In Memory of a Presidency
Dearly departed, we have gathered here today to mourn the passing of a Presidency.
She was a good President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; for if she weren’t, she would not have stayed in power for nine years. She was shrewd, intelligent, tactical, strategic, brilliant. We shall have fond memories of her in the roads that we travel in, the overpasses that we walk on, the stores and grain silos that bear her initials in the verdant fields of the Philippines. We shall remember her commitment to the economy, to political stability, to peace and to progress. Yet though she may leave the Palace, we shall not forget…
The orgies of cheating, the sprees of scandals, the prostitution of our freedoms, and the whoring of our land.
As her staunchest defenders once challenged us to wait for history to judge and absolve her, here we are at the gates… with no absolution in sight. She sneaks away in the glow of a victory by her opponents, ready to move on to Congress to continue her legacy of shame, to continue building her Pantheon of disgrace. History shall absolve her, banking on the memory of her next few years in Congress for a more favorable verdict than her nine years of a pox masquerading as a Presidency, a lesion disguised as a necessity, and a festering sore passed off as patriotism.
We shall not forget the Strong Republic and all its nautical highways; the very ones that swallowed ships alive under her watch.
We shall not forget the modernization platforms that promised “take-off,” at the expense of scandals under-rug-swept, hoodwinking and robbing the average Filipino taxpayer out of his hard-earned wages because this was the price of modernization.
We shall not forget that phone call that sealed her possession of the chambers of her de facto Empire, to that heathen malcontent affectionately known as “Garci.”
We shall not forget her sumptuous meals and feasts and banal hobnobbing with the rich and famous as a former President was dying, as a storm was wreaking havoc on her land.
We shall not forget the truncheons, the water cannons, the dispersals, the arrests and the sting operations that was the hallmark of her democracy: one that stifles dissent, opposition, and the will of the people.
We shall not forget every scandal that hounded her, for those things have – and those things will – judge her.
Yea, though she walks down the valley in the shadow of a seat in Congress, she must fear, for we all watch over her.
She was a good President, so she says, so her defenders say, so her supporters surmise; for if she weren’t, she would not have stayed in power for nine years. Yet she was devious, deceitful, irresponsible, cunning, and even ruthless. The vengeance of the now will have her in memories of ZTE, Hello Garci, BJE-MOA-AD, Morong 43, and an endless list of political and social sins that should be thrown back to her, to make her answerable for everything she ever did to the Filipino people. As she leaves the Palace, let us not forget, and let us make her know she’s not welcome here anymore.
In four weeks, her Presidency is all but dead.