By all means, let the PCGG do it. Now na!
By Jason de Asis
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 14, 2010-With the Supreme Court’s decision striking down as unconstitutional the Truth Commission, it’s providential perhaps for the Aquino administration to let the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) handle the job of investigating and prosecuting former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on corruption charges.
As we can see, creating a Truth Commission through Congress will require another tedious process and the rah-rah boys of GMA will surely move heaven and earth – or even hell if I may add – just to block the creation of such a commission to probe their boss.
Senator Franklin Drilon’s pronouncements to have the PCGG unravel the GMA plunder story made my day. Drilon, a former justice secretary, said the High Court had also ruled in a number of cases in favor of the PCGG and confirmed the extent of the commission’s power to conduct investigation on graft and corruption cases unrelated to the Marcos administration.
“The PCGG Charter (composed of Executive Order Nos. 1, 2 and 14) does not violate equal protection clause… To justify nullification of a law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution… considering that a reasonable or classification exists wherein persons similarly situated are charged and accorded due process…” Drilon said, citing the 1991 case of Cesar Virata vs. Sandiganbayan.
Drilon also upheld the memorandum of former appellate court justice Magdangal Elma, presidential assistant for special concerns, saying that President Benigno Aquino III has the power to direct the PCGG to look into graft and corruption cases that rocked the Arroyo administration, as provided under Executive Order (EO) No. 1 that created the commission in 1986.
While EO 1 of 1986 issued by President Corazon Aquino created the PCGG to recover ill-gotten wealth accumulated by President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies, Section 2 (b) of the said executive issuance states that the commission can investigate “such cases of graft and corruption as the President may assign to the commission from time to time,” Drilon said.
By all means, let’s do it. Let’s investigate GMA and let her have her day in court. Let her cronies and sycophants stop short of invoking human rights and established jurisprudence to prevent her from escaping the rule of law for her own whim and caprices.
I felt extremely relieved to learn that the PCGG’s power is not limited to ill-gotten wealth cases in connection with President Marcos’ administration and that it can investigate other graft and corruption cases if the President assigns it to do so.
By all means, let’s all rally behind the PCGG and not let GMA off the hook, not let her do all sorts of excuses like Floyd Mayweather who blames everybody but himself for the aborted superfight with our very own Manny Pacquiao.
GMA can always run but she cannot hide. The time has come for her to face the truth and defend herself from accusations of plundering the nation’s wealth, the same claims she used in stealing the presidency from Erap in the celebrated “Juetengate” scandal.
The sooner the PCGG starts its job of prying into the scandals of GMA and the former First Couple, the better for us because the longer they evade trial, the harder it would be for this administration to run after them because they have mastered the art of a cover-up to their misdeeds. And the hardest it is for the Filipino nation to realize the extent of corruption committed by the previous regime.
As we all know, Filipinos have very short, fleeting memories. As much as possible, GMA would like to be away from the limelight and from the media kleigh lights because it would divert attention away from the scams in her administration and instead thrust into the spotlight the current dispensation.
We have enough of the lies peddled before us that GMA is innocent of the crimes she is being accused of. If she indeed is, then why the efforts to thwart attempts to have her investigated? If she is squeaky clean and immaculately innocent – unbelievably, that is – then she ought not to fear getting investigated. In the first place, cover-up is one of her known talents and given her track record in glossing over anomalies, there is no indication, whether sooner or later, that she won’t succeed in trying to cover up for her past sins.
So let’s bring it on. Let GMA appear before the bar of justice. Now na. Not later. Otherwise, it will just be a moro-moro and we will again see GMA go out of it with her trademark grin unscathed, unmarked and unaffected.
As one of her allies who claims to have an anti-corruption crusade – Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who condemns corruption in high places but clams up when it comes to GMA – was wont to say, “the only way for evil to triumph is for good men to nothing.”
Again, let’s do it. And again now na para magkaalaman na. (Jason de Asis)
In : SENATE BEAT