Did Marcos father this foundling?

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Having served as presidential press secretary, spokesman, and information minister from 1969 to 1980 (during the Marcos years), I have been asked by friends, who seem to believe that I keep some of the nation’s unspeakable secrets, what value I give to the latest published speculations that Sen. Grace Poe Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares is–or at least could be–the illegitimate daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos by the former actress Rosemarie Sonora, sister of the more famous actress Jesusa Sonora Poe (aka Susan Roces), adoptive mother of the celebrated foundling.

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As if that were not enough, I have also been asked to respond directly to fellow Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao’s question on this page on Monday: “Why does Poe refuse to take a DNA test with Marcos Jr.?”

To the first question, my answer is: I frankly don’t know; I never heard of any such thing during my ten years in the Cabinet.

Malacañang has always been an active rumor mill, constantly buzzing with all sorts of rumors about everybody. To the best of my knowledge, many saw Marcos as a ladies’ man, and he might have thought so himself. Although married to the most beautiful First Lady in the world, he also had feet of clay, and had his peccadillos, which did not escape the gossipmongers. And yet I never heard any talk about him and Rosemarie Sonora. Was this simply because I came on board the Cabinet after 1968?

It first appeared in Wikipedia
Before Mary Grace’s foundling story exploded as a major political controversy, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in the Internet, used to carry a blunt reference to it. Only recently was this portion of her personal history deleted and the whole thing replaced with a version that reads like an official press release from her campaign headquarters.

Still, in the Senate where she sits with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., they freely refer to each other as “brod” and “sis” — in obvious levity of course. In fact, prior to the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May election, in one meeting with Ilocanos residing in my village in Quezon City, Bongbong Marcos was asked if he would consider having Mrs. Grace Poe Llamanzares as his running mate, should he decide to run for President. His answer was witty and quick: “You mean you want to keep it in the family?”

Contrary to popular expectations, Bongbong decided to run for vice president, while his “sis” decided to file a Certificate of Candidacy for the presidency. But four petitioners, including this writer, Estrella Elamparo, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez, filed separate petitions questioning her constitutional eligibility for the office, for not being a natural-born citizen and for lacking the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.

The First and Second Divisions of the Commission on Elections ruled favorably on the petitions, and the Comelec en banc affirmed the two decisions, disqualifying her as a candidate and cancelling her COC.

Although the Comelec ruling is deemed final and non-reviewable, she went up to the Supreme Court to ask for a Temporary Restraining Order and to file a petition for certiorari against the Comelec, alleging grave abuse of discretion, amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. The TRO was granted, and the Oral Arguments on her petition were scheduled to end after my column deadline yesterday.

The search for DNA
But in the middle of the hearings, she began digging graves–not in Jaro, Iloilo where she was found in the premises of the parish church on Sept. 3, 1968, but in nearby Guimaras–in search of a DNA match to prove that her father, as required by the 1935 Constitution, which was in force when she was born, was a Filipino.

This grave-digging caught the attention of the High Court, and in his interpellation of Mrs. Llamanzares’ counsel, Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta suggested that she extend her DNA search to the Ilocos region.

Many saw this as a subtle reference to the rumor that Marcos, who was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, and whose mortal remains lay unburied in the next town of Batac, waiting for a proper burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, may have fathered the foundling. There was a suppressed ripple of mirth when the magistrate made the suggestion. But now that her excavations have produced negative results, so some people have not hesitated to suggest a DNA test with Bongbong.

Tiglao’s question
Why then has she refused to have such a test? This is what Bobi Tiglao is asking, and this is what some readers would like me to answer. I say that only Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares can answer this question.

It is on the same level as that other monumental question: Why did Cory Aquino during her presidency refuse to investigate her husband Ninoy’s assassination to find out the brains behind it, and why did her son, the incumbent President, similarly refused to carry out a serious investigation into the same?

From his own statements, Bongbong Marcos appears ready not only for a drug test, as suggested by some people and rejected by Senate President Franklin Drilon, but even for a DNA test with Mary Grace. The only problem here, according to a broadcaster friend of mine, is that when Bongbong was schooling in London, there were rumors that he had perished in a shooting accident and had to be replaced with a clone.

So the real Bongbong is gone, and the one sitting in the Senate and running for VP is a product of science. Thus, even if a match were established between Bongbong and Mary Grace, the best conclusion one could make is that they are related to each other, but neither of them is related to Marcos.

The real danger
Levity aside, the prospect of being declared the daughter of Marcos should terrify Mary Grace for the most obvious reasons. Right now, she is trying to maintain PNoy’s friendship and confidence in order to win her case at the Supreme Court, and repeat her “hocus PCOS” victory in the 2013 elections. So far, PNoy appears willing to play with her.

But the moment she is shown to be Marcos’s daughter, all that would be blown by the wind. The Manchurian candidate or Trojan horse would instantly become PNoy’s enemy number one.

We had a preview of this when Malacañang singled out Bongbong and warned the nation against his becoming “a dictator.” It was the most ludicrous statement imaginable. The senator is running for Vice President, a position that has no specific job description, and wields no power of any kind. But the mere possibility of having Bongbong as a “spare tire” in the presidency seems unthinkable.

So PNoy wanted him to apologize for his father’s declaration of martial law, which tried to turn back the communist rebellion, as though it was a crime to have prevented the communists from taking over. And that the son should now assume responsibility for his father’s decisions.

Aquino never thought of apologizing himself for his grandfather’s treason when he collaborated with the Japanese during the war, or for his father’s role in the 1971 bombing of Plaza Miranda, which nearly decimated the entire leadership of the Liberal Party, or in bringing together Chairman Jose Maria Sison of the Communist Party of the Philippines and Bernabe Buscayno, aka Commander Dante, of the New People’s Army, to wage armed struggle against the government, or in exposing to the British and the Malaysians Marcos’ national security operation in pursuit of the Philippine Sabah claim, etc.

Aquino appears completely unmindful of the fact that after bribing Congress to remove the Supreme Court Chief Justice and destabilize the entire Court, and after seizing the power of the purse to control the three coequal branches of government, he had himself become a dictator–an incompetent and inept dictator perhaps, but a dictator nevertheless.

Metastasis
But should Mary Grace ever be shown to have in her the blood of Marcos, Aquino would be the first one to denounce her and demand that she apologize for the sins of her father. And he would instantly see dictatorial tendencies in her genes.

This is probably why she will not have a DNA test with Bongbong, but will rely mainly on her financial backers to persuade the Justices to read the Constitution, the law and jurisprudence in the same way Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza read them.

However, if the Manila Times banner story on Monday is correct, that Sereno will do everything to favor Poe in order to protect herself from the consequences of her own questionable acts as Chief Justice, then the cancer attacking our Constitution and the survival of our democracy has truly metastasized.

fstatad@gmail.com

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45 Comments

  1. Isn’t it possible that Grace is FPJ’s daughter with another woman? She looks like FPJ from some angles. Maybe she should compare DNA with Lovie Poe.

  2. DNA TEST with SUSAN ROCES. if proven positive ergo , her mother is rosemarie sonora, the sister of susan. hence natural born citizen.

  3. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    17 Feb. 2016

    What millions of close observers must find intriguing is why presidential candidate GRACE POE LLAMANZARES is reported willing to have a DNA comparison match with FERDINAND ‘BONGBONG” R. MARCOS, only after the May elections.

    When in fact it is to her own interest as a presidential candidate that the DNA comparison match with Bongbong Marcos take place BEFORE the May 9 elections because if there is a POSITIVE DNA match, that will be incontrovertible proof that she is indeed a NATURAL-BORN Filipino citizen–former President Ferdinand E. Marcos being a natural-born Filipino citizen himself.

    What is she deathly afraid of?

    That is the intriguing question!

    Meanwhile, in the interminable “oral arguments” on her appeal before the Supreme Court, the dominant spectacle is why Chief Justice MARIA LOURDES SERENO is acting more like the lead COUNSEL of Grace Poe Llamanzares, with the able help of the Solicitor General!

    Another intriguing question!

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  4. A friend of mine once told me that she went to Cardiff and there is a cemetery at the back of the church. She says that written in one of the tombstone there is a name similar to that of the gentleman senator. However, in one occasion, the senator called one of my close friend by a name that both of them only knew so the senator may just be the real person and the tombstone was made to impress on people that the guy is dead – so there is no need to find him. But then, these questions still linger on my mind so that the DNA comparison must be made with Ms. Irene since Manang Imee was rumored also to have been a product of an indiscretion with a gentleman from the South.

  5. Im sure most independent countries would say on graces foundling status that it shouldnt affect her running for president, the time qualification should just be so easy to sort out. I get very frustrated with people will argue back & forth time after time on this yet a much worse situation i see is binay running for president. If the allegations against this man are true think what he can & will do if elected. Pnoy for all his faults has at least started the ball rolling against corruption. Rid or greatly diminish the corruption in the Philippines & the lives of poor filipinos will greatly improve, that leads to a better Philippines & who doesnt want that. No tittle tattle is more important though to filipinos.

  6. Let’s put this issue to bed. Not worth talking about. Who cares whether they are siblings. The fact that she is not a natural born citizen by definition in our constitution is the basis for disqualifying her. Not only that she does not have the required residency.

  7. She’s simply in the wrong side of history, that’s all that says to me. If only, he will distance herself with the Aquino’s then I will vote for her and march on the street to declare that foundlings are natural-born citizen. But since she has taken a position to favor the Aquino’s then she is an enemy of the Filipino nation, the darling of the pahirap sa masa and the ochestrator of the greatest tragedy of the nation’s history (the downfall of the Marcoses). Vote for Digong or Miriam but never this woman!

  8. Let us not forget that Cory, Kris and Noynoy campaigned for Arroyo in 2004 and Cory even said, after the “Hello Garci Tape” was exposed, that she (Cory) does not believe that there was cheating in the 2004 elections and it was then-Deputy Speaker Noynoy under Arroyo who insisted that the said Tape not be played in the halls of Congress because it would violate the Anti-Wire Tapping Act. Then why is Grace Poe now very close to the Aquinos if it is not true that Grace Poe hates FPJ? I tend to believe people who say that Grace Poe hates FPJ.

  9. a nonsense opinion again from Mr. Tatad, do you have any proof of all of this? Maybe you forgot all the victims of martial law during the time of Marcos, because you are one of the instrument right? Even the corrupt politician like you that are now in jail for pocketing millions of pesos from the government admitted that they vote to impeach corona based on their conscience and evidence including your Idol, Tanda Enrile, so how come you are saying pinoy bribed the senate. Maybe you are the one who is bribed by Mr. Joseph Estrada during his impeachment right? how much you pocketed during that time of impeachment, please tell us the truth and the truth will set you free.

  10. I do not know if it is true but there are talks that Grace Poe is anti-Marcos because she feels that she was abandoned by Marcos. Her idols are the enemies of Marcos – Ninoy, Cory, Cardinal Sin, et al. It is also said that she hates FPJ and this is why she is now with people who were the enemies of the late FPJ – the Aquinos (who supported GMA in the 2004 elections and only broke ties with GMA in 2007); Belmonte (who also supported GMA in the 2004 elections); and other well-known yellows who told the voters in 2004 not to vote for FPJ because FPJ is close to the Marcoses and to Erap, the latter two being arch-enemies of the yellows. Perhaps the rumors are true that Grace Poe hates Marcos and FPJ because Grace Poe is now very close to Noynoy Aquino and other yellows who openly campaigned against FPJ in 2004 telling the country not to vote for FPJ because he FPJ was “incompetent” and a “know-nothing”, only God knows the truth.

  11. Maria Gatchalian on

    Since there are no laws regarding our foundlings here in the Philippines, why don’t we consider humanity and morality in the case? The Constitution was promulgated to protect the rights of every Filipino, that should include those who know who their biological parents are those who do not, but these people who want the decision to be against Senator Grace Poe make it seem that we don’t want our foundlings to possess the same rights as us. .

  12. Senator Grace Poe is more than qualified and the Supreme Court decision will definitely go in her favor. She is a natural-born Filipino and she meets the 10-year residency requirement, and ultimately, she’s a candidate with a genuine heart to serve the Filipino people.

  13. Francheska Ramos on

    By dint of prevailing jurisprudence, Senator Grace Poe is already deemed a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. This is not based on a mere “likelihood” or speculation but on a settled “law of the land.” The 2001 en banc case of Bengzon vs. HRET has made this abundantly clear: If a citizen has never since birth undergone naturalization proceedings under any existing law, he/she is deemed “necessarily” a natural-born citizen.

  14. Most of the times, the hidden message is conveyed in the most obvious things, and yet we deny it to protect our own interests.

  15. ernie del rosario on

    The seeming absurdity of Poe being in the dual state at the same time of being a candidate (since she continues to campaign) and not being a candidate (so she shd not campaign for her COC has been canceled) can be acceptable in three realms that I can think of: 1) quantum physics, 2) light’s dual “personality” of either being a wave or a particle (as Einstein proven in photoelectric particle behavior as well as light as a wave in a continuous spectrum) and at the extreme 3) Jesus’ human and divine natures. Wait till some of the justices start to argue along these three aspects. The first two aspects may be ignored maybe outright for laws are beyond the ambit of science but when it comes to Jesus’ duality, it will again be another contentious issue unless Poe is taken as possibly a Jesus-equivalent or a human being

  16. very well said kit and truly informative.i m more concern on the last part where SC sereno will try to protect her own self after the election and if llamanzares wins, then she will get her payback not to be impeach.

  17. ernie del rosario on

    Anong DNA, DNA ? Ang kailangan DiNA dapat payagang magpatuloy ng kakakampanya yan dahil canceled na ang CoC niya and Comelec has that kind of power. Puede lang siya makapagkampanya kung mag decision ang SC na umabuso nga ang Comelec. As it is she is in the state of being DQed and continues to be in such state until the SC decides. Kasi ang issue na pinatawan ng TRO ng SC ay kung inabuso ng Comelec ang kapangyarihan nito by canceling POE’s CoC na puno pa nga ng kasinungalingan. So ang pinagtatalunan sa SC ay kung ito ay ginawa nga o hindi ng Comelec. Samakatuwid ang decision na tugma sa reklamo ay oo o hindi, umabuso ang Comelec. Kung oo, doon pa lang eepekto ng di DQed si Poe and puede na siya mangampanya uli.

  18. Is it destiny by coincidence that Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares be our president? 1) Was it by coincidence the Sen. Mary Grace Poe was found in Jaro Cathedral by Ed Militar? 2) Was it by coincidence that the whole Miltar family immigrated to Canada and left baby Mary Grace to a certain Aling Chayong who was a kasambahay of socialite Tess Ledesma? 3) Was it a coincidence that Tess Ledesma was a neighbor of Ronnie Alan Poe (aka FPJ) and Jesusa Sonora (aka Susan Roces) and elder sister of Rosemarie Sonora? 4) Was it a coincidence that the Ledesmaa family also migrated to Canada and left Mary Grace to FPJ and Susan to be adopted? 5) Was it a coincidence that FPJ and Susan Roces godparent in their December 25, 1968 wedding were Pres. Marcos and FL Imelda Marcos? 6) Was it a coincidence that FPJ and Susan Roces filed the adoption of Mary Natividad Grace at the RTC of the Municpality of San Juan where the Mayor was Joseph “Erap” Estrada RTC instead of Iloilo? 7) Was it a coincidence that FPJ and Erap were best friend and both were known Marcos Loyalist.
    If these coincidences is a Destiny of Sen. Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares let her be our next president and Sen. Bong Bong Marcos our next vice president. I will surely vote for their tandem come May 9, 2016.

    • APO3KR: You are my idol. Your sharp mind has captured the elaborate lie of make believe concocted by FPJ and Susan. The coincidences can only happen in a teleserye, not true life. Other unbelievable coincidence that you missed. Archbishop (later) Cardinal himself officiated at the royal-like christening of a mere foundling. Why would a rich and well-known couple like the Poes take a chance on adopting a foundling from a far-off place with unknown or questionable parentage who could be drunkards or criminals when they have a choice among thousands of orphans whose pedigrees are available for examination and adoption in Manila? No, it had to be Grace as ordained by their Godfather Marcos and to cover-up for their sister’s indiscretion..This has all the earmarks of a great movie.

  19. Nakakasiguro ako na si Manong Ernie ang nakaalam ng sikreto, dahilan sa ang asawa niya na si Marichu Vera Perez ang may ari ng Sampaguita Pictures at si Rosemarie ay isa sa talent ng Sampaguita. Kaya galit si Imelda kay Mang Ernie ay siya ang “Bugaw” ni Apo.

    • I can believe Kit has no personal knowledge of Grace origin because he joined the Palace Corps one year late. But even in 1969 onward he must have heard that Marcos maintained a “gun room” as a place to relax and off-limits to women including Imelda. Marcos was the Pinoy version of Cassanova and he had a trusted recruiter of starlets from Sampaguita Pictures who was an in-law of the Vera-Perez family. When Imelda discovered the in-house bordello, she got the executive secretary thrown out of Malacanang. Kit may not be privy to these events but I had an assistant executive secretary as a neighbor who regaled us with these salacious tales and I had no reason to doubt him because the tale of how Grace came into being is a popular talking point everywhere. However, if there will be DNAs, I suggest that both Bongbong and Irene take part. As for Imee, she is already absolutely certain that Grace is not only a natural-born Filipino but is also a true-blue Ilocana who is her “kabsat” sibling. Susan is the key to all this drama and would rather do the DNA with corpses rather than the Marcoses because she wants to insist on the foundling teleserye.

    • May nabasa din ako na isang commenter na nagsabing bakit hindi tanungin si Ernie? Of course, we know he is referring to Ernie Maceda who married a Vera Perez. The same Ernie who was disparagingly described by Arsenio Lacson as “so young and so corrupt”.

    • Magaling ang hinala mo. Totoo na si Manong Ernie ay naging bugaw ni Apo Ferddie. Nandun ang lahat ng yan sa libro ni Primitivo Mijares “The Conjugal Dictatorship”… mga escapdes sa chicks ni FM at sa cats naman ni IM. Lahat ng celebrities na nadali ni FM nandun sa libro. Si Kit walang alam yan. Si Tibo ang palace confidante ni FM kasi Malacanang reporter sya.

  20. Suspense, magandang plot sa tele-nobela o pampelikula.

    Levity aside, Grace Poe can make the whole damn legal issue easy on the Supreme Court if she takes the DNA test with Bongbong Marcos. She should face this fondling issue head on instead of digging graves in Guimaras that she knows will turn out nothing, and doing dramatics for unfortunate fondlings – she is not a fondling and she is not unfortunate or ‘api’. There was a lot of smoke regarding FM-Rosemarie during those begone days that still lingers and Grace can douse that smoke with fire- take the DNA test.

  21. William Cartledge on

    Grace Poe is a dedicated and genuine person,both as a politician and as a human being.Its high time that those that feel threatened by her “no nonsense,common sense” approach get rooted out and maybe investigate them.

    • You are right because she refused to make Aquino acountable re mamapasano massacer. She is a clever politician. Sangkera! Namamangka sa dalawang ilog. Pag nasa Amerika, amerkana siya. Pag nasa Pinas Pinay sya. Very clver indeed!

  22. These Grace Llamanzanares puppies does not know what we are in if Grace will be qualified. This woman is very dangerous because of her ambitions which knows no bound. Filipinos must be very, very careful if she will be allowed to run and wins. WE will be in for a very chaotic 6 years of a Llamanzares rule.

  23. Since there is a suspicion/rumors that Grace Poe Llamanzares is the daughter of President Marcos and Rosemarie Sonora, why can’t they request Jesusa Sonora Poe aka Susan Roces, the sister of Rosemarie to undergo a DNA to prove whether or not Grace Poe Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino?

  24. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The reason why mother and son, even with the power they have in their hands, never dared to find out who masterminded the killing of her husband and of his father, is because they both and even the family knew who the mastermind was and that man is very closed to them but not a blood relation to them. How could that be? Look at the way and manner he responds to questions related to the issue. God save the Philippines. God bless the Philippines.

  25. Indeed -CJ Sereno as seen and heard from her speech favoring the foundling GP then and only then “nababoy” ang ating Constitution. Hindi na nasunod. Paano na? Mahal kong bayan! Wala na tayong matatakbuhan.

  26. Mr Kit Tatad, I am delighted to learn that you compare notes with Bobi. Mr.Tiglao as a ranking cadre of the Communist Party of the Philippines during your stint as Marcos spokesman will surely shatter the lie that the late dictator declared martial law to stop the communist but to perpetuate himself to power. With regard to Marcos being a ladies man,your statement that although Malacanang is always an active rumor mill with all sort of gossips, you never heard of Rosemarie Sonora as one of his hotsie patotsies to qoute Madam Imelda.The late Mr. Primitivo Mijares , your fellow Malacanang insider during the golden years of Marcos devoted a whole chapter in his book The Conjugal Dictatorships regarding the piccadillos of your master. But he never mention Rosemarie Sonora as one of his mistresses. Perhaps you can check the veracity to your fellow opposition Ernie Maceda. Coming from Malacanang insiders it validates my belief that Grace and Bongbong are not siblings. It is just plain gossip by malicious people who will do everything to disqualify Grace Poe because she holds the balance of equation among their candidates quest for power. Because Bongbong is a fake,shot dead in London during his studies, you can easily get a clandestine DNA sample from Grace Poe like hair or saliva and compare this to Sheryl Cruz and they will be sisters sharing the same sire. Sheryl would love to do this since she is reported to be against Poe’s candidacy.This can be done surreptitiously and modern DNA testing will support those people who wanted the foundling Grace Poe out of the presidential race. This gossip is non sequitor to Kit Tatad’s interpretation of the constitution!

  27. jeff jaramillo on

    This article will surely clear clouded mind.

    With two sentences, the declaration of Martial Law was justified/defended.

    The Philippines was spared of becoming another Vietnam.

  28. I have been telling myself that people are just tiring themselves trying to defebd her when she is the only one who could do it. If Senator Marcos would agree to submit his DNA then that answers all doubts. Everyrhing she is doing is play woth the filipino peoples intelligence. Her outright refusal to do it somehow gives us ordinary mortals an answer to the question of her real identity. If in the end it will prove everyones suspicion that her being a Marcos is not true, then i think it will earn everyones respect of her honesty, but if it does then that will stop all speculations about her nationality in which case her citizenship will not get in the way.instead of her digging graves and making all this drama which does not prove anything except her trying to run away from what people sees to be ghe truth. Do it in the presence of the media and neutral people whos only interest is to ferret out the truth. But i am seeing the point of Sec. TATAD that maybe the one outstanding reason is she is afraid to earn the ire of the powers that be who at this time is just playing along with her, who besides her real parents must have known the truth all along.

  29. Mr. Tatad, in the book written by Primitivo Mijares, there was one chapter tackling the supposed dalliances by Marcos with G.C., H.K. and R.S. H.K. and R.S. were actresses and G.C. was the wife of a crony. Now, isn’t R.S. the initials of Rosemarie Sonora?

  30. Hindi totoo na si Marcos ang totoong tatay ni Grace Poe, dahil kung totoo ito, matagal ng lumabas ito. Ginagawa lang naman ito na issue e. Sana nga lang ay matapos na ito dahil wala naman itong basehan. Para hindi narin masaktan ang magkabilang kampo. Respeto na lang sa bawat pamilya.

  31. Ako naniniwala ako na walang connection ang Marcos kay Sen Grace Poe dahil haka haka lang yan na walang katotohanan at alam ko aaminin ni Sen Grace Poe yan kung totoo man yan dahil tapat siyang tao.

  32. just last night i have thought of the possiblity that by having MG as hare-brained Pinoy’s saving grace, the latter would have in effect helped resurrect his arch nemesis! 555. Not only did u beat me to it, idol, ur discussion re is way more extensive and intricate complete with twists and turns. In such scenario, the marcoses would be laughing no end. Imagine its brod and sis actually conspiring? 555 Its one for the books! 555