• Digong, please consult more and enhance family values


    LAST Monday, there was a birth anniversary Mass in Fr. Benigno Benabarre’s honor in San Beda (Mendiola). He turned 101. Excuse me, but I don’t go back that far, as you can see in my new pic above. Please compare with Hillary Clinton’s and Bongbong’s. (Sen. BB, changing “?” to “ñ”, is correction, not falsification.) Their latest pics I saw of them this week show aging.

    Tony Cannon, Tony Suarez, Ray Duque, Louie Ablaza, Will Chua and Joe Araullo and I posed with Fr. BB; not in pic, Ave and Helen Cruz, Butch Africa, Lindayag, Ricafort and wassisname Cabo Chan of the younger set, et al.). All in our Second Adolescence. Arguably.

    Digong may/should look younger.

    My Davao-based classmate, Kapampangan Jess Saplala, whose name I read in the New York Times Int’l Weekly issue, led off in the item “A Vigilante, Soon to be President”: “Jess Saplala was in a bar in Davao City listening to a man singing Frank Sinatra when he noticed that the crooner was the town’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte.” Manila Bulletin Supp., May 23, 2016, p. 3, col. 3.

    Jess, like me, was an English major, who can turn a phrase well, with his modulated voice. An NCAA Red Lion cheerleader. We may occasionally disagree, without being disagreeable. Would that be if he, without taking away anything from Sal Panelo, with us in MABINI once upon a time, were Digong’s amiable, charming, tactful, good-looking mouthpiece. We would then have cordially disagreed on the death penalty, etc.

    I have always been, from time out of mind, against the brutal eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth, rape-the-rapist death penalty as well as the in-your-face burial of Macoy in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

    Prez-elect Duterte’s arguably needless early provocative pronouncements on these issues make it impossible for me to give him six months to see whether the bloom would be off the rose by then. Earlier, more likely. But, he disagrees with the Tanauan, Batangas Mayor Halili’s shame campaign, parading substance abuse suspects who should be rehabbed, not degraded and destroyed. Digong offers lawyers, so he has not given up due process. There’s hope.

    A lawyer could have told him not to offer GMA pardon, who declined natcherly. Pardon here requires that a conviction be final, unappealable and executory (so unlike in the US, where Ford quickly pardoned Nixon, who had not even been charged, on Sept. 8, 1974).

    Digong may not have too much time for law. But, GMA should be allowed house arrest or bail, like JPE, for rough-and-ready humanitarian reasons. To free political detainees on his own may encroach on judicial independence on which courts are jealous. The executive may properly “suggest,” though.

    On Macoy and the LMB, 75,000 human-rights claims are now being processed; the claimants should not be kicked in the teeth just now.

    The Supreme Court, on July 15, 2003, ordered the Marcoses to return billions of ill-gotten wealth.

    The world applauded on Feb. 25, 1986 when we kicked them out. It will look askance, and even laugh at us, as the far from contrite kleptocrats and human-rights violators soil and disrespect the LMB. Its name can be changed to Libingan ng mga Bayani at Pangulo (OK, not Bayani At Iba Pa, my flippant earlier suggestion?).

    The Marcoses started the destruction of our values, institutions and processes in 1965. Marcos, as William Saunders, opened his Swiss bank account, in 1968. So did Imelda, as Jane Ryan. They ruined the chances (to succeed) of Gerry Roxas, Tanny Tañada, Ka Pepe Diokno, Uncle Jovy Salonga, Ambo Padilla, Monching Mitra, Soc Rodrigo, et al., and eliminated the young leaders who should be in office today. We have not recovered from their egregious greed for power and lucre.

    Change is coming? The decay that Marcoses inaugurated may yet be completed by Digong. Let’s hope not. Change may be for the better, or worse. He may take giant steps to lead us—to deliverance or deeper into the wilderness.

    The LMB sortie is one such needlessly divisive gambit. With no record of any visible anti-martial law effort on the part of the Prez-elect, unlike his widely-admired Mother he did not follow or join during the Dark Years, his LMB announcement should perhaps not come as a surprise.

    On challenging the Catholic Church, which has had its shares of Borgias and Father Damasos. But, the institution has also done a lot of good. I think a sister of Jess Saplala is a nun(?) Digong should temper his criticism of a religion that has not given him lots—a Safari, and an Expedition, and free use of aircraft, cum free fuel—as Pastor Quiboloy has. Illegal under P.D. No. 46, etc., and unethical.

    Excessively obvious. A lawyer may not give any gift to a decision-maker, not even on Christmas.

    Digong should also review his plan to go home daily to Davao. The cost and staff, security and medical arrangements may cause financial and other nightmares. Not having the usual sikyu may fuel speculation that he may just visit a new kulasisi to tame his raging(?) hormones.

    The FBI is used in the US to vet and see if a nominee would accept and if there is anything in his life that would cause embarrassment if known. The public rejection, not cuz of low pay, I’m sure, by Messrs. Gibo Teodoro and Peter Laurel, as well as by GMA, showed the need to do more homework. Rookie mistakes?

    I wish Digong well. His success will be ours. But his three-child preference may not fly or work here where we cannot even enforce the one-spouse (canonical, civil, common-law) fiat. If Digong wants to bring his family(ies) to the oath-taking, who will be with him? Remember, Bossing Digong, pamamarisan ka ng lahat, lalo na ng kabataan. Our cherished family values should be nurtured and strengthened. Or else, Decay, to follow Savagery and Civilization?

    I like his supposed position on medical marijuana. I hope he studies also the proceedings last month in the UN General Assembly on the failed hardline policy on banned drugs. Users are sick, to be rehabbed, not jailed (Rep. Rudito Albano’s thrust), and removing the profit motive should kill the syndicates in time.

    Mark Villar’s appointment may be reminiscent of crony capitalism. Or its perception.

    Digs, shall we meet in some bar with Jess Saplala to sing and make kwento? Jess should make as good a spokesman as Sal. For education, why not Dr. Tes Calderon, the one-time speed-reading champ, daughter of Pepe and sis of Lilia Clemente of Wall Street?

    The very best. UIOGD, that in all things God may be glorified.

    And remember, in ancient Rome, emperors were regularly reminded: “You are mortal.”

    We can go any time and not realize the dream or fantasy  of living to be a hundred, to be shot to death in bed, with a kulasisi, by a jealous boyfriend.


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. The incoming president may have been a “Bedan”. But he sure has failed to imbibe what you and Secretary De Lima imbibed from the College: concern and respect for human rights and dignity. I predict that Duterte’s “reign” will be tumultuous, as he has finally admitted that he is bipolar or a manic-depressive. This disorder is responsible for his unpredictable, erratic, inconsistent, and questionable behavior. Let us hope that he is cared for medically, and that he is taking his pills regularly. Otherwise, the Philippines will be in for a bad time. Do we want the country to be known as “the sick man of Asia all over again”, as had been the case during the last days of the late President Ferdinand Marcos? Thank goodness, there is Cong. Leni Robredo, as VP, waiting in the wings.

    2. You are one of the most admirable senators that we have ever had. Just would like to ask what really prompted Tita Cory to allow the return of the Marcoses during her term? And why did she not incarcerate them despite all the alleged wrongs and plunder they have committed? And also, FVR allowed the return of FM’s corpse. Now we are in a quandary as to how to bury him with finality. Digong will inherit the Marcos conundrum and we only have to thank the EDSA 1 heroes, don’t you agree? —-From a disappointed EDSA 1 and 2 veteran.

    3. ferdinand naboye on

      The world knows you are a lawyer but why up to now no final verdict was done on the supreme court only in the strrets on the case of marcos. up to now many are still believing on hipocrisies

    4. Ramon Rendon on

      Thanks Rene,

      I hope that Digong would heed to your advise.

      It is sad that he is the only President Elect that I know na dumadami ang kaaway at inaaway.

      Will always Pray for the Philippines and it’s Leaders.

    5. “(Sen. BB, changing “?” to “ñ”, is correction, not falsification.)”

      Hmm, I think like most of old people, you are completely clueless about computers. Leave the IT experts on their expertise, concentrate on yours, Sir.

    6. I have not agreed with you on some of your positions or hated you when you chose to defend people who were obviously guilty but I salute you now for calling out Duterte for some of his faulty decisions, which very few Bedans have the balls to do right now. If I am not mistaken, you and Leila deLima are the only two I know. God bless.

    7. Right now, it is very hard to see the future with Duterte. Will he pursue his promises ? To Duterte, my only request is for you to solve the minors in our streets at night. This curfew must work and the parents of these minors must must be held accountable. Let us help our kids. I think this is not an impossible dream. DSWD tried to solve this problem but with the wrong tool. They did not held the parents accountable. What they have are thousands of street children and they have to let them go in the morning.