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Thursday, April 25, 2024

On the rocks

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When shall marriage on the rocks end up in divorce?

The political marriage is “on the rocks.”

It was not a forced marriage. The groom wooed the bride endlessly, with many high-powered individuals acting as go-betweens.

The father of the bride did not exactly like the suitor. He kept telling friends that he had already given the family their due, which was to allow the burial of the deposed leader in the country’s graveyard of heroes.

Publicly he verbalized his disgust for a “spoiled, rich kid” and accused him of bad habits.

But the marriage still materialized, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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History as described in numbers most high: the presidency won by 31 million votes, the vice presidency by 32 million, with all opponents eating their dust.

The election results mesmerized the country and the rest of whatever world cared about the country. Even the vanquished vowed cooperation, lest they be seen as spoil sports.

A year after, signs of trouble in the marriage began; to be fair, not with the couple but with their ‘amigos y amigas.’

One of the common amigas who helped unify the power couple was dislodged from high yet honorific perch in the House where once she ruled.

A scant few months later, the amiga was swiftly dislodged even from demoted perch. Now she is just ‘one of the boys.”

Then the few leftists in the House whose raison d’etre was to oppose any and every president, mysteriously zeroed in on the Numero Dos, who was gifted a few tokens by the Numero Uno, first-off with an augmentation of 125 million bucks on the first half-year of their marriage, some kind of Christmas gift.

In the Upper House, they are well-supported by the lone yellow oppositionist, never a friend of the former president, and, until lately, opposed to the present as well. But then again, the ‘enemy of my enemy is a friend for now.’

Together, they questioned the first anniversary gifts: 500 million as Numero Dos, another 150 million for her current workplace.

And everybody and his mother in the HoR joined the uproar over entitlements they suddenly deemed so huge and so misplaced.

Her back to the wall, the Numero Dos finally disavowed any of the entitlements from her Numero Uno’s budget.

Now the going gets rougher.

In short shrift, the HoR wants to allow a foreign jury to investigate ‘war’ crimes, against drugs that is, launched by the former president and political father-in-law of the new king.

This, despite repeated assurances by Numero Uno he “will not cooperate with them (ICC) in any way, shape or form.”

But after Numero Dos reminded the HoR of the repeated stand of Numero Uno, the palace goes into “further study” mode.

Taking the half-step volte face as cue, the Komite de Derechos Humanos of the HoR proclaims its nihil obstat to foreign prosecutors coming to the country to investigate, as the country’s judicial system, it avers, is functioning well and open to international scrutiny.

Proof of this, at the same timeline, the former leader’s bete noire who was imprisoned and humiliated for six long years was freed by the same functioning judicial system.

No hay nada que esconder, “nothing to hide,” said the Komite led by a pastor.

Days later, the HoR’s Komite de Concessiones Publicas investigates the former president’s hometown-based ‘soapbox’ called Sonshine led by a self-proclaimed “son” of someone, from whose franchised air rights he spews his invectives against the powerful House.

The casus belli? One of the Sonshine ‘tolits’ revealed the Speaker of the HoR got a 1.8 billion travel budget, made credible by the fact that he had always accompanied his cousin in each of his 15 trips abroad.

Falsus in totum, the HoR records say. But ‘tolits’ points to someone in the Senate as source, and, invoking journalistic right, would not identify.

All these developments, accompanied by rumors left and right from ‘mariteses y tolits’ with powerful connections who keep watch over the body language of people in power, show, beyond shadow of a doubt, that all is not well in the political marriage.

When shall marriage on the rocks end up in divorce?

Since they are public figures, both sides yet smile to each other before the cameras, so the ‘madlang pipol’ will not sense that trouble rocks the marriage.

And when will the pater familia of Numero Dos with whom his paternal affection is hidden by the former’s public distancing as in a ‘Cold War,’ finally break ranks and demand particion de bienes?

All these are happening at a time when the world is in deep trouble, with wars here and there, and economies failing and falling, when food prices are shooting up the roof, and merchants are squeezed of profits, almost ready to close shop?

One more ‘politics is everything’ chapter in the tragi-comic story of the benighted land.

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