Justice Gregory Ong has been found guilty by association, arguably. Janet Napoles is bad news of course. I am happy I have no pix with her.
This paper said the other day that the Supreme Court (SC) had “declared [him]a natural born citizen” when his citizenship was questioned. A lawyer-brother of Greg and I represented him, a fellow Bedan; all his siblings are unquestionably Pinoy so why single him out? The last time I spoke with Greg was in 2007, before our family tragedy.
Assuming that the findings are accurate, I feel that the penalty may be draconian, with all due respect. Greg should move to reconsider on the penalty, there being five dissenters. In 2010, this paper noted the other day, he “was penalized for holding hearings individually instead of hearing a case as a collegial body in Davao city.” Offense? Working too hard. Greg was indeed legend in the Sandigan, where he has toiled for 16 years, for working his butt off. The story is told about a CFI Judge in Manila hearing three default cases simul. I was awed and felt he deserved a medal. In the context at hand, the three magistrates and the judge are heroes in my eyes.
Now, is Macoy a hero rating a Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LMB) burial, nullifying Edsa’86?
Sadly, many still buy the Marcosian myth that he proclaimed martial law on Thursday, September 21, 1972; in fact just another day in the office for the nation. The correct date is September 23.
Move his remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMB)? Sen. Chiz Escudero supports the idea. He is the son of a Macoy Cabinet member so I am not surprised that he never really felt nor shared our pain.
Veep Jojobama Binay, jailed more than once, compromises by suggesting full military honors to Macoy in Batac, not altogether unlike giving Hitler full military honors in his hometowns in Austro-Hungary and Passau, Germany. Schicklguber was his surname then which would not fall trippingly from the tongue. Jojobama would amend, not erase, Edsa’86.
At my age (75), I can compromise. Why not rename Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMB) to Libingan ng mga Sundalo at Mga Bayani (instead of the naughty Libingan ng mga Bayani at Iba Pa). We need to be creative. If martial law author Macoy is moved to the LMB, why not move again Emman Lacaba, my friend and pro bono client (like Greg), transferred from a shallow grave in Davao, to the old cemetery in Pateros and to the new one there, and now where he belongs, the LMB?
FVR was kind enough to read my piece last week and enfaced on a margin his help by way of materials in case I would “want to pursue the subject” on where Macoy should finally rest. Na-onse si FVR ni Roquito Ablan and the Marcoses who had committed a direct flight from Hawaii to Laoag (done) and immediate burial (not so). Born on Septiembre Onse (1917, Macoy said, but under oath in Hawaii, he said 1916), a clear warning of what the criminal genius, would be up to; fruit does not fall far from the tree. The egocentric Marcoses have divided us long enough and should let go, for unity, Jojobama’s compromise objective.
The effort is worthy of a better cause. Focus we should on filing claims under the human rights compensation law (R.A. No. 10368). MABINI ace Oca Rodriguez, a Congressman, has said he is not filing any claim, not the only one not to monetize his suffering but if all would so behave, no one or few would file. The Marcoses would say, see wala naman pala. Hence, all victims should file, to confirm the extent and scope of the violations. Of course we cannot rope in anybody or everybody; but, Ka Oca should consider donating his deserved share to a worthy cause like the Iglesia ni Saguisag, isang maralitang taga-lungsod, naging QC Batang City Jail candidate-member lang, for calling Macoy in court a “super-subversive,” in early 1983 in the We Forum trial.
The people must not forget that “day of infamy” in Philippine history, September 23, 1972, that led many to subvert. The emailer said: “The great injustice in the history of the Philippines is for some people in the halls of power to rehabilitate traitors, tyrants and thieves and make us forget with revisionism. A national catharsis is long overdue. We should move on. But first a wrong has to be righted.”
Shall we stop marking September 21 as special? I feel forlorn that Marcosian numerology persists. Marcos was fond of seven and its multiples so he spun the myth that September 21 was when martial law descended upon the land. Simply not true. Spurious.
In journalism and history, we should have a passion for precision in expression. The September 21 superstition must end.
Indeed, NEVER AGAIN! – should we play up September 21 as Proc. No. 1081 day. For Ninoy and a few others, it was midnight of September 22. For the rest of the nation, September 23, when the day began with no radio-TV and no newspapers. I was in San Beda that afternoon but only lawyer Byron Bocar, now with the human rights compensation board, and stude Alex Almario (one such was mentioned in the Napoles saga, which could be toxic and hazardous to one’s well-being) gave me company. A long nightmare began, to end on February 25, 1986, when PNoy’s Mom took power.
I see the pixes of the Aquinos’ US home on Commonwealth Avenue, the street where my Dulce lived with Millie C and Mary C, maybe a mile from where the Aquinos resided later. There Ninoy and I had a marathon ten-hour conversation in October 1982 (I’d say he spoke for nine hours and 45 minutes, riveting, cum gestures, and I, for 15, to remind him occasionally I wasn’t part of the furniture). The Jesuits’ Boston College is just across, attended by my Dulce, some Aquino daughters, and Grace Poe, where eighteen Septembers ago, Prez Cory spoke, and said, “I pray with all my heart, I work with all my might, and the rest I leave to God.”
How I wish PNoy had the time to be in Fort Warren just outside of Wyoming, and see the Bells of Balangiga, which rang on September 28, 1901; the natives showed true grit and got massacred, in gross violation of human rights.