Indications of Guilt

The Black & White Movement
Vicente R. Romano III, 0920.961.5610
Leah Navarro, 0917.898.1957
19 September 2007

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. – – Abraham Lincoln, (attributed) 16th president of US (1809 – 1865)

The Arroyo administration must think that all Filipinos are stupid enough to believe that the hasty and covert departure of the First Gentleman, conveniently on the eve of Joey de Venecia’s testimony at the Senate, at which Mr. de Venecia ultimately identified the First Gentleman as the mystery man who tried to bully him out of the ZTE deal, was merely coincidental.

In legalese, flight is an indication of guilt.

Even if it were true that Mr. Arroyo left for a “vacation” or for his “health”, depending on which explanation you buy, we would expect that a person of his stature would want to cut a trip short to defend his honor in the face of a serious allegation.

The Black & White Movement supports the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in its search for the truth through the power and authority vested in it by the constitution to summon and compel persons who can shed light on the alleged anomalies attendant to this project. The people have the right to hear all sides of this sordid story especially if we end up paying billions for this NBN deal.

As of this writing, three members of the Cabinet (Peter Favila, Leandro Mendoza, and Romulo Neri) as well as Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos have confirmed their attendance at tomorrow’s Blue Ribbon Committee hearing. That is good news. It is our hope that these men will prove to be as candid and forthright as Mr. de Venecia was at yesterday’s meeting.

If Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has nothing to hide, then it is in her best interest and that of the nation to be transparent and open instead of invoking EO 464 or MO 108. It is also not in her best interest that her allies wage a campaign to discredit Mr. de Venecia. It only makes them sound like panic stricken chickens.

We beg the Supreme Court to adjudicate with urgency legal and constitutional questions related to this controversy that we expect will be elevated to its office by involved parties. The truth must not be impeded by legal technicalities. The people deserve to know now.

On past issues, GMA has been quick to dismiss these as politically motivated and she counters with her priorities, “I have a country to run, an economy to build, and a war to win.” In this particular case, we believe the allegations are serious and the alleged offenses so grave that GMA cannot simply ask her detractors to back off.

We suggest that GMA add one more line to her priorities… “I have a lot to explain.”

We all have to link and expand our ranks till the entire country is bound together with the strength and the ardor of our resolve. I do not exaggerate when I say this could be our last chance to save democracy in the Philippines. The darkness thickens and we have to move. – Joaquin “Chino” Roces, 1985

Bobby Kennedy – “Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws–but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted–when we tolerate what we know to be wrong–when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened–when we fail to speak up and speak out–we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”