8 Things to Consider Before Skewering Amal Alamuddin
Mar 13, 2015   •   Kel Fabie
8 Things To Consider Before Skewering Amal Alamuddin
We don’t need to take a poll of our readers to realize not too many of you are fans of the former President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Despite that, everyone is owed their day in court, and after years of being put under hospital arrest and mostly being used as the current administration’s scapegoat, she still hasn’t been given that. In line with this fact, Attorney Amal Alamuddin has elevated her case to the United Nations, because she believes the former President’s rights have been violated. Understandably, we shake our head at a person we think is merely being fooled and hoping to get some high-profile exposure, thinking that maybe she’s every bit as “kulang sa pansin” as PNoy claims his critics are. He would know what “KSP” means. After all, he’s siblings with Kris Aquino. But before we grab our pitchforks and skewer Amal Alamuddin for being an accessory to perhaps letting Gloria get away with her alleged crimes, let’s take a moment to consider that…
As a human rights lawyer, Atty. Alamuddin is really just doing what she’s supposed to. It isn’t like PGMA was her first controversial client, either: she worked as the legal advisor for the Bahraini King Hasan bin Isa al Khalifa, and Abdullah Al Senussi, just to name a couple. It isn’t personal: it’s her job to uphold the human rights of anyone, even a person as unpopular as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
At least, not directly, unless he’s found guilty of unjustly detaining PGMA. To make this issue about the current president instead of the previous one distracts from the fact that there is a valid argument to be had about this case.
6. This pushes the government to stop dragging its heels
We’ve seen so little development in key cases over the years, like the Ampatuan massacre and this plunder case against the former president. By acting the way Atty. Alamuddin has, she is now forcing the government to expedite the things they supposedly believe in, because delaying justice means wasting more and more of our tax money as these supposedly important cases languish into obscurity. How much are you willing to bet the hope is that the Fallen 44 would eventually go the same way?
You can almost predict that the next president in 2016 will try to detain the current president for one reason or another when the time comes. Then maybe the one in 2022 will do that to the one in 2016, then in 2028, President Kris Aquino pardons her brother. To break this cycle, I think we all have to be mindful of the fact that no matter how much we hate PGMA, she is innocent until proven guilty, and her medical condition has to be considered, no matter how much we roll our eyes over the fact all these people seem to conveniently get sick while imprisoned. Who knows? Maybe they’re all allergic to incarceration or something. The point is, this whole blame game can’t keep going on. Revenge politics isn’t going to make this country any better, and this case could very well be the first of many steps towards ending it decisively.
It isn’t like the Philippine government has zero sovereignty to defend itself in this case, and all things considered, they have every right to do so. If they manage to justify their extended stay in hospital arrest for PGMA, then this means that they are somehow able to prove that their treatment of her hasn’t violated her human rights.
3. It reminds us that we all deserve the same things
We deserve the very things Amal Alamuddin is insisting PGMA deserves. While she isn’t directly fighting for our cause, it is a good reminder that Human Rights aren’t selective, and if something similar happens to us, there is that faint hope we don’t need to be a former president for people to pay attention.
2. This is yet another slap against the incumbent’s apparent sense of impunity
Given how dismissive PNoy has been of any and all criticisms against his administration, it stands to reason that the minute the U.N. itself reminds him that he’s not perfect, then maybe, just maybe, he can tone down his bravado a little. Or maybe not, but hey, there are worse things that could happen than him not learning a very important lesson yet again.
1. This case doesn’t affect the merits of the charges against GMA
This is really the crux of the matter: even if they let Gloria go and have medical attention abroad, this in no way makes her magically innocent of all the charges against her, either. She is still under suspicion of plunder, and the only difference is her Human Rights are upheld while they’re at it. As it should, because if we can’t hope for our government to respect the Human Rights of a former head of state, what can we mere mortals hope for when it’s our turn?
Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on mistervader.com.