• I remember Ali the way he would like to be


    IT is theorized that within the year, incoming Prez Digong Duterte may make a sentimental journey home to China. He has more Chinese blood than PNoy. Which companion will he bring? Less of a problem than visiting the Pope, who would prefer a Catholic Prez with only one married wife (kids, no limit).

    For wives, Muslim Muhammad Ali had Sonji, Belinda,Veronica and Lonnie. He said he had nine children (others here, when asked, would tell me, “ewan ko”). The one he introed to Macoy, in 1975, was then-kulasisi Veronica. Then wifey Belinda saw the incident on TV and, upset, flew to Manila and had a junior “Thrilla” in Manila in a hotel room.

    Maybe all would profit from knowing how Ali, once on top of the world, would like to be remembered. Sic transit mundi gloria. He was holding court on TV before the 1974 Ali-Foreman fight in Kinshasa, Zaire (Rumble in the Jungle); he gave a memorable answer when host David Frost asked how he’d like to be remembered. His answer, which fell trippingly from the tongue: “I’d like for them to say, He took a few cups of love. He took one tablespoon of patience, one teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one-quart of laughter, one piece of concern, and then he mixed willingness with happiness.

    He added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well. Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.” Even to the undeserving, sana.

    Anyway, Mark Kram wrote in Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, on that 1974 Ali-Frazier classic, that Manila was/is the world’s “oral sex capital.” How could he sound apodictic about it?

    Ali I admire for marching to the beat of a different drummer. I still do, although I have long ceased to like The Manly Art of Modified Murder. One theory was that he became unwell partly ‘cuz of the countless head blows he got. But, I digress, even if I might have caught Digong’s attention who may retort that Monica Lewinsky did oral sex in the US capital. The point is that, in the end, we should be remembered for our kindness. Ali, Pusong Mamon.

    Toughie Digong would not mind media men summarily being killed, if corrupt. I prefer due process. Suppose cops and soldiers or corrupt top officials start killing themselves?
    The decaying public may cheer wildly but this change I don’t want. Transformation I prefer, not transmogrification, where we accelerate our Decay, after Savagery and Civilization.

    Every life matters. A city can be run well, like Naga by Jesse Robredo, who needed no braggadocio about killing anyone. Good there is a Robredo in the wings. Osmosis helps.

    Three top police officials get warned by Digong, who would not warn ordinary folk. If he has a top official, rumored to be corrupt, killed, I may join the decaying hoi polloi in cheering. But, most probably not. Digong would go federal? Again, hinay-hinay lang.

    Venezuela and federalism—PDI reader Hugo Chavez Daniel Aloc praised to the high heavens (Letters, 6/6/16). What structural changes did Chavez leave behind? Its federal government is tottering today on the verge of an economic meltdown. Anyone talking of shifting to parliamentary should also look at what’s happening in Somalia, also federal, now in chaos.

    I tend to agree with Serge Osmeña, kawawa lalo ang poor regions. Kawawa tayo that he was not installed back to the Senate by voters enamored of Digong. Intelligent voting?
    Good people change others. Better people change the system. The best change themselves.

    Digong should stop trash-talking if only for the sake of our youth, who should be properly educated on courtesy and kindness, and the evils of martial law and dictatorship, which Digong, to my knowledge, never opposed from 1972 to 1986 (his brave Mom did; it was a privilege to march with her in the streets of Davao). If he deep-sixes someone rich and prominent, not only riffraff, he may become the object of wider respect. Top cops and drug lords get warned.

    But not the kumags.

    In 1966 we were behind only Japan. The institutions were respected. So were civil servants, particularly judges. Then the Marcoses came and severely damaged our institutions, values and processes. The Decay began, arrested by Cory, FVR and Erap, sort of, revived by GMA, rearrested by PNoy. Now, the deluge? Change is coming. (Sana sukli lamang ng waitress to this senior citizen flashing his card.) Digong can transform, or transmogrify, us. He has to change his work habits to suit the rest of us. Be considerate and kind. Flying home daily to Davao is a nightmare for all. He should think of others. A Man for Others, he must have learned in Ateneo de Davao.

    And youth should be saved and served, not stigmatized. Due process for the poor. If he would have a police or military general shipped out to that undiscovered country from which no traveler has returned, instead of nogoodniks, he may become an object of wider respect of an impatient Decaying population.

    As of now, utos ng hari, ‘di yata mababali. For names of rogue cops, we have the names of certain scalawags, who are entitled to due process and not summarily killed. Meantime, gutsy Ombudsman Chit Carpio-Morales just dismissed the cockamamie Kenkoy treason and sedition complaint of Lito Atienza, et al. (OMB-C-C-15-0486). We were sustained in our stand that treason is a wartime offense, and that our clients incited no one to rise publicly and tumultuously; instead, Miriam Coronel Ferrer, among many others, just toiled to try to enact a law to try to solve a problem of centuries. Too many people have died.

    Tolits and Jonat de la Cruz should have convinced their House colleagues and not harass or terrorize good hardworking citizens whose patriotism cannot be questioned. They are not traitors and should not be casually smeared. They were widely reported to have committed treason and sedition. No one seemingly has cared to report the dismissal of the Kenkoy cases. Is Digong the only show in town? I marched with his mother, half-Maranao and half-Chinese, on the streets of Davao to protest the salvaging of Ninoy. Yup, Digong is more Chinese than Pnoy (Tulay, May 24-June 20, 2016, p. 5, col. 1).

    Digong finished his secondary education at the then-Holy Cross College of Digos (now Cor Jesu College), after being expelled twice from schools, including Ateneo de Davao University, due to misconduct. He got, in 1968, an AB degree in Political Science, at the Lyceum, in Manila. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda, in 1972. He was a prosecutor in Davao City from 1977 to 1986. He claimed publicly to have shot a fellow student while in law school for allegedly bullying him ‘cuz of his Bisaya origins. His victim survived, and although Duterte was prohibited from participating in the commencement march, he did graduate.

    Sara Soliven wrote that Digong, per his growing number of critics, “would never pass the Makati elite standards. Wrong school, wrong crowd. The world would laugh at us offstage.” Ateneo, Lyceum and San Beda are wrong schools?

    The Arrogance of Power I see in him and some of his pals. Digong would stop talking with the media? Not wrong. For now.

    Cooling off, for every time his lips move, one feels like another whopper is coming, requiring clarification, contextualizing, etc.

    In Feb. 1986, Reagan sent Habib here to convince Prez-elect Cory to share power with Macoy. She said simply, in some Cojuangco Bldg. room, “I won, and will take power.”
    Marathon presscons and loooong replies would just confuse, even discombobulate. In 1985-86 I was spokesman for candidate, Prez-elect and Prez Cory. We had brief presscons. When she

    had left and I was asked to clarify and elaborate, I would just tell the media, “I am just her mouthpiece. I am not allowed to think here.” Then babatukan ko ang persnickety Brat Pack. Ang kukulit! They may need spanking, not being killed or boycotted.


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    1. Please let the mayor do his work for the country we voted for him. This country needs discipline as it has become a chaotic country already. You yourself didn’t do shit and just sat down watching the show. Binabatikos niyo na aged akala mo naman kung sino kang nagmamagaling. Dang matuwid sinasabi ninyo sa dulo nito kamatayan. Sariling interest lang iniisip ninyo. Mga katulad mo ang lumalason sa bayan. Wag nang magpahero hero dito. Paedsa edsa ka pa wala ka namang ginawa. Kayo yung pasaway noong panahon in Marcos. Tumigil kayo.

    2. “I marched with his mother, half-Maranao and half-Chinese, on the streets of Davao to protest the salvaging of Ninoy.”

      You marched on the streets to protest the salvaging of Ninoy but you never pressed on to know who really salvaged him.

    3. Yellow standard.

      Insinuating EDSA Revolution ala Yellow Cory style.

      Yellow Leni Robredo will benefit(plan B).

      Another Yellow form of government is brewing.