The recent FBI arrests on California State Senator Leland Yee and 26 others, which was repeatedly played out on national television and on almost every major national and local publication, has not only shocked me but it kept haunting me, maybe because I met the Senator a couple of times and like many of us in the Filipino community who have placed him on such a high pedestal, the allegations and charges against him was and it still is, unfathomable, amazing and definitely surreal.
Though I agree with some of the statements in Attorney Alma R. Luna’s “manifesto” which states that “the foundation of a democratic society that is faithful to its constitution is the Presumption of Innocence Until Proven Guilty,” the resounding verses of W.E. Henley’s famous “Invictus” poem which I won during a high school declamation contest spearheaded by our great drama teacher, Zenaida Amador, kept haunting me. So, here goes that famous poem as I have recalled which in a way might help me accept or negate whatever the outcome will be on Senator Yee’s future:
“Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquearable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the burgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged the punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul”
I also agree with Atty. Luna’s claim that Senator Yee’s public service is exemplary and remarkable. Unfortunately, when someone is in public service, every iota of error is subject to scrutiny and lest we forget, that even if you hold the highest office in the land, no one is “”above the law.”