16 February 2009

FSGO First Anniversary Statement

1st Anniversary Statement
16 February 2009


We, former senior government officials, rose in alarm and outrage last year when Engineer Jun Lozada was nearly martyred. Many of us were impelled to act against dictatorship by the blood of Ninoy at the tarmac in 1983 and we were again compelled to raise our voices in 2008 at the horror of an attempted kidnapping that could have silenced a whistleblower.

It has been a year since Jun Lozada decided to bear witness to corruption at the level of the couple Gloria and Miguel Arroyo. And sadly it has been yet another year of governing criminally.

We cry at the debasement of our democracy. Mrs. Arroyo rode on the backs of a people outraged with corruption in order to steal the presidency and then used her tenuous hold to lie and cheat for a lengthened stay. Mrs. Arroyo remains president in Malacanang without being legitimately elected into power. That alone makes her an affront to our republic born of a free people rising in revolt against stolen elections in 1986. We cry that power over our government and our collective future remains in the hands of an illegitimate leader.

Our people now look to 2010 as a constitutionally sacred deadline to finally end Mrs. Arroyo’s illegitimate tenure. We warn our people that, left unresisted, illegitimacy has no tenure, that a cheating and lying leader respects no constitutional limits. And we warn our people that the signs are clear: corruption is Mrs. Arroyo’s bribe to remain in power in the past, present, and future.

The corruption we hear, read and, above all, smell everywhere are the wages of evil in power. Corruption is the currency of Mrs. Arroyo’s administration. Corruption is the price of getting positions of authority, the cost of incompetence in those positions, and the inevitable result of tolerating an illegitimate ruler.

Corruption is the fertilizer nourishing Mrs. Arroyo’s evil to deepen its roots in our nation’s government. Corruption buys Congressional inaction to impeachment and possible complicity with tenure‐extending charter change. Corruption is the shopping bags of cash that keep governors and mayors coming to conspiratorial meetings for issuing statements of support. Corruption is the balm for generals’ troubled consciences, at least for those whose hands are still clean enough to retain a conscience. And corruption may eventually buy judicial tolerance to illegal rule and abuse of power, and may even offer incentives strong enough for providing judicial justification to extending that illegitimacy and abuse.

One year after the exposure of the NBN‐ZTE project as a veritable Chinese lauriat of corruption, no Senate report on its investigation has been issued; no Ombudsman case on anyone involved has advanced; no one in the administration has been suspended or fired, except one early retirement to “borjer‐dom” and golf heaven in Wack Wack.

Contrast the black holes of our institutions for accountability with the rest of the world. Over the past year, foreign institutions and governments have hit at Mrs. Arroyo’s corruption much more vigorously than our own government.

•Joc‐joc Bolante, whom Mrs. Arroyo encouraged to escape abroad, was returned to the Senate by US authorities.

• Mrs. Arroyo’s appointed police generals, allowed to travel abroad with obscene amounts of Ein cash in their carry‐on luggage, were exposed by Russian authorities.

• Mrs. Arroyo’s favored public works contractors, colluding with DPWH fixers to defraud oupeople, were formally sanctioned by the World Bank.

• And governments, investors, academics and ordinary people around the world generated perceptions, experiences, and indicators that ranked corruption in the Philippines among the worst in the world.

Filipinos themselves judge Mrs. Arroyo’s administration the most corrupt ever in their memories of other corrupt administrations. Corruption orchestrated by Gloria and Miguel Arroyo is more rampant, more deep‐seated, larger scale, and ultimately more nefarious than anything we Filipinos have experienced. It uses corruption to keep power and uses power to pursue corruption in a self‐reinforcing racket that perpetuates evil in power.

In this year of global crisis, nations all over the world are turning to their governments to protect their collective welfare and sustain their productive capacities against the onslaught of a terrible global contraction in financial resources and economic demand. The Philippines cannot escape the ravages of the ongoing global decline in credit, investment, production, and consumption. Unfortunately, our government under Mrs. Arroyo offers nothing. To our fears of economic insecurity, Mrs. Arroyo mouths assurances as false as “I will not run” in 2002 to “I am sorry” in 2005. To our hopes of public action to mitigate private pains, Mrs. Arroyo lays out more pork, more patronage, and yet more opportunities for corruption that enriches only her coterie of conspirators against our democracy.

We are witnessing the inevitable consequences of corruption becoming the currency of governing. Selfish and self‐serving motivations crowd out rule of law, devotion to public good, and pursuit of sustainable development. Everything is considered from the standpoint of what can be stolen by those in power; hence, all decisions and actions are driven by corruption. For example, corruption infests the enforcement of illegal drug laws, then infests the criminal justice system where such cases are brought, and infests public policy where Mrs. Arroyo as anti‐drug mini‐czar orders drug tests of students as prime measure to fight the breakdown of law enforcement against drug lords.

We will not have a useful or effective government unless we root out corruption in its brains, muscles, and bones. And the tumor that is Mrs. Arroyo’s evil at the center of power is growing daily, corrupting everything in its path to stay in power today and tomorrow, and tomorrow. And yet another year of governing criminally.

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