Jun Lozada has quoted former NEDA Executive Director and CHED Chair Romulo Neri as characterizing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as “evil”. Strong words from a Cabinet Secretary. The problem with evil as a concept is that its devilishly (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) hard to pin down. Evil is so subtle, so insidious and wears such a common face, we may not even be aware of it.
Consider a government official. She doesn’t look evil. She doesn’t sound evil, at least most of the time. But she may indeed be evil and thus capable of evil deeds. But because of evil’s subtlety, she might not even be aware she’s bad. “Bad” not in the hip sense but bad as in evil.
Such people are unquestionably dangerous.
As psychiatrist M. Scott Peck has said:
“It is no accident that people who commit the most evil in this world see no power higher than themselves. The evil are very strong- willed men and women. ”
Dr. Scott goes on to explain that since they narcissistic, self-absorbed and their will is supreme, they are capable of the most inappropriate and destructive acts.
So is GMA evil ? She might very well be. Certain consistent indicators seem to establish this. Thatâ€™s why its so important for Romulo Neri to testify. Congressman Teddy Boy Locsin said on Tina Monzon-Palmaâ€™s program â€œTalkbackâ€ that its critical to establish the context in which Neriâ€™s statement of the evil in Gloria Arroyo was made. If a crime was imputed, then the legal process should take over. But evil per se would require an exorcism.
Should Romulo Neri play the role of exorcist ? He can very well do so, if he ever gets the balls to step up.
Meanwhile, former U.P. law school Dean Raul Pangalangan warns of recent Palace moves to shift the focus of the ZTE investigation from the Senate to the legal sphere in order to muddle the issues in the public eye. Parallel investigations are now being conducted before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice, discredited institutions whose findings will almost surely create more confusion. This will draw attention away from the explosive Senate testimonies while giving the impression that GMA is doing something about corruption in high places. But it may be too late.