These past few days have blurred into one another for their sameness as I continue my frantic cramming for the make or break exam coming at the end of the month. The only difference is which Starbucks branch I choose to park the heavy backpack I use to lug my two volumes of Harrison's around Manila.
This hectic schedule has, ironically, made my world even smaller than it was while I was still working at the hospital. I haven't been watching any TV, nor have I been listening to anything other than my iPod as a means to drown out the noise. Fortunately, thanks to my parents' and Starbucks' newspaper subscriptions, I have been able to keep updated about what's going on.
Not that there's been a lot of good news going around.
After all, the last thing we need at the start of a hopeful new year is to hear that a convicted plunderer is planning to run for president for 2010. Are we going to once more prove that when it comes to matters of justice, Filipinos' memories are notoriously short?
This man trying to play the semantics game so that he can leap through a constitutional loophole right back into Malacanang is the same man who was convicted of blatantly stealing 3.2 billion pesos from public funds while sitting as president. This convicted felon served his time in relative luxury for a few years; his peers, the hundreds of other convicted thieves, who probably cannot even conceive how much 3.2 billion pesos actually is, languished in inhuman conditions in overcrowded prisons. After a few years of token punishment, this plunderer, who has never once shown even a microcosm of remorse for what he has done and whose crime should be punishable by death, is now strutting free after being pardoned by an equally larcenous incumbent desperate to save her own hide.
Now to top it off, he is now making noise about wanting to be president again after being forcibly pried from his seat a mere few years ago.
And I thought I couldn't get more incensed about the Erap pardon than I already was. This harebrained scheme, hatched by the "forgiven" man himself, truly takes the cake.
To put it bluntly: Ang kapal talaga ng mukha.
Apparently, in the Philippines, there is a difference between stealing big and stealing little. Here's the lesson: if you're going to steal, be smart enough not to get caught. But if you're sloppy and do get caught, stealing little will only land you in jail. Stealing big, on the other hand, gets you a mere slap on the wrist and a get out of jail card for free and leaves you with enough loot to get back into a position where you can steal even bigger.