Unintended consequences — the evil spawn of those famous last words: It seemed like a good idea at the time. It’s the cancerous mass-thinking process that latches humanity onto the glitzy, glossy, mind candy of easy shortcuts and quick fixes fuelled by sef-important notions of what one considers to be “noble” goals. “Cheaper faster better” got us addicted to easy credit and cheap Chinese goods. “Green revolutions” got the planet engulfed by a sea of humanity that on one side of the globe couldn’t be fed and on another obssessed with fighting wars to secure fossil fuels used to manufacture their synthetic fertilisers and power their tractors and combines. Nuclear weapons ended one terrible war, but doomed the species to live under a cloud of fear. And “winning” the Cold War merely created a void in the global order that is now being filled by a headless mass of terrorist vermin crawling out from under the damp rocks within which they bred.
Who would have thought a few months ago that what started out as one camp giddily lifting another’s skirt in the pettily poralised politics of a Third World basketcase like the Philippines could potentially morph into an orgy of skirt lifting that could expose everyone’s skid marks? This is, in fact, the latest brainwave of a brainwave-starved nation evident in the latest call to activism issued by “a very involved, concerned citizen” shared on Facebook by “a friend who in turn received it from a member of the Defense [team representing Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial]â€…
There is a glimmer, albeit unlikely, ray of hope for us yet. It might actually be possible to reunite our nation if all those concerned â€” the Chief Justice, the Senators and the Prosecutors â€” simultaneously issue waivers for their dollar accounts and open these up to the public. If they do this, who needs Coronaâ€™s testimony? Who would care afterwards? In all probability, the outcome of such a revelation might stun the people, but only momentarily. The nation is entitled to know. The people are already convinced that holding public office is an opportunity to amass ill-gotten wealth. Besides, with what I have come to know of our political temperament, I am quite sure we will all get used to the idea that amassing money is a given among persons in public office.
For the average Filipino politician, this will indeed be a chilling unintended outcome of this whole circus. It is their worst nightmare — a scenario where the Filipino public no longer dances to their partisan tune but are, instead, one in the notion that all of them are the same — all of them with something to hide and actually doing something about it.
Perhaps to be fair to Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the monomanic vindictiveness against Corona that he applied to his government over the last couple of years, this wholesale lifting of the legal veil that may be masking a vast treasure trove of political wealth across all camps may be his greatest legacy. Perhaps the Senator Judges in Corona’s trial may do well to examine more closely what it is they may actually be flirting with at this point.
But if there is something we will have learned from human history by now, it is that bloodbaths and purges usually precede periods of calm and order. As I warned a while back, Senator Judges beware! I have to agree that despite the rather embarrassingly goofy presentation of meaningless evidence by the ombudsman in last week’s grilling, many Filipinos have become a bit more aware of what Conchita Carpio-Morales’s office can actually do for them and how various agencies such as the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) can be conscripted to this service. Indeed, one can feel this in the nervous deference the Senator Judges exhibited when they addressed the ombudsman. The implications to them were quite stark…
Is the AMLC investigation of the alleged Corona dollar accounts a once-off thing conducted at MalacaÃ±angâ€™s behest? Can it be called upon to do the same thing in the future should any of the Senators, shall we say, displease MalacaÃ±ang in the future?
Cue in the Darth Vader march theme…
Today the Supreme Court, tomorrow the Senate.
Noynoy can perhaps still be a “hero” — if such a scenario can be pulled off and a windfall of sequestered dollar accounts re-channeled back into the service of this wretched nation. Ain’t it ironic? The term “sequestered” is a buzzword that once defined the late 1980s that were the golden years of Yelllowist “investigation” prowess.