Cherchez la femme: Aisa, Pia, Letty, Arlene, Ninez, et al. PNoy, how about joker?


THE current TIME mag forecasts for 2015: “China takes Second Thomas Shoal from the Philippines, triggering conflict in the South China Sea.” A huge problem for PNoy and his successor. The same issue mentions one woman Prez Obama sought during the Manila APEC meet, Filipina engineer Aisa Mijeno with her salt lamp invention. Filipina Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won as Miss Universe. But, we lost courageous Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

In our Mabini Occasional Issue of January 31, 1983, entitled, Cherchez La Femme, I wrote:

“Mabini has gone to the Supreme Court [SC] to test the outer limits of the power, if any, of the so-called National Intelligence Board to `violate’ a newsperson’s rights 1) not to speak; and 2) to be let and left alone. . . .

“Set on February 1, 1983, at 10:30 a.m. is the SC hearing on the preliminary injunction, to prevent respondents from further `inviting’ journalists to Fort Bonifacio for interrogation on what they have written, before the matter can be heard on its merits.

“Lead petitioners in this petition for prohibition are Arlene Babst, Odette Alcantara, Ma. Ceres P. Doyo and Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon, joined by Domini Torrevillas-Suarez, Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, Cielo Buenaventura, Sylvia Mayuga, Sheila S. Coronel, Josefina Azarcon de la Cruz, Alex Dacanay, Corazon Fiel, Amadis Ma. Guerrero, Norma Japitana, Melinda Q. de Jesus, Sol Juvida, Margarita Logarta, Elizabeth Lolarga, Alexander Magno, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, Daisy L. Mandap, Cynthia Nobrales, Ninez Cacho-Olivares, Paulynn P. Sicam, Rochit T. Tanedo,

Rene Villanueva, Marites Danguilan-Vitug, Ave Perez Jacob and Horacio Paredes.

“Named respondents were National Intelligence Board (Special Committee No. 2), Brig. Gen. Wilfredo Estrada (ret.), Gen. Renato Ecarma, NBI Asst. Director Ponciano Fernando, Col. Balbino Diego, Col. Galileo Kintanar, Col. Eustaquio Peralta, Col. Constantino Tigas and Maj. Eleonor Bernardino.

“Those `invited’ last month were Arlene, Ceres, Jo-Ann, Domini, Lorna and Ninez, who, along with their co-petitioners, decided to question the incipient malpractice.

“They are represented by UP law professor Perfecto V. Fernandez and MABINI lawyers Lorenzo M. Tañada (who is ailing), Bobbit Sanchez, Fely Aquino, Joker P. Arroyo, Jojo Binay, Jun Factoran, Alex Padilla, Tony Quintos, Tony Rosales, Arno Sanidad, Boy Ella and RAVS.

“The larger inarticulate issue of course is the growing specter of militarism, truly a `brooding omnipresence in the skies‘.”

I have read that Letty was a devotee of St. Benedict whose medal she  had. In December 1989, when Gringo staged a coup, it seemed Prez Cory had lost to Gringo. Finally.

So, I told my wife, Dulce, I was going to Arlegui; “if the Prez must go down some of her friends will have to go down with her.“

Dulce gave me a St. Benedict medal. Prez Cory had just gone to San Beda to entrust her treasured possessions to Fr. Bobby Perez, Ninoy’s San Beda High School contemporary. Government in Arlegui was down to Prez Cory, in jogging attire, Adolf Azcuna, dozing off in a sofa, and Kris, sleep in another sofa. TeddyBoy Locsin was just across J.P. Laurel.

She told the putschists to stop the foolishness, “surrender or die!” Thanks to FVR, Rene de Villa and the Americans, whose aircraft buzzed the rebels‘, the tide turned. Providential.

At the Guest House, Gen. Biazon announced the result and the pain of having to kill his own boys. We shared his agony but the Republic had to be saved. It was, but Gringo, with his redemptive complex, had just butchered the growing economy. Has he mellowed?

Let’s hope so.

One tough Cory again made Gringo flee, as she did to Macoy, JPE and others.

One tough Letty. One tough Ninez, who I represented in 1983 and 2006, against Macoy and GMA, whose Tribune was closed. Macoy’s was mooted in 1984 but not GMA’s, where Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez condemned the 2006 closure of the Daily Tribune, which today regularly eats the Palace for breakfast.

Zeal could be misdirected. Mon Tulfo wrote the other day that his probe abroad led him to conclude that Hubert Webb was in the US when the Vizconde Massacre occurred, a view I shared. I said it was a belief I’d carry to my grave, despite my being jeered and thrown at during the preliminary investigation.

Hubert’s trial by publicity led to his spending more than 15 years in jail, until December 10, 2010, when the Supreme Court nullified his conviction, thanks to Mario Ongkiko and Demy Custodio.

When Ninez and I beat Chavit Singson — who, Ninoy told me in Boston in 1982, was an all-weather friend — a woman trial Judge (Cecilia Corazon S. Dulay-Archog) in Vigan dismissed Chavit’s libel case two Christmases ago on a demurrer (without us having to present any evidence); she showed that women not only have hearts – but balls too.

So the French gave women the right to vote, for after all, between men and women there is but a little difference. “Vive le difference!”, cried the parliamentarians in unison. Rising from their seats, with feeling.

For Letty, Malacañang was all praises in their condoling.

Deserved.  “Stunned and shocked” was PNoy.

When Joker passed away in October, nothing. And he had lawyered for Ninoy and Cory, took many bullets for her as her Executive Secretary, and served the nation long, wisely and well. January 5 is his birth date. How about it PNoy? Please do what Ninoy would have done. Reconcile. Again, as the French would say when asked why they kiss a woman’s hand, “mon ami, you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Let’s all have a good, if not better, year in 2016. Manigong Bagong Taon.

?BTW, PNoy can also look at the plight of our Comfort Women ? who long ago started their quest for Justice ? given the developments in Korea and elsewhere. ?If PNoy can condole with the family of the Pinoy just executed in Saudi, why not a little recognition of Joker, who argued for Letty & Co. in the Supreme Court and represented them in the NIB hearings in Fort Bonifacio in early 1983, months before Ninoy was salvaged?

BTW, PNoy can also look at the plight of our Comfort Women – who long ago started their quest for Justice – given the developments in Korea and elsewhere. If PNoy can condole with the family of the Pinoy just executed in Saudi, why not a little recognition of Joker, who argued for Letty & Co. in the Supreme Court and represented them in the NIB hearings in Fort Bonifacio in early 1983, months before Ninoy was salvaged?


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  1. Yes the real culprit in the Vizconde massacre was no other than Mickey Mouse! The only problem with this is that he lives in either Disneyland or Disney world! Oh well it should not be taken literally. Cheers!

  2. In his speech during Cory’s term Sen Saguisag said he will vote 1,000 times to kick the Americans out of Subic and Clark. How come is silent with the return of our colonial masters. Are those nationalistic embers dying out ?

    You must have missed reading his weekly Thank God It’s Friday columns in The Manila Times Opinion Section.

  3. As always no matter what others may say reading you Mr. Senator Rene is always the best part of any day for me. Your piece is always not only informative, loaded with unforgettable lessons of life and history, appreciative balance among friends and foe, subdued but still very valuable unsolicited advice/s, and a lot of hidden humorous description of events and happenings that only you can courageously and perfectly describe and depict. Kudos! Please find more time to write more often. God Less….Long Live…

  4. Noynoy is incapable of acknowledging,recognizing and in some degree paying respect, if not debt of gratitude, where it is due.

    Noynoying, Salsal, Thievery and disregard of the LAW and Constitution ang alam nitong PUTANAIDANA.

  5. Oliver Jr Demaisip on

    SEN.J.ARROYO should be given the honor and recognition for serving the longest in our government…Fought hard with dedication against the “Dictatorship” at which liberty and freedom we now enjoy..much more with this president, pnoy, he should led in giving honor and be grateful of what Sen.Arroyo have given or sacrificed to his parents..but nah! Once you go against this president, your doomed..and that what happened to Sen.Arroyo…Sen.J.Arroyo is uncorruptible politician’s in phil.history..not receiving n his P100million yearly pork barrel..imagine that..the other one is Sen.P.Lacson…and likewise you too Sen.Saguisag…pnoy is out of touch of his surroundings, of what is happening around him and has no ability to do the right thing..just believing on what is being fed to him by the likes of Abaya, hondrado, and other “yellow”politicians around him…