Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the December 15, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

“Just ‘coz you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” – George Carlin

Two years ago, I wrote “You can’t hide the smell of shit by covering it with a piece of paper.” It was in reaction to the Supreme Court allowing executive privilege to be used as a means to conceal criminal activity.

Today, I’m saying it again because the Court just used the constitutional clause on equal protection to keep criminal activity concealed.

When will the Court learn that covering the smell of shit with a piece of paper is an exercise in futility?

The ponencia declared Executive Order 1 unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the equal protection clause. (Note: That is the only constitutional infirmity mentioned in the ponencia.)

“ … it must be borne in mind that the Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution…”

“… The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo administration…”

In the vernacular, what the Court said was, “pare-pareho lang silang lahat, bakit si Arroyo ang pinag-iinitan?”

I’m related to a former president and I know my ancestor did not cheat to win the presidency. And he did not plunder the country after he assumed power. He served our nation honestly and to the best of his ability. He was not a liar, a cheat, and a thief. His presidency was unblemished by widespread reports of impropriety. How can he be in the same class as Gloria Arroyo?

I’m sure that others also related to past presidents feel as I do. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the children of Diosdado Macapagal by his first wife are also insulted by the Court’s assertion that their father belongs in the same class as their stepsister. You simply cannot put a midget in the same category as giants.

A writer sharing her experience going through immigration in another corrupt country pointed out another quality that distinguishes Arroyo from presidents who were found to be corrupt: “I was departing a country where corruption was endemic in the culture and arriving half a day later in a country where the midget president had elevated it — not to an art form for she lacked finesse, but to wholesale trade.” Gloria Arroyo is in a class of her own.

The justices did not do justice to the equal protection clause. They made a mockery of it.

They used it to chop off the legs of the President and cripple our system of checks and balances; they used it to place on the official record the canard that the giants of our great nation are nothing more than moral midgets; and, worst of all, after admitting that they heard the people express their sovereign will in the last election, they invented an excuse to smother it instead of heeding it.

I would like to see those justices who blackened the name of all past presidents create their own truth commissions, one justice per president excluding Estrada, Ramos, and Marcos because they were already investigated. Let’s see if those “sin verguenzas” can support their malicious assertion that all past presidents were as corrupt as the one they continue to shield from accountability.

Mga walanghiya! Nagpapalusot lang kayo ng magnanakaw idadamay pa ninyo pati yun mga walang kasalanan at patay na.