Buencamino writes political commentary for the NGO Action for Economic Reforms.

There is a Beatles song called Nowhere Man and the lyrics go,“He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody….” The lyrics are perfect for a certain woman with nowhere to go.

She cannot escape accountability for her conversations with Garci. Clinton had to answer for his cigar with Lewinsky, Mrs. Arroyo will have to answer for her Garci. And yet, against all reason, she tries all sorts of tricks to distract the public’s attention from her unforgivable act.

Before she delivered her famous “apology without repentance and restitution”, she called on Ninoy Aquino’s widow and compared herself to the martyr. It didn’t wash. No one in his right mind accepted the parallel between the man who was assassinated for trying to restore democracy and the little woman who effectively killed it by cheating. Mrs Gloria Arroyo looked ridiculous sprawled on the floor, pretending she was Ninoy. It’s a good thing Mrs. Cory Aquino did not retch and trip over her prostrate figure.

After confessing to a lapse in judgment that she made when the counting was already over, she announced she was going to exile her husband (who left for Hong Kong but returned to Manila). She said something that I understood as, “Once again my family will be sacrificed so I can continue to stay in Malacañang.”

Except for her captive audience of businessmen who couldn’t pass up a lunch at the Manila Polo Club, everybody in the country watched and applauded as Susan Roces sliced and diced her for lunch. But people also felt sad for her. They prayed she would come to her senses and reunite with her family abroad.

Susan Roces’speech brought out the best from Mrs. Arroyo’s toads. Sitting on a leaf floating in what is now a cesspool, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez croaked that Susan Roces was nothing but a “griping widow.” To put some salt on the grieving widow’s wounds, he added with a chuckle, “She can keep on griping. It’s very clear that her husband was not destined to be president because he died of natural causes.”  A lawyer filed a defective impeachment case against Mrs. Arroyo and an administration congressman immediately endorsed it. And when Mrs. Aquino appealed to the public to stay within the Constitution, Mrs. Arroyo’s satraps didn’t waste a second before twisting the statement as an endorsement of her continued usurpation of Malacañang.

In a way, it’s Mrs. Aquino’s fault for not simply coming out and saying what she probably had in mind,”Please resign, sin verguenza, it’s allowed under the Constitution.”

A civil society group decided that maybe an independent truth commission was the right thing to have. The fact that Bill Luz of Namfrel endorsed the idea should have raised serious doubts immediately.

Bill Luz still has to respond to IT expert Roberto Verzola’s charge that Luz and his Namfrel legitimized Mrs. Arroyo’s cheating. Besides, why do the people need a truth commission to tell them what they heard? We can pick up everything we need from the tapes, thank you.

Administration congressmen voted to accept Atty. Alan Paguia’s tapes to open the doors to all available tapes, including those which are rumored to be in production by the Malacañang dirty-tricks boys. The idea is to inundate the public with many different tapes in the hope of sowing confusion. However, it ain’t going to work unless the new tapes edit out “Hello Garci.”

The latest rumor is that Mrs. Arroyo will try to drag out the controversy until the State of the Nation Address (SONA) where she will announce Charter change in 2007. The message is: she will only occupy Malacañang for another two years because Charter change can be done in the wink of an eye. Of course, the usual suspects in business and civil society will endorse this tactic. It will be hailed as a reasonable compromise, and appeals to go on with the business of looting the country will be made.

I don’t know, but whenever I see her on TV I think, “She’s a real nowhere gal, sitting in her nowhere land, making all her nowhere plans for nobody….”

Hey, nowhere girl, get off the stage—your number’s over.