Saturday, October 15, 2005

Embattled residency | Living under the gun (PJI editorials 16-17 October 2005)

Embattled residency

THERE are presidents. There are residents.

One globe-trotting, now probably grave-dwelling Virgilio Garcillano ought to tell us which is which. He can tell the difference between president and resident, whether a Malacañang occupant is one and not the other.

Garcillano still haunts the nation. Ghosts do that, haunt. He has to be properly dead, feasted on by worms; his remains are at large and may likely be fully bundled and trussed by the presidential Executive Order 464, a gag order of sorts. So he won’t be allowed to spill the beans. Too, dead blokes tell no tales.

It might be Garci’s remains or Garci remains as the missing key to the Malacañang dilemma that we can’t make heads or tails of. She’s president. She won the presidential polls, did she not? So asserts Macapagal-Arroyo fans in Congress. She’s resident and ought to be evicted, so maintain the restive rest of the nation. Garci couldn’t be haled or exhumed to clear the air. He could be dead and fully corrupted. Now, that makes him a skeleton key.

President or resident, the current Malacañang occupant in under siege. Crowds of both the haves and the unwashed gather nearly daily before the Palace gates. They raise din, tumult and slander. They call her names, even ply out sci-fi film titles. Particularly one that stars Milla Jovovich, “Resident Evil.”

Even bishops, clerics and pastors have joined the call for her to step down. No, they haven’t pronounced her as anathema to the nation. They haven’t excommunicated her. Not yet. So she can still do confessions and partake of the sacred host.

Fat chance she would confess.

Garci’s dialogue with her caused all these chaos. The nation somehow eavesdropped. The populace heard it loud and clear. Then, we concluded that it was the machinations of Garci that can make a president—thus, vox Garci, vox dei.

The vox populi portion to that dictum had been dropped conveniently.

We can safely surmise: all that racket and ruckus arising from the streets that lead to Malacañang come from vox populi. They’ve been ignored. They’re still being ignored. They’re not necessarily ignorant.

So, gag order E.O. 464 needs to be fine-tuned and retooled to include the nation’s populace.

If not, we’ll see more of the unconventional application of hosing down, oops, hushing the noisy rabble-rousers—remember her project called “Patubig ni Gloria?”

Living under the gun

WE’RE flattered. We’re even tickled pink.

Yeah, forewarned is forearmed: one of our tireless newsmen covering the justice beat turned in a report we can construe as a slug of flattery. Here: NBI spying on GMA ‘enemies’ in media.

We don’t exactly swear by that worn-out “the penis, oops, pen is mightier than the sword.” Fact is, we’d rather rely on an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and a private army of Sex Bomb Dancers.

Some of us beef that up with a clutch of oraciones in pidgin Latin. To ward off deviltry. To shoo a mélange of malignant influences. Those hideous influences stem mostly from hang-over, digestive problems from junk food, sagging libido, and erectile dysfunction. Throw in ubiquitous creditors and lovers. Plus bills— light, water, amortization, rent, tuition fees. Pesky expenses like those hound us, won’t get off our wracked backs and paltry paychecks.

See? Our species are lavished with attention more than we can bear.

We reckon that the current Malacañang resident, president, whatever, she has lots of enemies.

Shadowing ‘em enemies would entail fielding lots and lots of people. But that’s wonderful. That makes a lot of sense. Hiring spies and snitches to work for NBI ought to wipe out the nation’s… (Drum roll in thunderous crescendo) unemployment problem!

Zero unemployment—bear that in mind. Wild applause.

We can achieve zero unemployment by hiring people to keep tabs on ‘em GMA enemies, especially those in media.

We’re flattered. Really. We have not toiled in vain. In good cheer, we welcome our shadowing, the undue attention, the prying snouts and snots.

This is fun. Fantastic! All’s well that ends swell.

Say, some of us newsmen may be a little allergic to such display of unwanted attention. We might develop some form of diaper rash, hiccups or colic. Such symptoms of irritation ought to pass—we’ll cope somehow, we’ll get around. It’s a small price to pay for living under the gun.

Rest assured that we won’t sue for sexual harassment and inflation of our egos.

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