Joc-Joc Bolante’s Strategy: Hospital Arrest

October 30, 2008 § Leave a comment

So, we’re finished with the first chapter in this political melodrama. Former Agriculture secretary Joc-Joc Bolante is now holed in a hospital, secured and allegedly being “administered” by health professionals. Bolante might be there for a loong time. Plan? Spend time to allow Malacanang media operators to do their thing and “massage” the public. These operators have at least five days to do before the Senators come back from their vacation and re-open the fertilizer fund scam case. For now, Bolante enjoys the luxury of time. His suite is like a war-room, complete with cable TV, telephones and Internet access. 

Strategy? Avoid staying at the Senate holding area and ask for hospital arrest. The Senate is not his comfort zone. He’s vulnerable there. He can’t receive instructions from his “friends”. Besides, the proper forum that he intends to show up is where he’s comfortable at—the Office of the Ombusman. 

The Office of the Ombusman would speed up their investigation, allow Bolante hospital arrest and possibly coming up with a decision that would find reasonable doubt to prosecute Bolante. Bolante will be given a jail term, a short one, and all’s settle and done with. Before Arroyo goes on indefinite sabbatical in 2010, he’ll be given a quiet reprieve and he’s scot-free. What’s a year or two of staying in the Bilibid or at QC jail or even his jail term spent in a hospital? He already suffered two and a half years of incarceration in the States. What’s a year of hospital arrest?

Is this possible? Yes. The only thing that separates Joc-Joc and his handlers from getting what they want is public indignation. Going by their experience with Neri,  a good measure of “pamasko” spread among those who cover and report about this helps a lot in neutralizing any public indignation. Besides, survey says, Filipinos just get angry for three and a half days and afterwards, they just forget about it. Joc-Joc is not a showbiz personality. If he was, then, expect this issue to last even a year, with people talking about this for a looong time. 

But this is politics. And in politics, a week is just too long for anything to happen.

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