Buencamino is the resident satirist of Action of Economic Reforms, where he is a fellow. This was published in the December 23, 2009 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out? – Will Rogers

St. Luke’s hospital gave Gloria Arroyo a clean bill of health. Her implants were not leaking. But that does not mean Gloria has no problem with her boobs. She does. Her boobs talk. And they say the most embarrassing and damning things.

There was too much speculation on whether or not Mrs. Gloria Arroyo was protecting the Ampatuans so presidential spokesgirl Lorelei Fajardo decided to set the record straight.

“Just because they’re in this situation doesn’t mean we will already turn our backs on them. It doesn’t mean that they are no longer our friends, if ever they, indeed, committed the crime.”

That was the last statement Lorelei was ever going to make as deputy presidential spokegirl. She was fired for telling the truth, for putting into context why Mrs. Gloria Arroyo had to send her presidential adviser on Mindanao to negotiate a voluntary surrender for the principal suspect in the massacre, to wait for days for the suspect to make up his mind, and to welcome him with a hug and a handshake when he finally gave himself up.

Justice secretary-designate Agnes Devanadera claimed a rebellion in Maguindanao was preventing the courts from functioning but Rep. Didagen Dilangalen, congressman from Maguindanao and Arroyo ally, showed her up.

“For your information, Branch 15 vacant since death of judge, not filled by Office of the President; branch 13, 14 it is not true there are no judges; they are on travel with approval of Supreme Court… the other judges are on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia with approval of Supreme Court. And Supreme Court spokesman belied your assertion justice system not functioning, SC had designated judge who issued commitment order.” (This and the following quotes are lifted from Manuel Quezon III’s live blog report.)

Meanwhile, Rep. Edcel Lagman, congressman from Bicol and staunch Arroyo ally, gave Devanadera a lecture on the law.

“Lagman: To my mind non-functioning of civil authorities would be indicative of sedition, not rebellion… But sedition is not ground for declaring martial law.

“Devanadera: Sedition definitely, is different from rebellion…

“Lagman: My point is, preventing civil authorities from exercising their function is an element of sedition….Review the report given us to by PNP Caro, there is no mention that prior to Dec. 4 there was public uprising, an armed uprising against the government, so that would negate factual basis of declaration of martial law and suspension of writ.”

Devanadera gave a further demonstration of her expertise in Constitutional law when she told Sen. Francis Pangilinan, “Neither arrest nor search warrants required during martial law.”

“Pangilinan: So martial law suspends other parts of Bill of Rights?

“Devanadera: Yes, for charge of rebellion.”

Devanadera’s interpretation of the Constitution is the “get out of jail” card of the Ampatuans. That’s why Gloria’s loudest talking boob, Cerge Remonde, immediately laid the groundwork for finger pointing in the likely event that the Ampatuans- escape conviction.

“They (anti-martial law people) do not say it out loud, but a Supreme Court decision favorable to their cause could nullify the arrest of the suspects and may render the evidence against them inadmissible. So, are they now so concerned about the welfare and well-being of the suspects in this gruesome crime?”

So those opposed to martial law are to be held responsible if the Supreme Court decides to throw out evidence gathered in search and seizure operations not allowed by the Constitution?

In retrospect, Lorelei’s statement must have pushed Gloria to declare martial law.  She was forced to proclaim that there is actually something that even she could not tolerate. At the same time, the “mistakes” that would happen under martial law would prove to the Ampatuans that she was doing her damnedest best to help them beat the murder raps. And so everybody is happy.

Merry Christmas to all.