Forgiveness, trust and Philippine politics

One of the great things I learned from Rick Warren is the difference between forgiveness and trust. We are asked by God to forgive those who offended us. In fact, forgiveness can be given even without the offending person asking for it. It’s the prerogative of the offended party. Forgiving a person means you release whatever grievances you have against the person. And to be radical about it, forgiving a person means “as if he has done nothing wrong against you”. We are called to forgive, Warren says.

On the other hand, trust is another thing. While we should forgive, it is a fact that any offense done means lost trust. Therefore, it is not expected that trust would be “as usual” after the offense. It has to be rebuilt overtime.

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President Arroyo admitted yesterday that she is indeed that female voice in the now famous “Hello, Garci” CDs. She asked for forgiveness. I personally believe that we should forgive her. She made a mistake and admitted it. Take note that I’m not qualifying what mistakes are involved because it’s out of my reach — I still see everything as vague and we cannot really assume this early how huge that mistake was.

On the other hand, trust is lost. It is obvious that she lost her credibility even after the admission. Even after the forgiveness is given, she still has to prove herself and regain the trust of the Filipino people. How can she do that?

As most commentaries said, her admission did not in fact solved the issue rather opened up more questions than answers. She cannot just say, “Please forgive me, lets sweep this under the rug and move on”. I think the Filipinos are more smarter than that.

In my opinion, two things Mrs. Arroyo need to do to regain the trust of the people.

1). Resign. Pass the torch to VP Noli de Castro (most militant and opposition groups will disagree, but it’s the most constitutional choice). In the first place, I don’t think her remaining 5 years would be a walk in the park. Imagine being a leader without anyone following you. That’s going to be a disaster. Either it breaks her or it breaks the nation as a whole. So, it would be better if she resigns. She’ll definitely receive credits for sacrificing his glory for the benefit of the nation at large. Or…

2) Call for a snap election. I submit to Bro. Eddie’s suggestion — create a more credible independent body other than Comelec to handle the election. In fact, in my assessment, without Fernando Poe, there’s no other opposition popular enough to beat her. Meaning, from the onset, she’ll have a great chance of regaining the crown. If this happens, she can prove without any doubt that she indeed is the choice of the people.

People Power 4? Please, ‘wag na lang. We can do better than that.

My prediction? President Arroyo resigns within the year after seeing that her political allies start to turn their backs on her. Her former cabinet member now Congressman Roilo Golez started the call for her to resign. I’m seeing more and more administration congressmen and senators doing that in the next month or so.