In the reform movement, we often have a cynical view of people in government. They’re all bad and corrupt. They just want to collect their paychecks and bribes without rocking the broken system. It’s just us versus them, black and white, all the time.
More and more, however, we’re seeing shades of grey. We’re seeing people inside government who want to do something good. These are the people we must strategically ally with, if nothing more (but hopefully more) to support them when they stand up to the corrupted system by simply trying to do their jobs properly.
Yes, as far as legal arguments and the technicality of court orders, it’s hard to comment on this favorably. However, what is evident is a man wholly frustrated with a corrupt administration + lackeys and their exploitation of the judicial system to further their personal vendettas and greed. I’m sure the administration will react to this court order with responses of “It’s unprofessional” and “Opining doesn’t fall under the prerogative of a judge” and “A sitting president can’t be forced to testify” and other regurgitations of the legal maneuvering they have so successfully used to avoid the reasonable execution of justice. But, if they can so brazenly prostitute our legal system to, among other aims, intimidate, threaten and silence opposition, why shouldn’t a judge use the public pulpit he has to respond.
It’s hard to pick a favorite section of this document: alluding to Mike Arroyo’s health problems as punishment for evil, suggesting that Mike Defensor could suffer a similar fate (and appealing to his family on that front), the very suggestion of Alfredo Lim, Ping Lacson and Antonio Trillianes arresting the fugitive Arroyos (though I think the kind judge meant it as a warning, I thoroughly appreciate and savor the image).
But, I think for practical purposes there is a key point we should keep in mind. This judge will not hesitate to call and if necessary compel the Arroyos to stand as witnesses. Though they can do their legal (and medical – thank you to the honorable St. Luke’s doctors) acrobatics to say that a sitting president cannot be compelled to testify, May 2010 is 12 short months away. Yet another reason to count down.