• JPE, gone; Jake, no! Inferno, redux

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    No Christmas bonus when Uncle Jovy Salonga was Senate Prez. For our hard­working rank-and-file, something modest, and, as Ethics panel chief, I had to ask the foolish question of the day: what legal basis? My own staff was deluged with calls telling me where to go—the gates of hell—till my people had to say “sorry, wrong number.” JPE had his Christmas palambing, but it seems the Senators were not given an equal share of the loot so the larceny was exposed by the discriminated against. Lesson for the next Senate Prez: be an equal opportunity Boss in thievery. JPE, TY and good-bye as Senate Prez.

    The other morning, I fell off my chair when I read Jake Macasaet’s saying in Business Insight (page A3, col. 1) that Joker and I worked with Peping Cojuangco to set term limits.

    Not true. In 1986, I was busy in the Cabinet Committee on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and was a virtual one-man panel preparing for the visit of Prez Cory to the U.S., and dodging RAM bullets. And daily briefings for the media. I had absolutely nothing to do with the 1987 Con-Com. Me telling Con-Com Commissioners Ka Celing Palma, Chief Justice Berting Concepcion, Senators Paddy Padilla, Soc Rodrigo, Cosoy Rosalesa and other icons what to do? Unthinkable.

    I saw what Mayor Villena of Makati and Mayors Panong Raymundo and Naning Caruncho of Pasig, let alone what Uncle Jovy, Tanny Tanada, Pepe Diokno, Soc, Paddy, et al. had done. Ain’t broke, so what was there to fix?. Far be it for me to intrude into dynasties. But, my Dulce was named Social Welfare chief by Prez Cory on Oct. 22, 1987; we turned it down, as I turned down my signed appointment as Supreme Court Justice in January 1987. I’d cut short any suggestion of hers that I prepare to succeed her. Even today, talk of my son Atty. Rebo running for anything I greet with the disapproving repartee of silence.
    There is so much in what Jake has written in the last three decades I agree with that I am at sea asking myself who his source could be. Anyway, the Kanos say good people should go to the ministry but the best ones should go to politics, and stay there. Amen.
    Yet, Mexicans keep saying so near the U.S. and so far from God.

    Who gets uptight? No one, from where I sit. We cannot be balat-sibuyas when a Dan Brown writes Inferno; we cannot have the national caravan stop at every barking dog. We cannot just write about what we read on its pages 351-54 or merely heard about same. We need to read its entire 461 pages to appreciate the larger picture or context of alleged global overpopulation.

    Were we agitated when Mark Kram wrote in 2001 in Ghosts of Manila (on Muhammad Ali) that Manila is the Oral Sex Capital of the World? (Now we see Michael Douglas saying he has throat cancer for oral sex. Any throat cancer epidemic here? Or have we opted for verbal, not oral, sex, as more romantic, in poetry and song?)

    On page 124 of Inferno, Florence was linked to the Gates of Hell. Did the excitable, passionate Italians or Florentines mind? Nope. Cool.

    Anyway, we’re happy for Sen. Pia Cayetano and respect her stand on RH, for which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recognized her. Melinda is a devout Catholic. Presumably so is Pia, a San Beda Alabang (then known as Benedictine Abbey School ) alum; there I handle human rights. I don’t agree with Pia and Melinda on RH but respect their human right to be wrong, he, he. Seriously, who’s to say?

    Inferno deals with genetic or biological terrorism as the villains supposedly feared that the world would be overpopulated. Their solution was to trigger, with good intentions, another Black Death of the middle ages.

    But, we have Lee Kwan Yew fretting that native Singapo­reans are not making enough babies. Japan is a country of old people. So is much of Western Europe. Take “Germany, which has been deeply concerned about its rapidly dwindling population, [which]released the results of its first census in nearly a quarter of a century Friday last and found 1.5 million fewer inhabitants than previously assumed.” PDI, June 2, 2013, p. A27, col. 3.
    We are nearing 100M, apparently doing, or overdoing, our share to prevent genetic suicide. With China and India, whose populations stats also go north, we, m;utiplying like rabbits, may yet dominate the world..

    Who dominates our politics? Some dynasties won and some lost. 60-30-10 was reportedly suggested by a specialist as a cheating pattern. But, per “PPCRV: No Evidence of suspicious voting pattern,” PDI, June 1, 2013, p. A4. Do we have the experts who can guide us on how Grace 60-30-10ed to No. 1? Specialization pervades. Chip Engelland who once played in and for the Philippines is now shooting coach of the San Antonio Spurs..

    Among the highlights of my visit to Philadelpia for the May 23 Rutgers U graduation of our daughter Lara (Doctor of Philosophy—Children’s Studies, which may benefit her Pop in his Second Childhood) was lunching with Bob Swift, lead counsel in the human rights class suit against the Marcoses. Venue: the building housing his law firm, just across historic City Hall. Bob ordered tilapia as appearing in the menu.

    I see that the Domingo-Viernes murder took place on June 1, 1982. BWorld, June 3, 2013, p. 4 “Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes: Heroes for democracy and worker empowerment”. The work of Justice Sec. Sedfrey Ordonez helped nail the Marcoses in that Seattle case. I helped get documents from the military when I was still seen as Cory, Jr., opening doors and files. The trove, Bob built on, for the Hawaiit class suit. I met Cindy, Silme’s sis, in the Seattle home of my hipag, Alma, a Fil-Am leader. The Seattle Judge, Barbara Rothstein, of Harvard Law, I met again when she came in December 2004, in Makati Shang, on Justice Art Panganiban’s invite.

    In Phillly, I also spent a couple of nights with Dr. Lara and caregiver son Nonoy in a big sports bar showing baseball, hockey and basketball live, simul. I rooted for Miami; its coach is from San Pablo, via his mother, Elisa Cenido. My suwail kids were openly for Indiana. Last Tuesday, Miami trashed Indiana convincingly in the Seventh Game, which would have been unnecessary had not Lebron been lucky to sink a last second-lay-up in the very first game. But, good players are always lucky.

    Anyway, Lara, Nonoy, belaaat. Good luck, Lara, our own, as you teach in Staten Island in the Fall. Nonoy and I are back home. That we are home was again seen in the way we handled the Davao airport incident, and I deal with counter-flow tricycle drivers. Then I see in my CP an ad. Political ads I can live with as part of the national conversation but commercial invasion of privacy must stop. One measure of this presidency is whether PNoy can let us enjoy our right to privacy, the right to be let and left alone – and offend the telcom behemoths. If he cannot solve it, I will support in 2016 anyone who can credibly promise that this gross abuse of my human and constitutional right to privacy is stopped. I don’t need to be distracted to read about condos, condoms, etc..

    And the unending catfight in the Supreme Court (SC), confusing the Comelec and the people, damaging the institution further. Kapakanang pam­bayan, di po pansarile, dahil na-bypass for Chief Justice. The SC shamefully leaks like a sieve but is shamelessly united in denying the public’s right to know its SALNs.

    opinion@manilatimes.net

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