Justice is “Weather-Weather”

Janet Lim-Napoles gets a life sentence for illegally detaining Benhur Luy and Luy said: “This is God’s justice.”

I don’t know about that because, as they say, God works in mysterious ways. God could change its mind (neither a he nor she in my mind, but a mysterious powerful force that is beyond gender) in the next administration or when the case is appealed to the higher court.

As Erap Estrada would say (yes, I believe he famously said it first before Kuya Kim): “Ang buhay ay weather-weather lang.” Come to think of it, he could even be our next president. Again.

Or as another Erap joke goes: Erap announced that he is running “bilang pangalawang pangulo” and someone asked, “Bakit ho vice-president lang?” And Erap, confused, replied: “Ha? Hindi vice-president kundi president. Kasi nga di ba naging pangulo na ako nung una? Pangalawa na ito!”

Speaking of vice-presidents, many Filipinos believe that Napoles will be pardoned if Vice-President Jojo Binay becomes the next president. Just like many Filipinos believe that Liberal Party officials have not been charged with any cases of corruption under the PNoy administration. Yup. Weather-weather.

After all, wasn’t it Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who granted Erap, the president she betrayed in EDSA Dos, with absolute, unconditional presidential pardon? It is the legal basis they used why Erap can still run for public office despite having been convicted of “a crime involving moral turpitude” (I am just assuming here that plunder, considered a heinous crime, is a crime involving moral turpitude, but I may be wrong).

But, wait, being convicted of a crime apparently does not automatically disqualify you from running for public office in this country. Yes, even heinous crimes. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who insists up to this day that she was cheated of the presidency by Fidel V. Ramos in 1992, intends to change all that. She filed Senate Resolution 2568 that proposes to amend the plunder law to “make it impossible for one who has been convicted of plunder to hold public office.” Kind of making legal what is already logical.

Speaking of plunder, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (whose late father had not been convicted of plunder but inspired the enactment of the country’s Anti-Plunder Law and the beginning of the changes in Switzerland’s global asset recovery policy) might be running for president, too. I wonder who he will grant presidential pardon to if elected into office. And will he keep the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Commission on Human Rights?

And speaking of human rights, will the death penalty make a grand comeback if Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte becomes president? And will that include convicted plunderers? What kind of a justice system will this former prosecutor advocate for? Will it be inspired by the justice of the God of the Old Testament? Many speculate that the growth in our economy under a Duterte administration might be led by the “death industry” (you know, embalming, funeral services, memorial parks, and the like) if you base it from what you read from his very interesting interview on the March 2015 issue of Esquire Philippines. And will Duterte pardon Noynoy Aquino if the latter, in some absurd soap operatic twist of fate “only-in-the-Philippines” style, later gets convicted for conspiracy to commit multiple murders (or as Senator Alan Peter Cayetano would say, “massacre”) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao?  Or will Noynoy get the death penalty?

Speaking of Mamasapano, do we even still consider DILG Secretary Mar Roxas a presidentiable at this point?

Well, a lot can still happen between now and the 2016 presidential elections. There might be a coup d’etat. Or a US intervention. Or a major volcanic eruption. Or all of the above as in the case of PNoy’s mother’s administration. Meanwhile, we should watch what happens at the Court of Appeals. There are rumors justice can be bought there for a couple of millions. Yes, even “God’s justice” (thank you for the divine branding of that one, Benhur Luy, you just increased their asking price).

This, my dear concerned peoples of the world, is what we mean when we say “it’s more fun in the Philippines!” Because talking about the weather here is never boring. Not at all.

First appeared on Mindanao Times, April 16, 2015