million as kickbacks were built into the project. The First Goon, Mr. Arroyo, was allegedly in line to receive P 70 million to make the deal happen. Ms. Arroyo blocked investigation into the affair by ordering her staff to refuse to give testimony to investigators.
This is all encouraging, and I hope the hunt for thieves continues deeper into the government employment roster.
For me, being an avid reader of mysteries, I'm inclined to try to put clues together to make an integrated whole. Sherlock Holmes is able to discover criminals by the mud on their shoes, as he can identify 42 different muds and what part of the country they occupy. Certainly, we can do something similar.
The clues we are working with are: (1) the two cases filed so far against Ms. Arroyo, (2) the midnight raid on the Constitution undertaken by the legislature late during Ms. Arroyo's reign, (3) the midnight appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and (3) the Supreme Court abetted run for Singapore by the medically challenged Arroyo family a few weeks ago.
Let's assume the charges are true, that Mr. Arroyo used his influence to try to steal P 70 million from the ordinary Filipino, the taxpayer. Let's assume that Ms. Arroyo knew full well what was taking place.
How did they expect to get away with so blatant a theft? They had witnesses to the left and witnesses to the right.
The only way would be if they controlled the investigators and the judiciary.
With that understanding, the midnight raid on the Constitution and other shenanigans undertaken by Ms. Arroyo to try to stay in power, the midnight appointment of the Chief Justice, and the "flight of the fugitives" all fall neatly into place. Ms. Arroyo is apparently cut of the same cloth as Marcos. Extraordinarily self-serving and displaying a confidence that is beyond the rational. But she proved to be a goof at it, the ignominy (look it up) running ripe in the scamper for the airport.
These conclusions may represent nothing particularly stunning, and many news reports will be written around these themes as the drama unfolds. Sherlock would probably yawn and mosey over to the easy chair in his library for another dose of cocaine.
Where I want to go with this is to suggest that it would be good to get a list of all current government officials who voted for the process of Constitutional revision in that midnight vote. At the max, their affairs should put under the spotlight (wealth vs. salary, bank account deposits around that time, and other oddities) with charges filed if the evidence supports collusion in overthrow of the government. At a minimum they should be identified so voters or supervisors can get them out of office, where they remain, as foxes in the henhouse, a huge risk. And an offense to higher sensibilities.
The impeachment of the Chief Justice is probably pretty much assured. Chief Justice Corona seems to believe he walks above the law, or certainly above propriety, rather than being the law's primary defender and upholding the exquisite sense of propriety that ought to be attached to judgeships. He wears his robe as a wolf's skin.
There is a reason judges are called "Your Honor". Or we should be able to call them that without choking on our words.
I'd argue that the Aquino Administration should let the water run downhill on this. The water being Arroyo sweat and tears. Let them fall on others who were complicit in playing with the Philippines as if it were their own country to manipulate, over the public good. If the evidence is insufficient to file charges, at least let their names run prominently on the front page of the Inquirer prior to any election in which they are a candidate. Let voters make their own deductions as to the motives and allegiances of those who would redraft the Constitution for personal advantage.