The Aquino regime must immediately take Arroyo to account

Editorial, Ang Bayan, 7 May 2011
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The Filipino people were gladdened at the resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on May 6. With Gutierrez's resignation, a huge obstacle has been removed from filing charges against Gloria Arroyo and her partners in crime. Now, demands have become more urgent to hold Arroyo accountable at the soonest possible time for plunder and stealing from the public coffers as well as for more than a thousand counts of extrajudicial killing and other crimes against humanity.

Gutierrez's resignation came amid widespread calls from the people to oust her as Ombudsman. Her resignation has preempted the Senate's constitution as an impeachment court that will try her on the charges that have been filed against her.

The people have been angered no end with Gutierrez's use of her power to block cases against Gloria Arroyo who appointed her to her position. The Office of the Ombudsman is the reactionary government's agency tasked with investigating and filing charges against government officials involved in corruption and abuse of power. Contrary to this, however, Gutierrez turned a blind eye to her friend Arroyo's direct involvement in various cases of corruption such as the NBN-ZTE deal, the Fertlizer Fund scam and many others.

Gutierrez's resignation as Ombudsman fires up the Filipino people's desire to see the legal process unfold immediately against Gloria Arroyo, her husband Mike, her sons and other key officials of the past regime involved in various anomalies. They would also like to see the legal process unfold against Arroyo and her military and security officials for their responsibility for various fascist crrimes.

The people are thus deeply disappointed with Benigno Aquino III for his failure to undertake even a single step to hold Arroyo and her cohorts responsible for plunder and fascist crimes. They seethe in anger seeing Arroyo flaunting her power despite the grave criminal cases she should be facing.

Aquino courted the people's support during his electoral campaign last year by continuously lambasting Arroyo and the major cases of corruption under the previous regime. Now he is courting their ire in his failure to begin the process of haling Arroyo to court even after months in power. This only buttresses the belief that Aquino and Arroyo had struck a deal during the elections.

With so many investigations conducted in the previous years, enough information has been disclosed to nail Arroyo for various criminal casers. Thus, many deem Aquino's formation of a Truth Commission in his first days in MalacaƱang ostensibly to investigate Arroyo's cases as a huge waste of government resources. MalacaƱang eventually failed to justify the rationale behind the Truth Commission's formation in the face of questions raised against it before the Supreme Court.

Aquino dilly-dallied in the face of calls to oust Gutierrez. He began to take heed of, and ride, on the public's clamor only in April when moves to remove Gutierrez began taking off within and outside Congress. He suddenly took on the issue in an attempt to recover lost ground after the latest surveys revealed a nosedive in his popularity ratings.

Gutierrez's resignation now strengthens the pressure on the Aquino regime to file cases against Arroyo and her ilk and put them on trial. The Aquino regime can no longer justify any delay in taking the necessary steps in this regard, The Filipino people must step up their demands to hold Arroyo accountable in order to preempt any deals that may be struck and to push the process of attaining justice.

Without the people's struggle against corruption, the various camps within the ruling classes will merely take turns in abusing political power in order to commit plunder and amass wealth. History has proven that if the people do not take action, justice can never be attained from those who hold the reins of power in the reactionary state.

In the final analysis, lasting justice can only be attained with ending the ruling reactionary system that engenders corruption and fascism and allows them to fester. True justice can only be attained with the overthrow of the bureaucrat capitalists through revolutionary struggle and the establishment of a new ruling system of people's democracy.