This column is not a fan of Gloria Macapal-Arroyo’s regime during which talks of plunder, electoral fraud, and alleged bribery, even of bishops, was rampant. There were multiple attempts to unseat her through impeachment. She got a lot of help from the then president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Erico Boyles Aumentado, in trying to survive those numerous impeachment attempts. She was later sent to jail by the succeeding administration.
But we have always admired her tenacity and resilience. She endured all the rigors that she had to go through, and above all, remained consistent with her stand against death penalty. This is the reason why we were awed and struck while watching her interviewed by Martin Nievera in his show, LSS or Long Story Short, over ABSCBN’s News Channel, ANC. She was asked what she wanted most. Her answer? “I want to go to heaven”.
Human as we are, we are struggling with our own weaknesses. Who are we to judge her for salivating over the best that life could offer, an endless experience of bliss in heaven? Everyone deserves a chance to take a shot at it. Not the least of them, a president who stayed the course in trying to keep her Roman Catholic faith intact in the midst of all temptations of power and money. Never mind that she supports an incumbent Malacanang occupant who curses bishops and diplomats.
PGMA is an epitome of the moniker, small but terrible. Less than five feet in height, but with a voice that’s taller, or deeper, than seven feet. She commands respect in her political circles and is not one who runs away from a fight. Governor Arthur Yap is lucky to have her among his stable of supporters and advisers. It goes without saying that he continues to learn much from her.
But what of going to heaven? According to Saint John, the favorite disciple, our Lord Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in one of their conversations: “No onehas ever gone up to heaven exceptthe one who came from heaven, theSon of Man.” (John 3:13). Are we hopeless then? Nah, elsewhere in the same gospel it says (John 6:40): “This is the will of the Father, that everyone who sees the Son and has faith in him should have a share in the imperishable life; and I will give him the power of resurrection at the end of time”. We have hope after all.