What the “Magic Words” Can Do



It all started from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s public apology speech—the “I’m sorry” statement in the “hello Garci” controversy. In that distressed speech she tried to absolve herself indiscreetly too by rationalizing that she was guilty only of “lapse of judgment” and nothing else.

After that, however, she lost the presidential dignity and the credibility that goes with it for the rest of her remaining term.

Nowadays, President Digong customarily exonerates nearly all government officials that committed negligence of work, corruption related offense, misdeed, and to the great extent, even criminal case if they are aligned with and close to his administration. This unwarranted and somewhat glaring exculpation by the president happens almost always even before a formal investigation is started by the concerned Agency.

Some of these corruption implicated government officials are absurdly and conveniently reassigned to another lucrative job as a comical sanction of sort. Others, for all seriousness of their wrongdoings, are simply retained in their present positions just by their insincere utterance of the same magic words reminiscent of Pres. Glory’s—“I’m sorry”, but without admitting any fault at all. Consequently, the president justifies his act of absolution by summarily declaring that he doesn’t believe they can do such misdeeds because “they are honest, as far as I know”—end of the story!

While the insignificant and ordinary citizenry is prosecuted and jailed by the Police for minor offenses, the latter, especially the high ranking ones get away with their own committed infraction and abuse without any corresponding punishment just by repeating the infamous magic words, “I’m sorry”.

Major General Debold Sinas is a fine example. He was daring and bold enough to stress—“move on na kayo” to his critics, who included distinguished Senators and fellow PMAers, and who all asked him to resign after his birthday bash “mananita” fiasco in the middle of ECQ was exposed. After all, he unashamedly declared that he has already spoken the magic words—“I’m sorry”—and that’s it. Besides, the president reiterated his full trust and confidence in him in the TV broadcast despite this “lapse of judgment”, he added. Suddenly, this prompted him vehemently to threaten and jail anyone who violates the ECQ directives that he and his men had recently breached. This is what the magic words can do even to a general!

Still, others follow suit. The flamboyant Pres. Glory’s endorsee, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, after blaming his subordinates for the delay in the release of CoVid-19 compensation and “pinning his inadequacies and neglect on others”, realized later that it is still his responsibility as the Chief of Office and the buck stops in his desk in the bungling of the whole compensation mechanism. Without further hesitation—as his back was already against the wall, he found a way to speak the magic words, and like the same magic word “Shazam”, it transformed him from a villain to a super hero! Both Sec Dugue’s sweet pronouncement of the magic words and his erotic lips italicizing every syllable spoken, enamored the president once more to the point of him promptly exonerating Duque’s apparent negligence.

This, likewise, in spite of Duque’s office being implicated later in the alleged multi-billion Pesos overpriced PPEs—“I take full responsibility”, the president said as he stood by and defended Duque. After that statement, everyone’s equilibrium was blown away as Duque suddenly mutated as an immaculate disciple of a sinless ruler—an untouchable vixen at that. The magic words have done it again, WOW!

A week ago, another government official—House Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin Remulla was in hot water when he was caught in the video taking notes and doing everything except standing erect and paying attention like everyone else while the national anthem was playing in the plenary hall. This is a clear violation of R.A. 8194 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. Critics of Cong. Remulla’s act of disrespect have written about this law and the penalties imposed on violators like him. Cong. Remulla on his end apologized immediately to the public after the video went viral. He also hastily applied the use of the magic words as his saving grace, but he first blamed the ABS-CBN people whom he said “are the ones playing it up to now on social media. But I will forgive them”. This, however, is viewed as a twisted denunciation of the ABS-CBN people. It is precisely the metaphoric phrase: “Don’t shoot the messenger” is all about which is to blame the bearer of bad news who is simply delivering the undesirable message, but not actually responsible for it. Cong Remulla is barking up the wrong tree and for all his fault, he is clearly and deliberately trying to muddle the issue and dodge his blatant criminal act, wishing probably that his pronouncement of the magic words would exempt him from any liability like his many allies in the administration had enjoyed before.

But for the thirty (33) three moviegoers in Lemery, Batangas who were arrested in put to jail not long ago for disrespecting the Philippine national anthem by not standing up inside the movie house while it is being played, no amount of repeated utterance of the same magic words ever saved them from jail time.

Let’s not forget Presidential Spokesperson Harry “Foxy” Roque’s excursion and swim with the dolphins lately at Ocean Adventure in the midst of quarantine restrictions that he expounds in his daily TV appearance. The magic words were resorted by him too when critics posted in social media his pictures in the said place in “sexy poses”, and alas! All is forgiven.

Sadly, for ordinary Juan de la Cruz, any infraction he commits similar to the acts of the “beatified” government officials, regrettably would mean either an automatic exorbitant amount of fine or straight to dungeon for him!—this has become a vicious cycle of inequity between the “palaboys and mahihiraps” and the powerful cronies of this administration.

“Love means never having to say, I’m sorry” (a dialogue made famous in the 1970 hit movie titled “Love Story”)— is enough, when enunciated sans the word “never” by the administration allies, and their sins are forever expunged.

Truly, the magic words are amazingly potent!