The Romans would have run out of trees had the crowd chosen this country’s horde of thieves over Jesus. That is if the plunderers now were caught.
That is if the country’s thieves were alive then. That is if the Romans had a tribuni plebis who is not Merceditas Gutierrez.
Barabas the Thief would perhaps get convicted faster than the plundering horde although the debate continues if Barabas was just a common criminal as he was portrayed in the Bible.
For the story IS: Barabas was actually one of those who fought the Romans. He was a Zealot.
That means that he rebelled against the Romans.
That means that he would have been convicted had the Ombudsman been Merceditas Gutierrez.
For the way the Romans lorded over the known world was more like how Merci’s kumare lorded over this patch of Earth.
That is Gloria being the Emperor and Merci as the prefect of her Praetorian guards with all the solons who availed of the funds and largesse under GMA’s term as the Urban Cohorts.
GMA ruled with impunity and Merci the prefect was to make sure that that impunity would remain even after her Caesar’s reign was over.
Give it to GMA’s sense of history. Like Augustus Caesar who formed the Praetorian Guards after the assassination of Julius Caesar, she made sure that she would not go the way of her disgraced predecessor.
This past Kwaresma saw the Ombudsman filing an obviously late case – six years in the making – against those involved in the fertilizer fund scam
While she did include former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, the kumpare of her kumare’s husband, I can only wonder what happened to the other solons who benefitted from the fertilizer funds and the other parties involved in what then Senate Ramon Magsaysay called as the “rape of the nation.”
The Ombudsman also forgot that the fertilizer funds were disbursed to at least 26 mayors, 49 governors and 103 congressmen according to former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez.
It might be instructive for the Ombudsman to re-read (if she has already done so) or read, if she hasn’t yet, the Senate report on the fertilizer fund scam that clearly points out the grand scheme orchestrated by Bolante to benefit GMA during the 2004 elections.
It is clear that the Ombudsman simply wants to make it appear that she did file the case now that the Senate will sit try the impeachment case against her.
It is clear that the Ombudsman simply wants to put up a defense before the impeachment court that there is no basis for the complainants to claim that no charges were filed against those allegedly responsible for the scam.
“Palusot na lang na, switikon ya pa ta ba,” my friend, Kusog the Panday, told me while we were having coffee.
And it does make sense.
For how can the Ombudsman explain that such a thorough investigation that took all of six years would result to the filing of charges against a witness, Jose Barredo?
And unless the Ombudsman has been so inspired by the Biblical story of Lazarus, how could she explain that she included a dead man in the charge sheet?
She apparently forgot that Gumersindo Lasam, then Department of Agriculture regional director for Cagayan Valley, was already dead, ambushed two years ago by two men while he was on his way to his farm in Barangay Basi West, Solana, Cagayan province.
The Senate Blue Ribbon and Agriculture and Food Committees put it so succinctly in their findings: “The committees demand the truth. The Filipino farmers deserve no less.”
If the Ombudsman really wanted to satisfy the demand for truth, it would have at least attempted to come up with a more credible investigation by avoiding the mistake of filing charges against a dead man.
That Lasam, who is publicly known to have died, was included in the charge sheet does not speak well of the Ombudsman.
The Ilonggos have a way of describing it: “Gingamitan sang tiil.”
To put it simply, the Ombdusman’s investigation is as bad as the acting of Mikey Arroyo.
“To this date, no effort on her part has been made, no categorical denial was even heard; but all allegations and testimonies point to (President Arroyo) benefiting the most in an intricate scheme of deception and fraud; only this much the committees of the Senate know: that the fertilizer fund was misused. It was corrupted. It was intended to assure her victory. Mrs. President, could it be true?”
This was how the Senate described the stonewalling of GMA in its report.
Until now, President Arroyo has yet to answer this.
And until now, the representative of the people – that is the Ombudsman – never made sure that GMA would be held accountable.
Indeed, holy camote!