Repeating the same mistake again and again, expecting different results, is said to be on this side of insanity.
In boycotting Macoy’s sham electoral exercises, we’d say “Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!” Of course in the 1985-86 snap polls, we boycotters joined the “participationists”; we did not boycott and we toiled hard for God, Country and Cory. February 22-26, 1986 saw the ultimate vindication of the Parliament of the Streets at Edsa. Foreign intervention, by Providence.
Today, we see the bloody hardline policy against drugs. It has failed all over the world, in my view. It won’t succeed here, either, I fear. There’s even a shoot-to-kill one in hiding and may scamper away for dear life, when found; no threat to anyone. Life is cheap. And so is dignity. The related Shame Campaign is another form of Extrajudicial Killing or Robbery, of Name and Dignity. “Who steals my purse steals trash, . . . but he that filches from me my good name, Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.” Othello, III, iii, 155.
Now, many Mayors would be shamed, tried and convicted by publicity. Why not just sue them for the sake of due process? Not condemn first, probe later. Fire!Aim!Ready! injustice. Killer convicted? Pardon.
I associate myself fully with what Dr. John Collins says in his BusinessWorld piece: “Why the Philippines’ New War on Drug Users Will Fail.” He “is the Executive Director of the LSE IDEAS International Policy Project of the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE).” Aug. 2, 2016, page 6, col. 1. Last Tuesday this was.
Last Monday, I reconnected with Sheila Coronel and for some reason the name of Ira Sombillo came up. Ira was one of those who helped us build up or support the effort of Bob Swift and Joe Mari Velez to go after the Marcoses in that historic Hawaii class suit. I had known Sheila as a talented writer during the Dark Years and beyond, and she now excels in Columbia U in New York. Ira’s doing well abroad after a rough patch, said Sheila.
The get-together last Monday was in Fely Aquino-Arroyo’s place in Dasma [where I went after Mass for Prez Cory in Rockwell to mark her 7th death anniversary]; principal guest was Sheila, daughter of Companero/Caballero Tony, and sister of Dr. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer. At some point a birthday cake materialized; it turned out the shindig was partly to mark another birth anniversary of Sheila’s. I didn’t ask her her age, rude, bad form, so suffice it to say that no one among the women, a bundle of talent, looked a day above 30. Waddaya mean credibility matters?
Anyway, the mention of Ira rang a bell. On reaching home I looked for my what I wrote 26 years ago, entitled:
“Honolulu Class Suit Primer (Nov. 14, 1992)
“Q: Who have assisted class action mastermind and lead counsel Bob Swift in this magnificent obsession?
“A: . . . Rod Domingo (and his son, Michael), Ruben Fruto, Glenda Mendoza, Ira Sombillo, Jane Biscocho and Tony Villasor, have helped at this end (with my Senate staff, such as Cyril del Callar, liaising with Malacañang and the PCGG when I was still in government). When Joe Mari passed on last year, I decided to be more active in the case.” [When I attended one Honolulu hearing, the jury awarded $1.2-B as one form of damages. I fell off my chair.]
I assume Ira is with us in opposing the transfer of Macoy’s remains to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LMB), a commitment of Prez Digong which saddens those of us who fought the Dictator. How a known world-class kleptocrat and gross human rights violator can be among Bayanis could make us the world’s laughingstock. Even my proposal to rename the place Libingan ng Mga Bayani at Mga Pangulo is encountering resistance. Not Even Libingan ng mga Bayani At Iba Pa would do?
My late-father-in-law, who I never met, is in the LMB. In 1998, when Erap said Macoy’s remains would be moved there, my wife, Dulce, also gone, went on national radio-TV and said she would ask her nuke family to move her father’s remains out of the LMB. Given the widespread opposition, Erap prudently backed off. When FVR allowed the remains to be brought back from Hawaii, in 1993, he set as conditions that the body would be flown directly to the Ilocos and that it would be buried immediately. Not complied with; for some reason, I think Macoy’s headstone should read: HERE A LAWYER LIES STILL.
The timing is particularly off, cruel and unkind. Here is government currently evaluating and processing 75,000 human rights claims to be paid out of the billions the Marcoses stole. How I wish Bongbong would say “I had nothing to do with the alleged ill-gotten wealth and gross human rights violations but I am sorry if these regrettably happened. For national reconciliation, we’re sorry; the family is donating X for the medical and burial expenses of certain victims and the education of certain descendants.”
Imee occasioned the death of Archimedes Trajano in 1977 when he asked a question in a Mapua open forum that didn’t amuse her. Imelda, the death of 169 workers on November 17, 1981, when she rushed the construction of the Film Palace, round-the-clock, and a scaffolding collapsed and quick-drying cement buried alive the victims.
One remark you might hear from supporters of Bongbong, says Raissa Robles, is that we shouldn’t blame the son for the sins of the father. He called human rights victims “greedy” in 1999. He said they were squabbling among themselves because: “Basta’t may pag-asang magkapera, nagaaway-away na sila. (As long as there’s a chance of making money, they’ll fight among themselves),” Bongbong told Raissa in a public forum held by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), just before the 25th anniversary of Edsa’86. She had a gripping account on “the criminal origin” of the Swiss loot that will fund the awards to the rightful human rights claimants under R.A. No. 10368. Cum an account of Bongbong’s role in the criminal enterprise, in 1986.
On July 15, 2003, our Supreme Court (SC) ordered the forfeiture of the ill-gotten wealth. Criminal origin. Ill-gotten wealth. Billions. Done. Yet the SC did not order the prosecution of anyone. Raissa wrote that when the Marcoses fled from Malacañang, their loot hidden worldwide was estimated to run up to US$10 billion. Crime paid.
Now, a pal of BB is Prez.
Quo vadis, Mr. Prez?