MANILA, December 8, 2003  (MALAYA) WE owe presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye an apology. We thought he was clueless as to Gloria Arroyo's pronouncement that the resumption of execution of death convicts would be limited to kidnappers. The final (?) word from the Palace is that drug dealers would be executed too.

We would not be surprised, however, if tomorrow the Palace would announce that rapists would also be put to sleep. The public is out for blood and Arroyo, running a poor third or fourth in election surveys, is desperately looking for a popular cause to ride on. If the initial executions would lift her ratings from the bottom, we would not be surprised if we were treated to the morbid spectacle everyday all the way to election day. There are 142 convicts on death row, more than enough to last the whole campaign period.

Killing people to win votes is the nadir of moral vacuity, but again we are hardly surprised. We have been saying since Day One that Gloria has no moral core, that all her actions are motivated by the drive to stay in power.

Edsa 2 supporters, especially the Church and civil society, are starting to recognize the truth of what we have long been saying.

We are not, however, gloating over our vindication. On the contrary, we are seized by a sense of dread that Gloria's obsession to win the elections would tear apart the nation.

After the lifting of the moratorium on execution, what will Gloria spring on us next? Today, soldiers will be deployed in the metropolis in the campaign against crime. We can already see bodies of suspected criminals littering the streets and floating on the Pasig. People want peace and order? Gloria will give it them in her own perverse way.

The secessionists are setting preconditions to the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur. Gloria will give these recalcitrants what they are asking for. Ditto with the communist rebels.

And we are not talking yet about the fashionable bugaboo of terrorism. If malls and hotels get blown up one of these days, the Jeemah Islamiah or the Al-Qaeda would the least of our suspects.

We see the emerging outline of a mad woman in power. We are desperately praying we would be proven wrong.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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