Itâ€™s obvious that the government, under the leadership of the politically embattled Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has upped the ante against its adversaries, who hugged the headlines lately. The tension increased when the Senate grilled National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales about his and Arroyoâ€™s involvement in the controversial Venable contract, which involves astronomical amount of money coming from governmentâ€™s cache. The contract raised controversies also for its secrecy as well as the divulged secret that it sought help from the US to fund the countryâ€™s charter change process.
In an attempt to recover from this major blunder, Malacanang scrapped the Venable deal.
Arroyo learned a hard lesson from the Venable controversy. She learned another hard lesson from the fact that the Senate was able to produce heroes in Brig. Gen. Gudani and Lt. Col. Balutan, who bore witness to an election fraud in Mindanao involving the first Gentleman. From these, the Executive Order 464 was promulgated. It prohibits top government officials to attend Congressional inquiries without permission from the President. The Senate expectedly cried foul, claiming that Malacanang tried to clip the legislatureâ€™s power to probe into the executive officialsâ€™ activities that have implications to the national interests.
Then came the implicit order â€œno permit, no rallyâ€, being mouthed by pro-Arroyo city officials. It obviously discourages any anti-Arroyo elements to mount rallies aimed against the President. The order, however, just adds fervor to the Opposition and the progressives as well. Likewise, even the Commission on Human Rights Chair Purificacion Quisumbing claims that the order is illegal. It works against the law promulgated ironicaly under the regime of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Then there was the sudden order by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales to arrest former Presidentiable and popular religious leader, Brother Eddie Villanueva, on charges of estafa filed in April this year by the kin of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. Politics, everyone saw from this order. This came days after the Jesus is Lord, Bro. Eddieâ€™s strong organization, celebrated its 27th year anniversary last October 2. Also attended by the â€œHyatt 10â€³, former government officials who severed ties from Arroyo and asked her to resign, as well as the congresspersons who pushed for Arroyoâ€™s impeachment, the anniversary-rally strongly pressured Arroyo to step down.
Expect more surprise orders to come. The political scientists and progressives call these â€˜gag ordersâ€™. I call these â€˜bubble gagsâ€™, in addition. Lacking legal, political, or moral merits, these orders just burst in our mouths, one after another.