• The most dangerous branch?


    JERRY Barican was a UP Law firebrand, one of the twenty-one 1978 Metro Manila Laban bets headed by Ninoy Aquino, in what campaign manager Senator Tanny Tanada called a “mad adventure” and, like Tanny, attended Harvard Law, if my memory is true. Jerry is reported to be in a bad way in a hospital after a massive stroke. Even gone? Prayers please.

    I met Dr. Teban Latorre in Solaire (where I stutter-dancexercise) last Monday and he told me about a devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus (like the Shroud of Turin) of Manopello, Italy, to be here from September 10 to 17: to pray for Jerry but, at secular Solaire was a wide screen showing a Pinoy FIBA game in Spain last Monday.

    The crowd would roar from time to time.

    We Pinoys worship cage icons. But, to Leo Durocher is traced the remark, “show me a good loser and you show me a loser.” Moral victories do not count in cage tourneys but no doubt we play well beyond our modest expectations, with the Big Boys. Enanos contra Gigantes. What a huge transformation.

    Ah, transformation. Assuming PNoy resigns now, as demanded by the so-called National Transformation Council, would all the saints come marching in? My concern with another disruption of the institutional arrangement—a 2001 redux of a disastrous power grab—from the perceived frying pan, into the fire. PNoy has something like 665 days to go. If the cure again proves to be worse than the disease, it may partly be due to the prescription of the impatient National Transmogrification Council.

    Balon cesto is a game not meant for our stature, but Gilas is displaying a form beyond belief. We belong?—is a valid dream and aspiration. But, we must accept our limitations. “L” for our LABAN! is also for LOSER, per Jerry MgGuire, in the Renee Zellweger movie.

    Great Pretender as a Congressman, Manny Pacquiao, continues to astound, and may yet join Gilas, for possible use in BasketBrawl (to deal with those upsetting our awesome cagers, or Renaldo Balkman, now of Puerto Rico but once played in the PBA and choked teammate Arwind Santos). A public official Manny is, of whom patriotism and nationalism are required by Sec. 4(f) of R.A. No. 6713; but, he has gone to bed with our seeming enemy, China, a foe in arbitration, an enemy in sea disputes, an adversary in fishing, a rival in merchandising, etc. He would seem to be only too willing to do anything for money, and let the national interest go hang. For 30 pieces of silver?

    Were he just a boxer in private life, who would perhaps care? But as a Cong, and Jojobama’s announced choice of him for the Senate, dealing with treaties, kapakanang pambayan dapat pong mangibabaw sa kapakanang pansarile. As a Senator he could help provide a quorum in committee hearings/meetings.

    Anyway, to make him doubt his premises and as a deposition for history, the way we would during Macoy’s time, I have written to Speaker Sonny Belmonte, to grouse. In vain?

    When I chaired the Senate Committee on Ethics & Privileges, seldom would a Senator attend my panel meets. But, members would send their reps. I had the benefit from insights of people like Chief Justice Felix Makasiar, Ambassador Melquiades Aquino, father of Pearl, hubby of King Doromal, et al., solid citizens whose views and committee report inputs were priceless.

    Yes, maybe Manny Pacquiao could be Senator No. 2 in Senate hearings, like tireless Sen. Johnny Flavier, to provide a quorum, and get business going. At least Manny would be good for something but then he may be too busy preaching, gambling, concertizing, womanizing, etc., and training himself and Chinese boxers. So another Top Absentee crown in the cards. He had wanted to train in the Batasan, but Speaker Sonny reportedly put his foot down. Correct.

    The New York Times, I adore, but it may not understand how far more powerful and therefore dangerous our unelected Supreme Court is, not only ruling on legality but on abuse of discretion by theoretical co-equals, elected at that, than the one in Washington, D.C.. Just bring down the Faura SC to the level of Washington’s SC. “Grave abuse of discretion” is not found in the paradigmatic American Constitution.

    No public official is autonomous from the people. Anyway, in another 663 days or so, PNoy should be writing a book, planting a tree and marrying, and fathering a son, to carry on the revered family name.

    BTW, his mother should remain blameless for decisions I, with others, had her make on the Bataan nuke plant. Macoy Loyalist Raffy Recto was against putting it on line. On November 19, 1975, then SolGen Titong Mendoza memoed Macoy refusing to endorse favorably the nuke contract because of terms and conditions unfavorable to us. Minister Ting Paterno was asking why we were getting one plant for the price of two. The US Eximbank loaned us $644M in 1975, the single biggest sum it had packaged in any project, as of then, despite objective data showing the we had no capacity to repay same. But then Eximbank Chief Bill Casey said Pinoys “have to protect themselves from being fleeced. We cannot nor would we do it for them.”

    Sad that after admitting responsibility for advising Prez Cory not to put the Bataan nuke plant online, esteemed technocrat Mr. Gerardo Sicat would say he is “turned off by [my]cavalier attitude of high-mindedness and arrogance in passing off responsibility and blame away from himself.” Cavalier, high-minded, arrogant? Let me repeat, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, in 1986-1992, when I was in the arena. But, I have not been a player for decades, merely a miron. Mr. Sicat should not be touchy I did not write to him directly. And he and Mr. Virata should tell us what they thought of what had bothered Ting Paterno, Titong Mendoza, Raffy Recto and Napocor General Manager Ramon Ravanzo, among others.

    A competing view then was of technocratic insensitivity to what people feel.

    And what Macoy and Disini were up to.

    Another story.


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    1. O nga=mukhang displace ka rito sa manila times-Kasama mo rito katulad si Tatad na uma Idol sa CORRUPT GLORIA, CORONA, ang WORLD RECORD na MAGNANAKAW MARCOS

    2. I wonder why Manila Times continue to have Saguisag as a columnist. I find him a square peg in a round hole. An Aquino loyalist and a mad supporter of the Estradas, he has no place in this respectable newspaper. The other dailies will certainly welcome him.

    3. Your problem, Atty Saguisag, as with your fellow Yellows, is your moral arrogance and hypocrisy. How kindly accommodating and forgiving you are on the mistakes and wrongs of your allies and friends, and how loudly outraged you are of others you do not like for the same wrongs and errors. Pag krimen ng kaalyado, nakangiti lang. Pag krimen ng kaaway, sus, ang poot ay nagpupuyos, ang ngitngit abot hanggang ikapitong langit.

    4. I admire your courage and straightforwardness at telling what you feel about our fellow filipino kababayan, the ever honest, principled, and equally straight forward if not more,Former Senator Rene Saguisag, Sir. I believe, however, that Sir Rene is only telling us what he believed to be the true state in which our SC lies. He’s making the record reflects its true account as when many among us e.g. would always put the blame on Tita Cory on the matter of the Bataan Nuke and its having not made operational. So, I think is something really different. His loyalty may not necessarily proceed from what he just said, yet other reasons there may be,Sir.

    5. Claro Apolinar on

      I enjoy the way your memoir-style column awakens my brain to the past, Sir Rene Saguisag. I don’t like your blind loyalty to the mentally dishonest President Aquino but respect your integrity and knowledge of the law. Please carry on writing, sir.