The mob cries persecution

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—George Orwell

‘Gloria is very upset,” she said, as she unpacked the bikinis she wore at the beach. “She claims the administration is badmouthing her to deflect complaints about rising prices.”

“Laying out facts is not badmouthing,” he replied.

She stopped unpacking, whipped out a newspaper, and read the statement of Gloria’s hyphenated mouthpiece, Mrs. Elena Bautista-Horn.

“While graft and corruption must be addressed, with the corruption index rising recently, fighting poverty and hunger must be addressed with great urgency.”

“Was that a sentence?” he asked.

“Don’t be a jackass, you know what she means.”

“Okay, then my answer to that is the administration can bring the mob to justice and attend to the economy at the same time, because the administration’s economic managers are not the ones who will handle the investigation and prosecution of suspected plunderers, election cheats, tax evaders and human-rights violators. It’s called division of labor.”

“But what about hunger?” she asked.

“That would not be an issue now if the mob actually undertook food-production programs instead of fertilizer scams.”

“Nevertheless, it’s now the administration’s problem,” she replied.

“And it’s going to take time to set things right,” he said.

“Then the mob’s strategy is correct,” she concluded. “By harping daily that the administration is demonizing them to distract the public from its inability to do anything right, the mob will be able to win the public’s sympathy.”

“Nope.”

“Nope?”

“The people are not idiots,” he explained. “They can see that the bellyaching against the administration’s fight against corruption is like the Mafia complaining about the FBI….

“What?”

“…like Al Capone complaining about the IRS and bin Laden complaining about the War on Terror….

“Good grief!”

“…like rats complaining about cats, cobras complaining about mongoose, cockroaches complaining about pest control….

“Stop!”

“…and demons complaining about exorcists.”

“Good Lord!” she exclaimed. “Demons! That’s too much, even from you.”

“Hey, their spokesman, Raul Lambino, brought up the demon simile, not me. He said, ‘The administration has been engaging in demonization of our colleague in the House….’

“Let’s just get back to the allegation of victimization,” she interrupted.

She picked up the newspaper again and read aloud.

“We felt that this administration has ordered a witch-hunt against us, that they will charge us one after the other until they finish us all off. We have to fight back.”

He replied, “They’ve been crying ‘witch-hunt’ ever since Aquino made the campaign pledge to resolve the unresolved scandals of the last nine years. Is it wrong to bring closure to those scandals?”

“Well….”

“But more important,” he added, “who said going after Gloria is a witch-hunt?”

“Congressman Danilo Suarez,” she said.

“Why is that warlock calling Gloria a witch?”

She curled her lips at him.

“Suarez paid for the coven’s $20,000 dinner at Le Cirque,” he reminded her.

“No, the brother of Congressman Romualdez paid for that; Suarez’s treat was the $15,000 dinner in Washington, D.C.,” she corrected him.

“That cheapskate, he’s going to do more talking than spending for the mob’s war against graft busters,” he said.

“Who cares? They have a humongous war chest for the media,” she informed him.

“They think the public will believe their hacks?” he asked, incredulous.

“Why not?”

“Because their hacks do not have the skills to make people believe that hell can freeze over….

“What?”

“…that the Pope was in Ayala Alabang…handing out condoms….”

“Enough!” she screamed. “I get your point! They don’t have the skills to make me believe that Mikey Arroyo paid his taxes.”

“Or that the female voice in the Garci tapes was Gloria’s, but she was not the one talking,” he added.

“Be that as it may, Gloria is very upset,” she said, as she went back to unpacking her bikinis.

“Why?” he played along.

“Because her hyphenated spokesgirl cannot speak coherently.”

“Give the poor girl a break,” he said. “It’s not easy to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.