Contrasting lessons on how to make a proper exit
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-05-03
Two events last April 28 and 29 taught us contrasting lessons on how to make a proper exit. The April 28 event is the mayhem created by the informal settlers of the Laperal Compound in Makati City. The April 29 event is the resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez which came on the eve of her impeachment trial at the Senate.

In both instances, the Laperal Compound informal settlers and Merci Gutierrez were forced to face tough and unpalatable choices. They both strongly resisted the efforts to remove them from their respective scenes.

With no legal leg to stand on, the Laperal Compound informal settlers opted to make a desperate stand. They resorted to violence and that made them lose the sympathy of both the public and media. Some members of media covering the Laperal Compound riot got hurt. The public was terribly inconvenienced by the stoppage of vehicular traffic and the southbound MRT (Metro Rail Transit).

In the case of Merci, even if she had the resources to hire good lawyers who will protect her — she opted not to fight the battle. She must have sensed that she could not win. The Scots are known to be among the fiercest warriors in history but they believe that it is better to make a good retreat than a bad stand. The Spartan–Persian Battle of Thermopylae as well as the defense of The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas were last stands that are often retold and romanticized. The Spartans in Thermopylae and the Texans at The Alamo were wiped out and did not live to fight another day.

Merci Gutierrez made the smart move by opting for a proper exit. She must have realized that she only had two chances — none and nil — in fighting an administration that’s determined to pave the DAANG MATUWID (straight path). It must have tormented her during the past few weeks thinking how many more embarrassing, if not incriminating, facts could emerge from the impeachment trial. If you were in Merci’s shoes, her loyalty to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), the former president Merci is accused of protecting from prosecution, should end where her loyalty to herself and her family begins.

Public opinion was heavily against Merci. If the impeachment trial had proceeded, adverse public opinion would tend to intensify as more facts are ventilated to enlighten more Filipinos. The Senators she was hoping would support her cause will be pressured to heed the demands of public opinion and abandon her. It was a very lonely fight with hardly a glimmer of hope of being acquitted. By resigning, Merci protected herself and her family from further pain and anguish. She also served her country by allowing the paving of DAANG MATUWID.

Because of the lawlessness that they demonstrated on national television, the Laperal Compound informal settlers lost the only card that they had which is to generate public sympathy. They’ll probably find sympathy only from the Leftist groups, the promoters of class war.

There’s no denying that they do not have a title to the Laperal property and are depriving its rightful owners from benefiting from their asset. When they refused the Makati City’s generous offer of free house and land with cash assistance to facilitate their relocation, they transmitted the message to many Filipinos that they’re a very unreasonable and rowdy lot. They didn’t realize that the sons and daughters of the lower middle class are also settling down near their relocation sites in Laguna and Bulacan.
Your Chair Wrecker is a staunch supporter of Gawad Kalinga and the Focolare Movement’s Bukas Palad community building initiatives. If we’re to be good Christians, we must care for the least of our brethren as Jesus Christ had commanded us. It’s not only spiritually beneficial – it’s also our best protection from a social explosion that our Wealth Gap could easily provoke.

The poor cannot be allowed to disregard property rights and grab anything they fancy by the ancient right of the sword. They expect you to either top the threat with a greater force or submit to the atrocity of being bullied into losing your property. Naturally, you’ll lose all sympathies for them and would not want to have anything to do with them. That’s how the rioters of the Laperal Compound antagonized a lot of people.

Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo erred when he pandered to the demands of the informal settlers of the Laperal Compound. His lame excuse – seek a peaceful resolution — can only exacerbate the situation as the informal settlers will be further emboldened to take a tougher stance.

Robredo’s interference was seen by some quarters as another proxy battle of the Jojo Binay-Mar Roxas war. This fight will place President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) in a very difficult political dilemma once it explodes in public and splits the administration’s political coalition. The last person P-Noy would want to be at odds with is his Vice President. If you were P-Noy, wouldn’t you sack Robredo first than to be dragged into a conflict with the Vice President?

With Merci Gutierrez resigned and with two other deputies due for replacement — the DAANG MATUWID can now be paved. Our country can now make our plunderers account for their sins.

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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