Hearing and seeing Lady Gaga last Monday in the Super Bowl singing the Star-Spangled Banner, was a thrill beyond compare. At halftime, Fil-Am Bruno Mars performed memorably. TY, Lady Gaga and Bruno, and welcome later this month (but the MOA ducats are beyond my reach).
More TYs and ‘Byes. Superlawyer Fred Tadiar, about whom Domini Torrevillas wrote this week. Our formidable adversary in the Ateneo Law frat hazing tragedy of Lenny Villa, killed on February 11, 1991 (my client, Zos Mendoza, was acquitted). And then, Roy Seneres, a presidential wannabe trying to withdraw but the inflexibly bureaucratic Comelec insisted on his personal appearance. Recall radio-TV interviews by resourceful enterprising journalists: “O kayo pong matetepok at naghihingalo na, ano po ang pakiramdam nyo?” No yellow Thou-Shalt-Not-Pass police lines.
Roy, my pal, was never my stude in San Beda Law, which he attended from 1967-71; I was abroad. I reconnected in 1971 when I came home, helped found SBC’s Free Legal Aid Clinic and virtually ran the law school; Dean Feliciano Jover Ledesma, in whose firm I worked, was busy in the ConCon. One stude, never under me, either, was another Prez wannabe, Digong Duterte, of Class ‘72, supported by funeral parlor and flower shop owners, and grave diggers, given his vaunted population reduction platform in a nation of 105M conejos.
Did Digong handle any human rights case? Like Davaoeños Ilagan, Arellano, Risonar, et al. Maybe, but not that I know of; I marched though with his tough mother, Soledad, on the streets of Davao after Ninoy was salvaged. Where was Digong? Where he stands on human rights — is vital to the human rights community. I also met Sarah — years ago, in a hotel coffee shop — his daughter who punched that overzealous Sheriff. Talaga pong lahi ng matatapang at mapupusok.
I read the Daily Tribune last Tuesday of a fave client, Ninez Cacho Olivarez (twice in Supreme Court orals, when I could still effectively argue, comfortably, and defamation cases elsewhere), and saw a lengthy account on JPE and Edsa. Here, I reproduce excerpts, with my notes — having been privileged to be Present at the Creation — interspersed, on “Edsa people power just accidental event in history”:
“[JPE] recalled talking to former Presidential Emissary Philip Habib Wednesday Feb. 19 who happened to have been on a visit [here]Feb. 19 to 22, 1986 but who had no knowledge of the plan and admitted that the US Ambassador even talked to him and asked if there was an event coming. Habib was said to be buying time, but later a Reagan emissary was quoted as having told Marcos `to cut and cut cleanly.’ “ RAVS — The emissary was Sen. Paul Laxalt, who called Macoy on Feb. 25. As Habib was flying out, on Feb. 22, I was having lunch in Forbes in the US Embassy premises, with Charges d’Affaires Philip Kaplan. Prez-elect Cory had told Habib, in the Cojuangco Bldg., “I won, and I will take power.” Power-Sharing out.
“Enrile clarified that there was no intention of asking anyone for support, whether the US, the Church, or the people as Enrile said they were ready to die then.” Really? He called people. Nothing wrong with just saying hi. But, jittery, he sought support, I thought, and Butz Aquino and Cardinal Sin responded. Roy Golez, J. Alampay, et al. heroically resigned and announced their solidarity. The fight was for all the marbles. FVR was super-cool.
The People displayed their Power. People Power. Not Soldier Powerlessness.
“He said Cory Aquino was in Mindanao on that date after Marcos was proclaimed winner in the snap election and he believed that she was in the South to wage a rebellion against Marcos after the election.” In Cebu, but there was a Chito Ayala Davao contingency for a provisional government.
“On February 25 Enrile said that he had his first sleep and the tension gone.” He, FVR, et al. came to see us close to midnight of Feb. 25, in Wack Wack, in the home of Josephine, Prez Cory’s sis. He should re-read his own Memoir where he said he had to take an interview with Ted Koppel, talk with Bobby Ongpin, etc., way past midnight. Pp. 635-38. Some parts may even be true, but not his revision of the alleged Wack Wack ambush. At 379-81, which he, fearing death, said on Feb. 22, 30 years ago, was fake.
“Cory was said to have reneged on her pledge to call for general elections. [What pledge? She was convinced she had won.] Instead, she abolished Congress, and demanded the resignation of all the Supreme Court justices, while handpicking all the justices of the High Court. She had her own Constitution, called the Freedom Constitution. However, for a year, she was the sole law and the sole government. Aquino even vested herself with absolute powers, which Marcos did not have.” Macoy was super-executive, super-court, super-legislature and a one-man continuing constitutional convention, for himself.
Scarier: “The First Lady wants this.” Cory was no kleptocrat guilty of gross human rights violations (some chronicled in Raissa Robles’s forthcoming book, to be launched on Feb. 23 in the Amphitheater of the finest law school in the entire Rockwell Complex).
JPE did not object to the Freedom Constitution which we, in the Cabinet, including him, framed.
“It was UNIDO’s Doy Laurel, who later became Vice President, who had his group at the airport, all holding yellow ribbons and yellow streamers, not the so-called Cory yellows.” When we in the opposition, anti-dictatorship struggle vets, met on August 7, 1983 in the place of Esto and Maur Lichauco, we were not UNIDO. Sen. Tanny, Joker Arroyo, et al. were present in the Lichauco home and at the airport on August 21. (Tita Aurora’s kutob ng ina was right; her son would be shot on arrival, to which we said naaaah, Macoy not that mad.)
“The protests, fueled by the resistance and opposition from years of governance by Marcos, culminated with the departure of the dictator from Malacañang Palace to the State of Hawaii.” Our resistance began on September 23, 1972. The Laurels initially supported martial law and broke away only many years later. UNIDO was a Johnny-Come-Lately, with all due respect. FVR and JPE stood at Edsa for four days, on the wrong side, again, with all due respect. We were on the other side of Edsa since 1972, if not earlier.
“Corazon Aquino was proclaimed as the legitimate President after the revolution, despite the fact that she was not legitimately elected by the Filipino people.” She had won. No one cheated for her in Cagayan, or elsewhere. No no, Edsa’86 was not Accidental, but Providential.
JPE voted NO! in 1991 on the bases. He is now for Edca; had PNoy submitted it to the Senate, he might have gotten unanimous concurrence. When JPE voted NO! in 1991 he said: “This Treaty is an insult to our race, [and]assumes that without 8000 servicemen and some passing warships, we shall fall flat in our faces. I cannot believe that the vitality of this country will be extinguished when the last bargirl in Olongapo turns off the light in the last cabaret.” Well?
Do we now take the “insult to our race”? (Bargirls? Not my expertise.)?
JPE asked that the Mamasapano probe be reopened. It may not be Ambassador Goldberg’s place to tell our Senate how to conduct its business, but he very publicly did. A shocker.
Is JPE not going to demand that the envoy apologize and retract or be declared persona non grata? I cannot imagine Ambassador Joey Cuisia publicly telling the US Senate how to conduct its business. We are really America’s last plantation again, with no Senator caring.
Not even Manong (who may form part of moneyed Bongbong’s solid Northern Allowance, ooops, Alliance). Even a tuta knows if it is stumbled over, or kicked. But, Happy Birthday and Valentine, Manong JPE and Kris. Cheers!