Janet’s right not to speak

Rene Saguisag

Rene Saguisag

My late ever-loving wife, Dulce, would have loved seeing the Red Sox Nation doing so well (I saw Boston at three-ish a.m. last Tuesday, clinch the Division Series, for a shot at the whole enchilada versus the St. Loo Cardinals).

Decades ago, when our love was new, we would be in Beantown’s Fenway Park which, along with the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium may be the only field of dreams left in the world where Babe Ruth actually played. Shane Victorino starred for Boston in the clincher against Detroit. Alan Ladd’s Shane I saw in a Pasig Cine Surot; Alan popularized Come Back Shane but he is long gone. But Most Valuable Player was a Japanese in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), not Shane.

It took my chance meeting with Chito Salud last weekend for it to sink that his erpat, Rudy, is also gone. A companero/caballero who attended San Beda Law (the finest in Mendiola) in the beginning before Rudy moved to the best law school in Padre Faura (later H.V. de la Costa, named after my fellow Maubanin, and now Rockwell, Makati). Law Dean Pepe Sundiang of San Beda Law and Arellano Law has fond recollections of Rudy, honors, who kindly invited me to make the ritualistic toss in a PBA opening ceremony in 1989.

Anyway, come back Shane V for more feats for the Bosox, while PNoy, keep going, my advice to him in his last 978 days in Malacanang.

You have money in the Palace? Use some of it for Bohol, Cebu and Negros. The legislature and the judiciary are also fiscally autonomous, but all three are not, from the sovereign people, the Boss of all Bosses, who may not blame PNoy for helping victims who are suffering in particularly intense ways.

The Prez cannot wait for Congress to convene under Sec. 24 of Art. VI of the Constitution to exercise its power of the purse, to originate exclusively all appropriation measures.

Historic churches and other buildings have crumbled, people have died, many are in agony and starving. Victims need shelter and medicine. How long would it take to convene Congress?

PNoy is quoted to have said: “Trust me on how I handle pork aka lump sums funds.” I do, but doveryai non proveryai, Russian for “trust but verify.”

But now, it seems we have to consult not only the elected Opposition, unelected Supreme Court Justices (including a retired Chief Justice), Milliard-Marchers, NGO-NGO, academics, columnists, retired generals, et al. before deciding what to do with public money in the face of clamant needs. Is that institutional arrangement better than having the accountable elected decide and act quickly?

I see that the Senate seems bent on denying Janet Napoles her human and constitutional right NOT to speak. Charges galore she faces or stands to. In the Senate a guest’s counsel is treated no better than part of the furniture; the guest is made to check his aforestated right at the door and what he says is used against him. Hard to see anything more inquisitorial in the Star Chamber proceeding we had thought represented the best thinking of the Middle Ages.

The august Senate should lead the way in observing the Bill of Rights on the right to remain silent. Strictly, one may not even be asked his name, rank and serial number, unless assured that what is said would be used purely in aid of legislation and not in prosecuting anyone.

PNoy, the national caravan cannot stop for every barking dog. Listen to the yelping but not to detour. You must listen to every particle of popular sovereignty and his valid competing claim— too many—to scarce resources.

Prosecute and jail fine, but we must pay our people above the level of corruption—there is arguably the Bangko Sentral model, the way to go—cum health care and pension programs sana. Else, bureaucrats will understandably be creative in following the first law of mankind: survival.

The bureaucracy is there to help, not to make life difficult.

I was confined for two weeks in Makati Med due to debilitating cellulitis. The doctors were very kind, charging nothing or nominally. Now government wants us to execute affidavits on the financial side. Only Notaries Public may welcome the innovation. I have spent time with Dr. EL (Derma) and two Notaries Public. But, what about Drs. JS (cardiologist), MRB (nephrology), AC (General), MC (orthopedic), MTG (infectious diseases), MJI (endocrinology), SJ (cardiology), HL (pain), AL (rheumatology) and TR (rehab), who all kindly helped get me on my feet even if only to stutter-walk and stutter-dancexercise at this point. As they may prefer to help unadvertised, with a passion for anonymity, they remain unnamed. The time spent to comply could be better used to help the sick.

Lawyers and doctors and other professionals should be left alone in helping. Civic spirited, they may have no time to watch Janet on TV. We need to develop a Work, not Watch, Ethic. But, I plan to watch as much as I possibly can of the World Series.

Koji Uehara was the ALCS MVP. In my youth, we matched Japan in baseball. Today, many Japanese shine in the American major leagues. It seems that as in public morality we have gone far – in the wrong direction. South.

PNoy, by example, is trying to bring back the caravan to the 50’s of delicadeza and palabra. North.

Let’s endeavor to follow; 978 days to go, and beyond.


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1 Comment

  1. Janet napoles deserves no quarter, she was one of the architects of this plan to steal all of the nations monies. If left to me she would be rotting in a squallid jail cell that the poor have to suffer & i dont want people telling me oh we have to think of her rights. The people who will think of her rights are the ones who along with her benefitted from stolen monies of this country.