• Jerry B, Chot R, Walden B, in a scofflaw nation


    No driver last Monday (Muslim holiday) but a son offered to drive so I went to the wake of Jerry Barican in Magallanes that night.

    On arrival at past nine, I was told I had just missed Prez Erap, who had him as spokesman, early on, in 1998. A number of Jerry’s UP contempos were in the wake. A maxim in law is when one enumerates, he excludes. I won’t name anyone then. His contempos are in their Second Adolescence, or fantasizing to be. All as colorful as Jerry who I last had coffee with in 1992, if my memory is true.

    Jerry I must have first heard of in the 1978 LABAN campaign for the Batasan (my Dulce and I were in the US from May 1967 to December 30, 1970, colorful times, abroad and here; missed out on the First Quarter Storm). In February-April 1978, I edited Malayang Pilipinas (MP) in a free press interlude and I would list the 21 Mad Adventurers running for Metro Manila Batasan seats. “Mad Adventure” was how General Campaign Manager Senator Lorenzo M. Tanada labeled the effort.

    Our February 28, 1978 MP issue profiled Jerry thus: “UP Law professor, well-known student leader, political detainee. Assistant to Sen. Jose W. Diokno, 1974-76. As a student he was chairman, UP Student Council; associate editor, Philippine Collegian; first student member, UP Board of Regents. He is a lawyer, cum laude, UP College of Law. He is 29.” [I was then 39] Such promise — and he should be remembered by his best.

    In Pasig, despite the massive cheating, LABAN won anyway, 13-8, with Ninoy on top — thanks to townsmen Bobbit Sanchez and Uncle Jovy Salonga, good organizers and campaigners. I memorialized the fraud city by city and town by town, published and subsidized by Raul Daza (then in the US); Sister Christine Tan lent her name.

    The Liberal Party [LP] boycotted the 1978 exercise so LP Ninoy had to come up with Lakas ng Bayan or LABAN! LP Gerry Roxas and LP Jovy poured heart and soul to the effort but not qua LPs, but in their individual capacities.

    Ninoy needed a platform; interviewed by Ronnie Nathanielsz on national radio-TV, he knocked the audience off its socks and assured the nation that his long hunger strike had not affected his charisma, mind and wit. He had lost weight enhancing his enviable kamandag image, urban legend stuff.

    Jerry then went to Harvard Law. The stories of his financial plight in his last few years can make my head uneasy wearing my crown as the most financially-strapped or -challenged Harvard Law alum in these parts, with my focus on pro bono (puro abono) practice; good mainly for psychic income, starting from 1962 (when I was a law office messenger and researcher, in my law junior-senior years). A manse? Until my ever-loving Dulce passed away, I was only her star boarder.

    Goodbye Jerry and thank you.

    He filed a human rights victim’s compensation claim under R.A. No. 10368 for being a prisoner of conscience, Human Rights Board and MABINI Member Byron Bocar just assured me by email.

    When I got off in Magallanes last Monday night, the first I met, outside, was Charito Planas, on the same LABAN ticket of 1978. In 1982, we met in Washington, D.C.; there I also met Walden Bello.

    Last September 12, I wrote here: “A negative entry I would make is Coach Chot Reyes blaming, if I understood him correctly, a national player in Spain, for a loss.” Without taking away anything from his many feats, I don’t like hearing “players lose games, coaches win’em.” In Incheon (Inchon, when we were young, and McArthur made it famous) good that Chot did not duck any responsibility. Chot, keep going; we live and learn.

    I don’t know if I can say the same of Walden Bello, a beautiful name. Walden, from a literary provenance. I think his folks (Jesse and Luz?) owned the paradise in Laguna de Bay, Cielito Lindo – a lyrical name; in that small piece of beautiful heaven – where I was, many many moons ago, in my carefree innocent Rizal Hi days.

    It seems to me those in government should speak with a single voice in affairs foreign. Did Walden, House Foreign Relations Committee Chair, carry a sign saying “in my private capacity”? (But, Bobby Fischer was a private citizen when he went to Yugoslavia and was charged with violating Logan’s Law on unauthorized dealing with foreign countries.) Now, China’s foreign ministry is reported to have asked our HK Consulate for an explanation. Did Speaker Sonny Belmonte, informed beforehand, authorized Walden’s trip? In all good faith?

    But, suppose lawmakers from Hong Kong come and display placards saying PNoy RESIGN! on the invite of the National Transmogrification Council, or those who cannot wait to Sing, When All the Saints Go Marching In. Or PNOY – SIX MORE YEARS! on the invite of the Yellow Army, where I may belong; but, my wish is for PNoy to step down on June 30, 2016, at noon, and marry his June bride, at six p.m., and have a son who will carry the name. That’s all I ask of him.

    Last Tuesday, I asked the Supreme Court (SC) for a copy of the Political Law bar exam last Sunday and voila, my messenger had copies of last Sunday’s two exams when he returned to our office that same morning! Not the case in the last few years, when we had to meander through the bowels of the bureaucracy. Justice Dado, son of affable Judge Elviro, kudos.

    Slow but sure progress. Will the SC now issue copies of the Justices’ SALNs? Rulings to one not a party? A thoroughgoing accounting and report to the people on the Judiciary Development Fund? Proof of compliance with Sec. 7 of R.A. No. 3019, requiring every public servant every year not later than April 15, to report on amounts and sources of income earned, personal and family expenses incurred, and taxes paid the preceding calendar year? I bet no one complies with the 1960 Tolentino Law, from PNoy down the line.

    Pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill and the Supreme Court would arguably find a away to be above the law.

    Scofflaws, that’s what we all are?


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Rita R. Geissler on

      Dear Senator Saguisag,
      I am calling u Senator because that’s how i came to know you. Greetings from across the Pacific …i don’t think you’ll remember me but i was a staff of Sen. Bert Romulo…I was the stray cat who frequented your office (not because i got a crush on Chris Fianeza according to you) … i’ve always admired ur office … run efficiently and everyone’s very professional .. there is nothing political in that political office. And in your office library where i researched and enjoyed reading the best pulp. Last February Marian King and I saw each other where we reminisced the good o’ Senate days and Thiele too who is in Florida. Like your smart and attractive former employees I married not a Pinoy but a Germanese (German father and Japanese mother and we speak Italian at home .. remember the axis powers? no no this is not true Sir i am kidding and we are blessed with a 16-year old daughter))… I took teaching credentials here and I teach grade school and it is in teaching the young babes that i realize that i am afflicted with the mildest form of messianic complex.

      Senator RAVS you’re such a wordsmith … never miss your column..you’re one of the best and I will always remember your dedication and commitment as a public servant..

      All the best !


    2. Senator Saguisag,

      May I know if you can vouch for the integrity of another MABINI lawyer, the one who has moist eyes on the 2016 presidential elections?

      Can you put that in writing – that Jojobama is worthy of the post or not?