A Tenuous Victory for Arroyo

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 13:44:00 04/02/2008

The Supreme Court decision upholding the right of Romulo Neri to invoke executive privilege in refusing to answer the queries of senators regarding the role of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the approval of the National Broadband Network contract with ZTE of China provided the Arroyo government with the legal weapon to continue concealing not only the truth but its many crimes against the people. It gave primacy to the right of the executive over the right of the people to information affecting their lives, and it practically clipped the oversight functions of Congress.

Worse, the decision tainted the integrity of the only remaining branch of government that, before this controversial decision, has not yet been debased by the Arroyo government in its desperate attempt to stay in power. The Arroyo administration has once more utilized its dominant number in government to subvert the will and suppress the rights of the majority of the Filipino people. It has practically closed one of the few remaining venues where the people can seek redress against the abuses of power of the executive.

The Arroyo government has closed the door on the impeachment process with the consolidation of its hold on the Lower House of Congress. It has clipped the investigative powers of Senate. It has been using the Justice Department to legitimize its illegal acts and to persecute its critics. It has rendered the Office of the Ombudsman inutile. And now this!

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How wide already is the extent of the damages that corruption has done to our institutions? How difficult will it be and how long will it take to repair these damages?

When evil strikes, it really hits hard and wide.

It was not so long ago when former Chief Justice Hilario Davide (who is from Cebu) called the Supreme Court as "the last bulwark of democracy." But now, this last defensive wall of our democracy has started to be breached -- if not already being penetrated.

What a lamentable time this is for our democracy.

Vessel of honor, vessel of dishonor

I recalled a portion from Paul's letter to
the Romans wherein he was driving a point regarding the controversy of God's sovereignty. Paul used the case of Pharaoh whose heart God hardened in order for His plan and purpose be fulfilled through him.

[Romans 9:17-22] The Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth.” So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires. You will say then to me, “Why does he still find fault? For who withstands his will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Or hasn't the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction?

Lady, did you remember this word? How about this word?