THE PROBLEM with this country, as many political analysts have said, is that it never closes its chapters. Closures to disputes, from the petty to the big ones, are practically unheard of.

Just recently, the Supreme Court upheld the appeal of former National Economic and Development Authority chief Romulo Neri to invoke executive privilege and refuse to answer three questions posed to him by a Senate investigation: whether Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had inquired on the progress of his agency’s review of the proposed national broadband network project; whether he was dictated to favor the Chinese firm ZTE; and whether Arroyo told him to go ahead and approve the project despite the fact that she knew Neri had been offered a bribe.

This decision frustrated many and left people to conclude that the high tribunal was tilting toward the Arroyo administration.

This was not the first time.

In September 2005, the Senate issued invitations to various executive officials to appear before an inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the North Luzon Railway project. The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security also issued invitations to various officials of the Armed Forces in relation to its inquiry into the alleged role of the military in election fraud, and in the wiretapping of the President’s telephone conversations.

Thanks to the President’s Executive Order 464, these top officials were not permitted by Malacañang to speak before the Senate investigations. The investigations were halted and the controversies never saw light again. I would not be surprised if the NBN deal suffered the same fate.

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If there is really nothing to hide, why invoke the privilege? Why go through the hassle of hiding from public scrutiny and choose to remain silent amid the people’s desire for truth and justice? Just how could someone expect time to do all the magic— make everyone forget what had transpired and “move on” just like that after all the damages had been done?

Even tossing all the political grandstanding aside and taking our personal lives into consideration, we realize that it is only by communicating properly that we settle disputes and conflicts.

Whether it is indifference, hopelessness or cowardice that inhibits us from speaking our way out in every conflict, most of us fail to realize that no matter how hard we try to escape from this one issue and no matter how hard we pray that we would wake up one day and everything would be sorted out, things won’t work that way.

We have to face our own ghosts just so we can reclaim our freedom and finally move forward with our lives. It is not enough for someone to tell us that we should move on. A hundred “moving on” statements are tantamount to one honest explanation from the person you have an unfinished business with.

What grown-ups often fail to realize is that life is not at all complicated. More often it all boils down to solution — keeping an open mind and heart.


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