Hello, Garci?

The continuing absence from the scene of ex-election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano is the ghost at the President’s banquet. If a guest were to point to it, the specter would be unnerving, a haunting reminder of the real issue at the root of the President’s crisis of legitimacy. But who among the so-called leaders of the opposition are pointing a steady finger at Garcillano’s ghost?

It is the absence that cannot be explained away, only forgotten or ignored. But what is to stop the opposition, or at least those interested in establishing beyond a doubt what really happened during last year’s elections, from mounting a Garcillano Watch, or prefacing every single press briefing or protest action with a simple, "Today is the nth day since Garcillano last appeared in public…"



Filed under Readings in Politics

4 responses to “Hello, Garci?

  1. John,

    Your description of Garci as a ghost in GMA’s banquet reminded in me something rather unrelated but pointed.

    In the religious community where I belong, we have a traditional Maundy Thursday dinner called the Seder Meal. We start the Sacred Triduum with this meal before we proceed to Holy Thursday Mass. It is patterned after the Jewish Passover meal to commemmorate the sufferings of the Israelites under Pharaoh and of course, reset in a Christian context.

    But one thing striking with the Seder Meal is that we always leave one seat vacant. That vacant seat is meant for the Prophet Elijah who, as recounted in Scriptures, was lifted bodily into heaven by Yahweh. And so, the seat will remain empty until the coming of Elijah which symbolizes the end of the present darkness and the ushering of God’s kingdom.

    Your description of an absent seat in GMA’s banquet will never be filled. Because filling that seat would mean the destruction of the present dispensation. That will be avoided at all costs. Thus, Garci’s hallowed seat in the banquet of power will remain a void, never to be filled.

    What an apt description!

  2. When I lived in Massachusetts, I had a friend who often invited me for Seder Meal. I remember bitter herbs and hospitality for a pilgrim just passing through…a fillable void.

  3. Actually, the idea of an unfilled seat is yours, Dawin, and an apt one it certainly is. I did not know that the Seder tradition included that seat reserved for Elijah.

    I was only referring, of course, to Macbeth, when the, ah, usurper hosted that famous banquet. Banquo’s ghost showed up twice, unnerving Macbeth and spooking the bejesus out of his guests. (Oops, pardon my irreverent French.)

    But your comment about the Seder Mass tradition drove me back to the book (http://www.bartleby.com/70/4134.html). When Shakepeare seats Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth’s place, I thought: Hey, perhaps the Bard knew about the tradition, and was alluding to it? The sly one.

  4. manuelbuencamino

    Save another empty seat at the table for Jocelyn Bolante. He is the undersecretary of Agriculture who disappeared after writing all those fertilizer checks in the last election. The Senate wants to talk to him but Malacanang nonchalantly said he is not with the government anymore so they don’t have any idea where he is. I wonder how nonchalant they will be if he shows up for dinner.

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