THE HANDWRITING on the wall is unmistakable: the beginning of the end is rolling out slowly, but at a better pace than the vaccine roll out. Vaccine supplies, what and when, are still up in the air like William Penn’s arrow. Nevertheless, hope against hope is just as evident.
This time, perception is, hopefully, welcome reality. The overarching impression is that the democratic institutions in this realm, particularly the courts, suddenly have emerged into a state of wokeness, after being lulled into a deep sleep or spell by a strange, wicked wand. Also, with a sense of urgency.
For one thing, the lame duck has arrived. It walks like it, quacks like it, so it must be it. And the first word that comes of its mouth is: respect, with a double down.
Since when has respect been a big word for this administration?
Clearly, it’s when the Supreme Court, sitting as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal, decided with finality that Maria Leonor Robredo is truly the elected vice president of 100 or so million Filipinos, even if one or two on the same side of the authoritarian fence continue to deny it.
Evidently, it’s when one Supreme Court justice agreed that the Anti-Terror Law is an oxymoron when its specious argument is placed side by side with the unequivocal and unambiguous text of the Constitution. While at it, why should an actual case be presented before the High Court before it can rule the law is a terror in itself?
The logic is not so unlike requiring a gun be fired first at a living human being before it can be decided that it’s loaded. Supreme presupposes not just expertise in the law but sufficient working common sense. But, of course, it doesn’t rule pusillanimity out as one pundit described it.
Encouragingly, it’s when a lower court dismissed one of three drug charges against sitting but not seeing Senator Leila de Lima who has been detained for nearly four years on doubtful accusations.
All these decisions have taken the courts excruciatingly long time, perhaps dangerously, as if playing with fire. One wonders if the judiciary isn’t the very exponent of the dictum that justice delayed might as well be denied. Not entirely the courts’ fault, to be sure, but it has it’s own share of the culpas.
You may take the concession of Harry Roque, the presidential spokesman, with a grain of salt. Given the truism that, oftentimes, one’s reputation, or lack of it, precedes oneself. Even with ‘respect’ issued casually, the defining term of it, coming through his nose, we’ll take it. Face value still has its bankable currency. Hearing him double down on a value-laden word, can be a give-away to his patron’s lameduckness. You win some, you lose some.
And now, the reality check sets in. The insulter-in-chief has a little more than year to spew venom and other toxic words against those who he believes are not qualified to have his post or any other posts under his watch. Take a bow, Madam Robredo, Messrs. Richard Gordon, Ping Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan, Chel Diokno, et al. Not in his day, anyway, which is receding, leading inexorably to the departure area.
And people are getting braver each passing day, at least, to have their voices rise above the din. Lo, Lacson and a certain Leachon have made it known that they’re not part of Malacanang choir now,not anymore, even if they had been identified with it in the past, wittingly or unwittingly. Even the ordinaryman or woman on the street is convinced about it: once is enough, two would be too much. Even the original believers are committing political heresy. The survey says: government is an sclerotic old man unable to do his job based on the job description.
It’s indicative that new season is afoot, if not underway. It can be epochal, no less a repudiation of the old.
The harmless advice this time, move on, move forward. Bongbong Marcos understands that and he’s running in 2020. As what, it’s still up in the air like the vaccine. But we can guess: president, vice president or senator. Anything less would be total surrender, a waving of the white flag of the Marcos team.
For Leni, she was coy on D-Day. But make no mistake about it: she’s one step away from highest post in the land, morally, politically and legally. The opposition should be able to show or flex its stronger muscle in the days to come. Or must.
The handwriting on the wall appears as directional sign, a detour away from the current trend and track. When a snowball sets in, it’s likely than not to increase in size. If history has any lesson, that prefigured the EDSA People Power movement.
Come to think of it, some people have got it right: the pandemic has its own upside: it’s awakening people from their stupor, if not stupidity. Better late, than later, or never.