TOMORROW, March 16, the 283-member House of Representatives plans to vote in plenary on the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez. At least 95 votes are needed for the complaint to move to the Senate, which alone under the law may sit as the impeachment tribunal to try Gutierrez for several counts of alleged betrayal of the public trust.
Yet other than the vote, the effort to impeach Gutierrez – the third attempt in as many years by the House and the only one to move past its Committee on Justice – has unfolded with two discussion tracks as backdrop. The first is an exchange of allegations of blackmail between Gutierrez’s camp and the lawmakers. The second is a vigorous campaign being mounted by both sides to court public opinion against each other.
SOME MAY be more benign than others, but as Carl Jung once observed, “every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” Someone else noted as well that too much of even a good thing could have dire results, so chocoholics should stop kidding themselves. Those delicious, lovely morsels may put you in heaven now, but lord only knows what they can cost you in the end. Hippo hips and a very emaciated wallet (if you take a liking for the imported variety) at the very least. All that sugar in your system certainly wouldn’t put you in the pink of health either.
TWENTY YEARS ago, at the height of the people power revolt, Imelda Marcos, then holed up in Malacañang with her anxious family and a phalanx of remaining loyal troops, contemplated the possibility of her imminent, and vertiginous, fall. At about the same time, Cory Aquino, who had returned to Manila after taking shelter in a Carmelite convent in Cebu when the uprising broke out, was insisting to worried family and friends that she should join the throng that had gathered at Edsa despite the security problems that would pose.
THE FIRST time Fr. Romeo J. Intengan, SJ, was summoned by a woman who lived in Malacañang, he had to flee the country to avoid her wrath. The woman was Imelda Marcos; the year was 1980. More recently, in November 2005, he came under fire for supposedly presenting exit scenarios to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He admits she has sought his advice in the past regarding religious matters, but denies bringing up exit plans with her.
TWENTY YEARS since fleeing the country in disgrace, Imelda Marcos — the glittering, partying, mesmerizing half of what has been called a conjugal dictatorship — still loves to go shopping. But alas, no longer at Tiffany’s. With dozens of pending court cases, her foreign trips have been severely curtailed. Park Avenue will have to wait, as Imelda now goes where the Pinoy hoi polloi congregate, roughing it up in all her finery (pouf hairdo, outsized jewelry, and of course the shoes, the fabulous shoes) in such down-market places as 168 Mall in Binondo and Market!Market! in Fort Bonifacio.
ADVERTISING guru Reli German tells the story of the time he was tapped to produce commercials and jingles for then candidate Ferdinand Marcos’s 1965 presidential bid. The campaign was more of a family venture with no less than Marcos’s wife Imelda herself directing the troops. She would drop by German’s office to look over campaign materials and listen to the jingles being prepared for her husband’s campaign. “It was more of Imelda that we were dealing with directly for the campaign in 1965,” German recalls.