• Lack of inter-branch courtesy; answering to history



    AS spokesman of then candidate Cory Aquino in 1985-1986, it was a pleasant task for me to announce that Manang Letty Ramos-Shahani, then in the foreign service, had come out openly in support of our candidate, in defiance of the dictator. Then came the equally public and bold defection of Col. Mariano Santiago, a hero in Edsa’86. I was reminded of him because his brother, General Dionisio has just resigned/retired or been fired as PDEA chief. Running in the family is high principle, at stake in a pending impeachment proceeding.

    I endorsed another candidate for Chief Justice in 2012, not Associate Justice Meilou Sereno. But, the President’s call was for her, which was legit and totally in order. So, unlike the gross post-midnight appointment of her predecessor, which called for institutional correction by the people, through their representatives, done via impeachment, and by their senators, via conviction and removal.

    Now, courtesy seems to be in very short supply in this mal-administration. So bastos! La cortesia no quita la valentia, the Palace should remember. Courtesy does not detract from valor.

    Every justice, among many, many others, has a moist eye cast on the Chief Justiceship, so I can understand the seeming lack of intramural support. But, it is not only the institution but the country itself at stake.

    Harry Roque self-destructing

    I am incredulous at the rate Harry Roque arguably appears to be self-destructing. For him, and not, say, remarkable Sal Panelo, to say CJ Meilou must resign so as not to damage the Supreme Court, sounds bizarre. What about the damage to the country’s institutional arrangements by such egregious lack of inter-departmental courtesy?

    So, here’s another stone, from where I sit, but I rightly don’t know whether Harry will go to a hollow block factory or a bakery. Santa banana! Not satisfied with speaking for the Philippines, he now seems to speak also for China and its intentions. By what authority naman kaya? If he can really speak for China, he might find some way for it to stop exporting shabu to the Philippines. We watch what others do, not what they say. Does China really insist on using its labor force in its infrastructure projects here with our high unemployment? While making us stop doing what we want in our very own?

    Opposing medical marijuana

    Even more, or equally, startling is UP Manila’s opposition to medical marijuana, echoing the Philippine Medical Association. They may assume that the US, Canada, and many countries in South America and Europe are insane not to oppose marijuana. Bill Clinton, Dubya Bush and Barack Obama all flirted with Mary Jane, which may explain why Bill, as sexual predator, later romanced Moooannniiicccaa Lewinsky.

    What an individual does to destroy himself, with marijuana, the state would take over, by imprisoning, in some stinking overcrowded jail, and stigmatizing, a user, for life or a loooong time.

    Portugal has decriminalized all drugs and sees users as sick frail people to be saved and rehabbed, not criminals to be destroyed by a prison record. But, things seem normal enough there. After an initial spike in use 15 or so years ago, it went down. And I have friends who went to Fatima last month, to mark the centennial of our Lady’s apparition in Portugal. Antonio Guterres is the new SecGen of the UN, where its General Assembly Special Session on drugs is moving towards liberalization.

    Our Catholic Church supports medical marijuana use to deal with suffering.

    Decriminalizing should kill the syndicates because the state will supply for free, or at nominal cost, in rehab facilities what syndicates charge in humongous sums. Kill the profit motive and kill trafficking.

    China can prove its friendship by knocking off its shabu supply source. A small price to pay for our virtual dishonorable surrender of the West Philippine Sea.

    Worth the price of admission

    Last Tuesday, San Sebastian surrendered honorably to San Beda. I got to watch the game for all the NCAA semifinal marbles at the Mall of Asia Arena. Initially, I was seated at the Baste side. I had on a yellow shirt (Baste’s color) and a red jacket (San Beda’s). Then I was moved to courtside.

    San Beda outlasted San Sebastian, which fought gallantly, and the Lions will now face the Lyceum juggernaut.
    I missed our Indian yell that whips the blood and our former rousing victory song. I still feel antsy as to why the losers are made to stay on court and sing. They should be allowed to go at once to their locker room, and left alone to weep in privacy.

    Attendance was all right last Tuesday but the title series which begins today at Araneta, another planet which is farther that I cannot go to, I fear. I live in Palanan and the other night, for a meeting at Conti’s in Greenbelt, nearly two hours it took me. This is where the administration’s Kill-Pa-More policy may be needed, which seems to be overdoing it in the messy bloody and failed drug war. Take-Prisoners-for-Rehab will do.

    No incident, much less a rhubarb or donnybrook, marred last Tuesday’s NCAA offering. Commissioner Bai Cristobal and the three refs deserve kudos. Two years ago, when San Beda lost to Letran, 82-85, in overtime in the final game, the Three Blind Mice didn’t see a lane violation with seconds to go. But that’s all right. San Beda owes it to one and all to remind them from time to time that it is not the only team in the league.

    And Robert Bolick, like Jerry West in the 1970 NBA finals, made an even longer shot from the foul line, a buzzer-beater, last Tuesday; without it, the score would have been a close 73-71. More than worth the price of admission. (OK, I had a free ducat.)
    Looming is another Thrilla.

    Charging PNoy

    PNoy is charged in the Sandiganbayan for Mamasapano, an operation that bagged Marwan, who had at least $5 million on his head. No one runs for Prez claiming perfection and infallibility. Else, only the likes of Bedan Justice Gregorio Perfecto would qualify. When troopers go to enemy lair, particularly Morolandia, they knew some would come back in boxes.

    Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs, Johnson and the Tet offensive, Carter and the Iran rescue, Reagan and the Marines in Beirut, the Bushes and Obama in Iraq, and Clinton in Black Hawk Down, might have erred and misjudged, but with no personal gain. To err is human.

    And like Fidel Castro, proclaim, “la historia me absolvera!” History will absolve me, PNoy can say. Indeed, the like the American Presidents, he should not have even been charged.

    There is no talk even of going after those who killed comrades in fatal friendly fire in Marawi. Nor of why Digong was in Russia when the Marawi bloodletting began. And rightly so even if military intelligence again surfaced as a seeming contradiction in terms. Sino po ang mga natulog sa pansitan, resulting in having to destroy Marawi in order to save it? Like Vietnam’s Ben Tre?

    Graft in PNoy’s situation is hard to fathom. Usurpation? What, pray tell, is a Prez and Commander in Chief prohibited from doing within his executive domain?


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