The mysterious sacking of Raul Gonzalez
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-06-16

Former Justice (DoJ) Secretary Raul Gonzalez used to say the most outrageous things and would stir many Filipinos to react and express their anger and revulsion. What made folks all the more agitated was that Raul Gonzalez did his thing with an air of arrogance rarely seen from a public servant.

His comments on Susan Roces, Cory Aquino and rape victim “Nicole” raised the blood pressure of not just the feminist groups but other Filipinos as well. His interpretation of the law could be considered as the best promoter of anarchy in the country. Anarchy is best promoted when there is a law for the ruler and another law for the ruled.

Selective justice pushes people to junk the law and encourages them to take the law into their own hands. Nowadays, we see many conflicts that are no longer referred to the cops or brought to the courts but are settled instead by the viciousness of the gun, Mafia-style.

Yet despite all the embarrassment that Raul Gonzalez had caused the Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime, he was neither fired nor censured. GMA allowed Gonzalez extraordinary slack that other cabinet members never enjoyed. Many wondered if it was because of the key role Gonzalez played in proclaiming GMA the 2004 presidential election winner during the wee hours of the morning — an act that conjured images of the thief that struck while we were asleep.

And now, just when Gonzalez appeared to be making headway in the prosecution of the Dacer-Corbito murders which implicated two very big thorns to the GMA regime — former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson — Gonzalez was unceremoniously relieved and was even told to shut up on the case.

Just as one key witness, former Police Sr. Superintendent Cesar Mancao, was already in the country to corroborate his earlier affidavit, just as the other key witness, ex-cop Glenn Dumlao, is also ready to return and reinforce the prosecution of the murder cases — Gonzalez was replaced. Just when Gonzalez seems to be doing his job — poised to provide closure to the families of the two murder victims of the Dacer-Corbito case — GMA replaced Gonzalez.

There is definitely something more to the twin murders than what we are allowed to hear and see.

Lacson claimed in the STAR June 14 news story of Aurea Calica that it was the PMA Class of ’78 Palace power block that engineered the sacking of Raul Gonzalez, further asserting that its members were the ones pushing the Dacer-Corbito case.

Some sources say that Gonzalez was sacked because he was not really pushing the case as desired by the Palace. They say that Gonzalez owes Senator Lacson a favor for sponsoring his clearance in the Commission on Appointments which is why he is now trying to reciprocate.

Other sources say that it was the other way around — that Gonzalez wanted to settle this justice issue but that Malacañang had other plans. This second version points to an accommodation with the accused parties which will serve GMA’s obsession to remain in power beyond 2010. Those who espouse this version think that Lacson’s recent withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race is part of the deal.

But if there is such a deal already, Lacson’s withdrawal cannot be the only consideration — it has to be something much more valuable to GMA. A Lacson withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race hardly serves GMA’s agenda. Lacson was never a 2010 frontrunner.

If you were GMA, it serves your anointed 2010 presidential candidate if there are more Opposition presidential candidates running. And because of his poor ratings and his knack for demolishing fellow Opposition presidential candidates, it serves GMA’s ends for Lacson to run.

In marketing, the dominant brand intentionally introduces similar brands to erode challenger brands. The new brands tend to eat into the market shares of the number two and three brands before affecting the dominant brand. Political campaigns are nothing more than the marketing of candidates for public office. The same marketing principle applies.

If there is such a deal between Lacson and the GMA regime (and for that matter, also a deal between Joseph Estrada and the GMA regime) — then we should expect more things to unravel in the days to come. It may not necessarily involve overt actions favoring the interests of GMA.

A sudden change of heart by Lacson and Estrada will be self-defeating, counter productive for GMA. For such deals to provide maximum benefit for GMA, covert actions must be undertaken to make it appear as normal Opposition action but, in effect, promotes GMA’s objectives.

For instance, Lacson can be made to pursue with even greater vigor his demolition of leading Opposition presidential candidate Manny Villar. It serves GMA’s political ends to erode the leading Opposition leading presidential candidate. By ceasing to be a presidential candidate, Lacson can now claim that he is not doing a political demolition.

Villar is one presidential candidate whom GMA cannot buy because he has all the money he needs to run a well-oiled presidential campaign. The many GMA political allies who have already transferred to Villar’s Nacionalista Party (NP) underscore Villar’s strength.

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