Monday, September 03, 2007

Gonzales and Gonzalez

The Inquirer's editorial Serving the President on September 3 summarized the worst aspects of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez' stint in the Arroyo cabinet. It enumerated Gonzalez' offensive and outrageous statements that were designed to protect the President, whether she was right or wrong. The Inquirer was generous in its assessment: it left other acts of the Secretary which include Marcos-style surveillance of the media and his defense of the President's campaign to abolish the system of checks and balances in government. Illness has kept Raul Gonzalez out of the loop but his determination not to relinquish his post (at 76) should send chills up the country's collective spine.

His record of politicizing his position parallels US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' own troubled record. Gonzales is Gonzalez's counterpart in the US. He is the head of the US Department of Justice. TIME magazine explains his disgraceful exit as a result of his penchant for putting loyalty above judgement. TIME explains that "Gonzales' excessive loyalty has led to congressional investigations, repeated rebukes by the Supreme Court and showdowns with Congress over the extent of Executive power."

Both officials served as legal bodyguards to their Presidents to embarrassingly phenomenal degrees. It may have taken a long time but at least, Alberto Gonzales had the decency to resign.

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