Sunday, September 20, 2009

Haiku 092009

as I grill
plates line up --
a stray cat


Recently, we read the following:

Washington Post: "Taiwan's Ex-President Sentenced to Life Term" by Peter Enav (AP)

“A Taiwanese court sentenced former president Chen Shui-bian to life in prison after convicting him on graft charges Friday, a spectacular fall from grace for a man who rode to power on promises to end decades of corruption and expand the island's de facto independence…

“With the 58-year-old Chen absent from the courtroom -- he chose to stay in the suburban Taipei jail where he has been detained since December -- a three-judge panel declared the former leader guilty of wide-ranging graft offenses.

“Chen had been charged with embezzling $3.15 million from a special presidential fund during his 2000-2008 tenure, receiving bribes worth at least $9 million in connection with a government land deal, laundering some of the money through Swiss bank accounts and forging documents.

“The court convicted Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, on related graft offenses and sentenced her to life in prison, as well. The two were also fined $15.2 million, a Taipei District Court spokesman said…”


And we thought:

…The Taiwanese people must be pleased that justice has been swiftly served on their former President.

Fast forward to 2010, sometime after the Philippine presidential elections: Would the former Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo, be finally charged with graft and corruption and held accountable? Unfortunately, it seems like a tall order. The Filipino people can be so maddeningly forgiving. Remember what happened – or did not happen – to the Marcos family after their 20-year plunder of the Philippines?

Still, we cross our fingers. History teaches us that cultural change is a protracted process. But when the time is ripe, it does come in a gratifying rush…

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