Amazing grace – and Erap

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I see ads about awards one applies for. I applied to be one of the Ten Outstanding Students of 1963. Without taking away anything from the hosts, to whom I am grateful, I have lived to regret it and have not sought to be honored again thusly. I prefer the Nobel model, searching for ho­norees. Le Duc Tho even rejected Nobel. Cream rises to the top, unbidden.

SM is créme de la créme. Our family had reason to be grateful to the Sys when we had that Nov. 2007 mishap when I lost my wife, Dulce; the family had to cancel her reservation in Tagaytay as we had to downgrade the Dec. 22, 2007 wedding of our eldest son, Rebo. The incredible kindness of people like the Sys helped me pick up the pieces. But, when we now go to visit Dulce in Manila Memorial, we see rising another SM behemoth, on Sucat.

Traffic, from the difficult to the impossible. The structure seems to be flush on the street boundary, instead of being set back say 20 meters so vehicles can go in and out easily. Don’t the authorities consider traffic impact?

Malls should be built away from populations, as in MOA. In the U.S., some towns resist malls, preferring the soda parlor type on Main Street where there is a sense of community tsismis and merriment our old sari-sari stores provided. In Pio’s sari-sari sa kanto namin sa Pasig, he would list all the barrio IOU’s while we sang the night away. Our combo was popular at wakes.

Many experts warned that we would have the wake or requiem of our democracy last Monday. I beg to disagree. I had Bam and Grace as 1 and 2; they both won. One reason I like Grace was she attended the Jesuits’ Boston College, my Dulce’s alma mater, for her master’s. FPJ’s values must have rubbed off on Grace. I met Roland Allan K. Poe only twice, in San Beda in 2001 when he and I were named among the Bedans of the Century during our Centennial. Unsolicited recognition. Again, in late May 2004 to discuss his election protest. I like the story of his donating to calamity victims in others’ names. He was known to have refused the advice to sue informal settlers in a subdivision lot as they needed the land more than he did, he said. More tales convincing me that his middle name was Decency. A better campaigner than Sweet Susan would be hard to find.

Bam is the son of another Bedan, Paul. Designer Genes also. As to Nancy Binay, how I wish Cong. Abby, a lawyer, would have run for the Senate, and Nancy to replace her as Rep.. (Or Rudy Farinas, an impeachment star.) As it is, last Saturday, I was in Bykes, a dance hall of Wilo Layug, who said Grace for Prez in 2016 should not be out of the question if she did well last Monday. She did and how! I am only pledged to support Jojobama against Sen. Bongbong; black and White like in 1986. Else, slate clean. Grace, kudos, keep going, and God bless.

Meantime, Boy Brillantes should seriously consider resigning irrevocably now. He does not need the chiding lectures from so many other mega- and super-Comelec Chairs. I have always defended my compadre with whom I share August 14, 1939 as birth date. Were I in his post, all I would think of is Legacy and not tarnish the memory of Sr., as Comelec Commish when it knew how to count. A group has taken him to the UN Human Rights Council – que horror – and Burkina, Bhutan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, etc., may see our dirty linen. We should monitor this complaint tightly. The UN is not in the business of reviewing national polls. Why should Boy cheat for anyone, at 73, when we know every day could be our last? We care for what we will be remembered by and it is not by linking oneself to another Comelec that does not know how to count. This CPA-topnotcher yearns to stop and smell the flower with his grandkids in the US – and enjoy his Apos-tolate. He and I lost our beloved spouses the same way, vehicular incidents in Makati. Boy has just given us HOPE, an Honest Orderly and Peaceful Election, despite certain glitches. Indeed, the only perfect man I know is another Bedan of the Century, Justice Perfecto.

Was I glad I did not live in Manila, where two friends dueled. Erap’s win completes his vindication. He was ousted unconstitutionally, with the Supreme Court (SC) saying he had resigned. The last one to know he did. The year-long plot to grab power by GMA and Mike cum the generals succeeded, giving us a Dark Decade, starting Jan. 20, 2001, an unmarked Day of Infamy. The power-grabbers erased Erap’s win in 1998, when he fought the Church and the civil society, who never accepted him, and bragged the power grab was EDSA 2. How could the solely Metro Manila event be that? Mindanao picked him as Prez in 2010.

The world, admiring in 1986, looked at us askance in 2001. We do not commemorate Jan.
20th; a few days later in 2001, the power-grabbers got $14M from Mark Jimenez, a for-the-boys come-on Erap had refused on the advice of his sterling economic team.

Resigned? All he did was to send letters to the Senate and the House that he was stepping aside, not down. Prez Cory, and others have apologized, joined by Mindanao in 2010. Now Manilenos have. Polls are vindicators of the system.

Everyone is free to challenge the last election, but it must not be beyond the water’s edge and be within the Constitution, which provides for “removal from office,” Art. VII, Sec. 8, the mode we used in ejecting Macoy. Revolutionary, in short. The SC is not the only institution Macoy weakened and which GMA nearly completely destroyed. But I would rather have our SC correct the Comelec than Burkina Faso. Oust Amazing Grace?

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