Time for circumspection is past
The bishops said the search for truth has been blocked and evaded. True. But the pastoral statement they issued after their plenary council meeting last weekend made no mention about who did the evading or obstructing. There’s a time for diplomacy and circumspection, and a time for raining hail and brimstone on unrepentant cheaters, liars and thieves. By their timidity, the shepherds sadly let their flock down.
Let’s do a quick review of the "Hello Garci" scandal. Sometime in May, the opposition got hold of the "Hello Garci" tapes. Seeking to preempt disclosure of the tapes, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye came out with two CDs on June 6. According to Bunye, one, the conversations between Gloria and Garcillano, was fake. The other, the genuine recording, contained the conversations between Gloria and "Garry," said to be a staffer of Rep. Ignacio "Jose Pidal" Arroyo.
When the House opened its inquiry, Garcillano could not be found. The Palace consistently ignored calls to help locate Garcillano and there were credible reports that a couple of Cabinet members helped hide Garcillano and even facilitated his flight to Singapore.
When an impeachment complaint was filed against Gloria, the Palace threatened, cajoled and bought congressmen to ensure the unsubstantiated case filed by Oliver Lozano was brought before the plenary. The administration congressmen then proceeded to dismiss the complaint for lack of substance.
Garcillano has since surfaced, appearing before the joint House panels, whose "unreliable" chairmen had been sacked. The lying has not ceased.
The Senate opened a separate inquiry into the national security implications of the wiretapping which has been traced to the Intelligence Service of the AFP. Save for Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and Lt. Col. Alexander Balutan, not one of the invited AFP officers have appeared before the Senate, invoking Executive Order 464. Gudani and Balutan have been threatened with court martial for attending the hearings.
In contrast, Rear Adm. Tirso Danga, the head of Isafp during the time the wiretapping took place, has just been named chief of the Western Command, one of the six unified area commands. Two generals mentioned in the "Garci" tapes as having helped rig the elections in favor of Gloria have been promoted. Maj. Gen. Gabriel Habacon is the new chief of the Southern Command. Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon is the commanding general of the Army and is slated to take over as chief of staff when Gen. Generoso Senga retires this year.
And Gloria? She remains ensconced in Malacañang and continues to weave her veil of deceit that even the bishops apparently are reluctant to pierce.