The arrival in the country of ex-agriculture secretary Cito Lorenzo, at face value, is a positive development in the country’s desire to finally resolve the fertilizer scam that has already hounded us for more than six years. We shall see if the administration and its Truth Commission will walk the talk by not giving any special treatment to Lorenzo, whose brother donated to P-Noy’s campaign kitty.
Another development is the declaration of Lorenzo’s successor, former secretary and now Congressman Arthur Yap that he too, would help with the investigation.
The two should have spoken years ago. But better late than never. Still, whether their testimony would help clarify matters or make them more confusing, remains to be seen. Late in 2005, Virgilio Garcillano came out of hiding to face the House of Representatives’ inquiry on the Hello Garci scandal. As we know, his coming out really did not help.
Of course, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was still president then. And now, she is not.
So what are we to expect from Lorenzo and Yap? The bottom-line: they will speak up to save themselves. As to telling the truth and helping reconstruct what really had happened, is another story.
It is interesting to note that their coming out now that the PGMA regime is over, shows the kind of pressures and orders they needed to live with in order to shut up for the past six years. The most obvious pressure from the Palace, as we know, was Executive Order 464. Surely, there were other pressures that were not captured by the media.
Depending on how things will go in the next few weeks, we shall see if other key figures or officials will surface to give light on the controversies of the past administration. Surely, they are more free now than before.
Perhaps, under this new administration, we would now know also what has happened to Jonas Burgos, as well as UP activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
The Truth Commission has a lot of work to do.
Still, as expected, the entry new administration does not automatically a resolution of the country’s woes. In just less than two weeks, three activists have been killed. The culture of impunity continues.
The administration will need to work faster — construct itself faster — in order to get government going and in order to move from transitioning from the previous administration and getting updates to performing action. Good thing, it has the overwhelming mandate and trust of the people — a trust that should now be maintained with decisive action. The public has practically gifted the new administration with a honeymoon period. Of course, this does not mean that reforms and action would be at a snail’s pace during this crucial period. Just like the official website of the Philippine government, which, up to now, is still down.