Mr. Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. “Woe is me” was published in the Business Mirror on September 24, 2008, page A6.

“A political organization is a transferable commodity. You could not find a better way of killing virtue than by packing it into one of these contraptions which some gang of thieves is sure to find useful.” –John Jay Chapman

My palace mole came through again. He sold me another page purloined from the queen’s diary.

Dear Diary:

I’m off to New York City once again. My press secretary said, “President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has decided to proceed with her planned visit to New York to attend the High-Level Debate of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and for other high-level meetings with global leaders.”

As you can see, it’s not a junket this time around. The UNGA will be addressing growing global hunger and poverty and they need the world’s foremost expert on the subject to explain how she made it work for her.

But that’s not the only reason why I’m going to New York.  I need to talk to “high level banking and financial officials” to find out how much, if any, did the GSIS chairman invest in those high-yield investment papers.

As my press secretary explained, “There is going to be a dialogue or briefing from high level banking and financial officials. We all know that financial markets in the US are going down and whether we like it or not, we are affected although how severe it would be is not yet known.”  I intend to find out.

By the way, I wonder why my press secretary keeps using “high level” to describe my activities. Should I buy him a thesaurus?

Anyway, I wanted to be out of Manila to distance myself from the plan to extend my term. I don’t want to stay after my lease expires in 2010, believe me.

I know I changed my mind before, but that was then. I had a family to take care of.

Now don’t get me wrong, by “family” I don’t mean only the Macapagal-Arroyo family. I’m also talking about my political family.

Do you know how many very hungry mouths there are in that family? They were the ones who begged me to run in 2004. I relented because I felt I owed them.

2005 sealed my fate. There was no turning back after I was caught talking to Garci. I was not going to go down alone.  Family members in Congress, the Court, the state security apparatus, the business world, and the Church knew they were going to go down with me if they didn’t do what had to be done.

They all understood the problem and quick fixes followed. Fake impeachment complaints were accepted and legitimate ones were trashed.  An Ombudsman was brought in to backstop charges we could not evade and the High Court sat on cases it could not rule on without appearing too biased. The Church, true to its calling, came through and ignored the public’s demand for accountability through impeachment.

Things were beginning to smooth over when the 2007 election followed by the ZTE-NBN expose threw everything out of whack. Those two events made the Family realize that, from then on, it was a fight to the finish.

I thought the Family meant 2010. I didn’t realize they had something else in mind: to use me as their “get out of jail” card for as long as they could.

The country is gagged and bound. My team at the Supreme Court ruled that any deal involving me is off-limits to inquiring minds, Merceditas Gutierrez is Ombudsman, and Raul Gonzalez is at justice. The state security services pledged to stand by me, and the state spiritual security service, the Catholic Church, discerned that the real threat to the country’s morals was birth control, not the Family’s shenanigans.

Nothing stands between the Family and the nation’s vault, and they will always have me to blame in case the shit hits the fan. That’s why the Family will not allow me to ride off into the sunset come 2010.

I am now a contraption for a gang of thieves. Woe is me.