Sorry state

Two days ago, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has finally broken her three week silence and admitted that it was indeed her speaking in the leaked recordings being widely circulated around the country. The recordings were supposedly taped phone conversations between the Arroyo and election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano discussing election fraud, particularly vote padding for Ms. Arroyo.

During her televised admittance, she said she’s sorry for her lapse of judgment in calling the commissioner and defended her actions by claiming that she was only trying to protect her votes. She denied any wrongdoing and said that the country as a whole should move on from this scandal.

Perhaps thinking that the Filipinos would quickly tire of this latest controversy, she chose to wait three weeks for it to die down. When it didn’t, her camp moved on to plan B and formulated this apology, hoping that it would appease the quick-to-forgive,quick-to-forget public. Wrong again, since the public are now clamouring for her to resign. If this latest controversy wasn’t preceeded by the jueteng allegations against her husband, she might have had a chance but as it stands now, it looks like she better be ready to face the music and soon.

What gets to me is Ms. Arroyo’s gall in categorising her phone call to the commissioner as a mere lapse in judgment. Surely, she would have been aware that what she was doing at the time was unethical and unfair to the other candidates? Where is the sense of delicadeza(decency)? Her camp claims that the tapes have been edited and doctored so I won’t even go into the contents of the conversation. Her admission that she made the call is enough to make me question her intent. Why even make this inappropriate call? Doesn’t she trust the commissioner, whom she appointed herself? What is she so afraid of? How did she think the opposition capable of cheating her out of her votes when she was the one with power and resources to do just that?

The latest news is that Mike Arroyo, Gloria’s husband, is leaving the country. The reasoning being offered for this sudden departure is “to remove these distractions and doubts from our people.” The president was calling it a personal sacrifice but it certainly looks like a guilty party trying to fleeing the scene while he still can, while his accomplice covers for him.

Her apology came too little, too late and he’s departing the country without answering the allegations hurled against him. The whole thing reeks of insincerity and cover-ups. Sorry Ms. Arroyo, apologising does not absolve you of your sins this time. The country is in a sorry state and you’ve done little (some may argue, nothing) to elevate the Filipinos’ quality of life. Saying sorry just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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Published in: on June 29, 2005 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment