BULLETIN EDITORIAL: ANSWER TO EDONG AND JOKER

MANILA, OCTOBER 29, 2003  (BULLETIN) SENATORS Edgardo Angara and Joker Arroyo have the habit of raising questions to which they already have the answers.

“Edong’’ says that GMA should have stayed aloof from the conflict between Congress and the Judiciary, as if we didn’t already know that there is a separation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. But he also knows that the conflict is seen as one between the opposition and the ruling parties, and GMA happens to be the titular head of Lakas. The Chief Justice rightly says that the impeachment move was politically motivated. What then is the nation’s premier politician supposed to do?

Joker is more straightforward in suggesting that the impending “constitutional crisis’’ was a “conspiracy’’ between GMA and Danding to insure the former’s election in 2004. But GMA countered the charge by joining the rally behind Chief Justice Davide. But is Joker biting his tongue? No, he is not, for he knows that GMA wanted everyone to know that she is on the right side, and that too might considerably increase her chances next year.

So why did I say that these two senators have the habit of raising questions to which they already have the answers? Well, it’s because a portion of the public (we don’t know how large) is confused at the way the controversy is being elevated to a question of principle, a morality play between Good and Evil. Good is the streets, Evil is the Hall of Congress.

JFK once said that the “revolution’’ should be taken up in Congress to take it off the streets. He probably meant that in the streets, the “revolution’’ would be bloody, while in Congress it would be debated. That’s how civil rights legislation came about. But that was the United States.

We are a more advanced democracy, however. The constitutional exaltation of People Power has given numbers the exclusive right to decide between what’s lawful and what’s not, in the name of Good and Evil. Congress can only do what “decent’’ civil society, not the law, says it can.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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