Leni’s slam-dunk, LMB and Plaza Miranda



Mike Varela, my Bedan campus contemporary and friend, is gone, at 76. Prayers, please, for one who got along well with everybody.

DFA Secretary Jun Yasay does his darndest best to protect tactless Prez Digong from himself. Sabah/Malaysia and Scarborough/China are tough issues, let alone our relations with other countries. Digong should bone up on them and not squander scarce valuable presidential time thrashing Sen. Leila de Lima, a task better suited to Sal Panelo, a Defend-and-Attack-Dog who blocked the probe into Digong’s bank account, described by Sen. Sonny Trillanes to be in humongous amounts. How much time has Digs wasted on that, OK, feisty woman? She looks at human rights issues, but Digong keeps changing the subject.

Aside from Panelo, he has Messrs. Medialdea, Andanar, Abella and Evasco to do the pedestrian job of palengkeros. He should not minimize the presidency. Justice Sec. Vit Aguirre may probe Leila. Vit and I were among those who helped defend Hubert Webb, who had to spend more than 15 years in jail, having been tried and convicted by publicity. Digong has a prosecutor’s background and bias.

The Senate should institutionally resist the invasion by the House, which reportedly will probe Lei. Incredible parliamentary discourtesy, if true. It seems to me Speaker Bebot Alvarez should talk quietly with fellow Mindanaoanon Senate Prez Koko Pimentel and tell him about his mission for Master Digong and look for a solution that would not needlessly strain the relationship of the two chambers. The House, dominated by tutas, should prudently communicate with the Senate about any of the latter’s members. Absent any action, within a reasonable time, we can understand why we need a Circular Firing Squad thrashing itself (and therefore the lawmaking branch, which Mark Twain calls in the US as the only distinct American criminal class). Sen. Leila’s colleagues should support her to prevent heavy institutional damage. The Senate should protect itself and the relevant institutional arrangement.

Digong wants a new organization vice the UN. What if only North Korea, Syria and Somalia apply? He still has to acquire the gravitas of a statesman-diplomat. “Above all, no zeal,” advises Talleyrand. Digong may well be a diamond in the rough but he has to stop telling people publicly what he thinks of them and their ancestors, or their sexual orientation. This is 2016. Human dignity matters. It has always mattered. But, he seems to treat serious matters as jokes. (I recall that when I’d give Prez Cory serious advice, she’d laugh and laugh, but when I’d tell her a joke, she’d implement it.)

Gravitas I do not see in BongBong Marcos, either. People talk of how he lost to Leni Robredo by a slim margin.
That is not how I see it. BB has billions and a well-known name (if controversial), vital in name recall, I am told.
Raissa Robles had a 2012 story on how BB “had a direct hand in trying to withdraw US$213M from a Swiss bank in 1986.” Ill-gotten wealth. BB has the Solid North. He dissembled about his nonexistent degrees from elite British and American universities.

Leni comparatively has nothing but a good non-controversial name. She would take the bus to and from Naga, alone (she has security now). Unassuming, I sensed, when she was my grad law school stude in San Beda in 2013. I read somewhere that she candidly admitted having taken the bar exam twice (like Claro Recto, Hillary Clinton and Gerry Spence). The virtue of candor. No talk of bogus Oxford and Princeton degrees.

No Solid Bicol, either. She had to compete with Chiz Escudero, Gringo Honasan and Sonny Trillanes. (And Alan Peter Cayetano, given the reported Bicol origin of Lani, the one he married; not to ask me here about those he did not, ha?)

BB should have won walking away, with all his advantages. I see his loss as comparative to the San Beda seniors losing to St. Scholastica’s high school team. To lose to a newbie should give the Marcoses pause.

Some may see the veep result as close, for BB. I see it as a soaring win for Leni. A slam-dunk. A la Gabe Norwood’s, over Argentina’s Luis Scola. But, Gabe had help from his teammates; Leni, from the people (including San Beda HS’59). The kind of help that matters.

Staff who misled led Prez Digong to name and shame a judge gone to a better world years ago helps validate that military-police intelligence could be a contradiction in terms. PNP boss-chief “Bato” de la Rosa even challenges men to duels, a violation of Art. 261 of the Revised Penal Code. Law enforcer, lawbreaker.

We continue to name and shame Judas, Hitler and Macoy. A Nazi prison guard, 95, was convicted last June.

No Japanese premier can visit a war shrine without provoke ng rioting in Korea and China. Another Macoy we don’t need. He destroyed the natural evolution of leaders and “salvaged” many youthful leaders like Edgar Jopson in the flower of their youth. He damaged our values of honesty, palabra, delicadeza and meritocracy.

His mother engaged in drug trafficking in Arellano High School and his Lolo was executed by the guerillas. Per Tibo Mijares and many others, he murdered Nalundasan.

I join Rep. Tolits Atienza in clearing Macoy though on the Plaza Miranda bombing on August 21, 1971. But, Tolits did not have to make it sound original. That has been widely known long long ago. Uncle Jovy Salonga orally told me about it in the ‘90s. And in his 2001 book, a Journey of Hope, he narrates same in detail on pages 178-89 and he concluded: “My own view is that, in the absence of a more credible account, the available evidence, based on the testimony of former Central Committee members and Party officials, and the statements of those who participated in that execution of the bombing and the trial of Danny Cordero in Isabela, overwhelmingly point to Jose Ma. Sison as the principal author of the Plaza Miranda tragedy of August 21, 1971.” Can JoMa give us a more credible account?

BTW, we called, and sent someone to, the Batasan to get a copy of Lito’s speech but we were made to meander through the bowels of the bureaucracy.

Erap says “respect the dead.” Of course, we have to respect the memory of Mijares and Boyet Mijares. And of Edgar Jopson, Eman Lacaba, Lorena Barros, and countless other martyrs whose names are inscribed in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

Also gone is Hero Baby Dalupan, a coach’s Coach. I only saw him from afar. My earliest recollection was of Dalupan and the PCCBA (Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration), now UE, and of the NCAA. We were thrilled over the Crispa-Toyota feud in the mid-‘70s when the PBA was the only game in town that mattered. Baby and Leni are two peas in a pod.

Wherever Baby is buried, he will be cherished, as Jesse Robredo is. El sitio nada importa. The place does not matter.

Macoy should be kept where he is cherished, not where he can be spat and pooh-poohed on. And it would cost a humongous sum to prevent such possible desecration in terms of additional sekyus (who’s spending for the announced transfer and the year-round security?). No need though for an epitaph saying HERE A LAWYER LIES STILL or HERE A LAWYER STILL STEALS.

The time has not yet come. The Marcoses still have to acknowledge the gross human rights violations (kleptocracy established by our Supreme Court on July 15, 2003) that occurred in their time, say sorry, and just maybe put up a fund for the treatment and burial of aging ailing victims and scholarships for deserving apos with the talent and integrity of their ancestor. Then, the healing may begin. Meantime, patience, while 75,000 human rights compensation claims are being processed.

Finally, in the various pending Libingan ng Mga Bayani petitions led by Ocampo V. Enriquez, we got the other day a copy of a Supreme Court Resolution dated August 23, 2016, stating in part:
“(c) NOTE the Petition (In Intervention) dated August 18, 2016 filed by Rene A.V. Saguisag, Sr. and REQUIRE the adverse parties to COMMENT thereon not later than August 26, 2016; (d) NOTE the Manifestation dated August 18, 2016 filed by petitioners-intervenors Rene A.V. Saguisag, Sr., Rene A.Q. Saguisag, Jr. and Rene A.C. Saguisag III;”

Sr. is me, 77. Jr. is Rebo, 43. III is Tres, 7. I hope no one is reminded of Holmes’ “Three generations of imbeciles are enough!”


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  1. You cant have it both ways without opening yourself up to thrashing. The martyrs you mentioned were CPP cadres and do you really think their kind will volunteer a squad of idealists to hurl brand new US military grenades at a political rally studded with personalities they had just consulted with regarding ominous signs of impending martial law? And do you really think the Police and AFP were so ineffectual then that a squad of assassins could infiltrate a packed rally in Plaza Miranda to within grenade throwing distance of VIPs? Remember the report said at least 4 new issue US military grenades were thrown simultaneously. That’s at least 4 persons lobbing grenades. At minimum 1 person each should be pushing people behind the thrower so that he could swing his grenade hand to throw properly. Add support personnel and you have at least a squad of suicide grenadiers in the middle of LP rallyists. At that time, Commander Dante could not even muster a platoon of NPA fighters to ambush the military, and he will spare a squad to bomb a bunch of politicians?! Come on!
    Funny that you recognize that Marcos had the insane audacity to order the torture and maiming or murder of thousands and the destruction of the entire democratic political system then but think he did not order the bombing of Plaza Miranda. Pray tell me, without Plaza Miranda, what event would be “ideal” for Marcos to shortly impose Martial Law?

    • Albert Martines on

      I agree. At least the Left have a choice then- they know that if they fight the existing government, they could end up in jail or worse, dead.The farmers who were killed in Mendiola during Cory’s reign are unarmed and have no choice but still end up dead. Which is worse????

  2. I have very high regard for your opinion,always read your column in Mr.&Ms.Magazine way back before 1983.We were once also victimized by Military abuses during Martial Law,No charges filed but one can spend years in jail.But We have moved on.Things that happened ,happened.I blame it more on human frailty.absolute power corrupts absolutely.There is no point in blaming all of this to Marcos.the lingering question that still remain is..What if the Communists won?

    • Albert Martines on

      My take on this – We all have our own heroes. The Yellows have Ninoy, Cory and Mar Roxas, the Reds have Sison, the Cavitenos have Abaya and Aguinaldo, the Visayas have Lapu-Lapu, the Batanguenos have Malvar and the Ilocanos have Marcos. Let’s respect each other’s heroes !

  3. The attack yellow dog is doing it again, He kept his mouth shut when his master was doing all the wrong things during his administration despite the late Senator Joker A. statement of an evil genius work.
    Everybody agree on the Marcos loot but we disagree where the recovered loot went. That Bong Bong Marcos has the right also
    to defend himself and file protest where he deemed to have been cheated in the last election. VP Leni has no capacity to cheat but the party she belong has.
    Missteps are done in the fight against drug and Senator De Lima has the duty to investigate human right violations
    but President Duterte has the obligation to confront the crisis at hand otherwise the entire nation will succumb to these dreaded temptation. While the President does not blame Senator Lie on its proliferation the President clearly state that latter has a take on it. Therefore human rights hearings in the Senate are just a diversion of the real issue against criminal act committed by Senator De lima. She should file her leave to the Senate.
    Senator Rene Saguisag is becoming irrelevant perhaps it would be better to concentrate on his ballroom dancing…Pacman is a Senator isn’t he…

  4. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    26 August 2016

    Not many among the country’s legal luminaries have so far raised their voices against what a Der Fuhrer Rodrigo Roa Duterte is doing with a vengeance, which is to convert the Philippines from a civilized nation to one which could only be described as barbaric even judged only by all those extra-judicial killings which reportedly has claimed the lives of an estimated 700 suspected drug lords, drug pushers and even drug addicts and those who support them.

    But RENE SAGUISIG, even in his septuagenarian years when one would expect him to just take it easy, still finds the time and the energy and the courage to do so–and I personally take my hat off to him for doing so!


  5. perhaps, now that communist party of the phils, joma sison is officially friends with the administration, perhaps he can clarify whether it was coincidental that ninoy was not in the plaza miranda bombing

  6. “… (Marcos) salvaged” many youthful leaders like Edgar Jopson in the flower of their youth.”

    Edjop? the one who supervised or made improvised explosive device (IED) as Tiglao hinted in his newspaper column? IED used to injure and kill civilians, policemen and soldiers. Tiglao wrote that the model of youth activism was not as innocent as some people want us to believe. Tiglao knew that because he was once a communist and he handled the application of Edjop to the Communist Party, before Edjop was finally accepted to the party.

  7. “I recall that when I’d give Prez Cory serious advice, she’d laugh and laugh, but when I’d tell her a joke, she’d implement it.”

    Gaddemit! Mr. Saguisag. So you are partly responsible why the Cory Gov’t was a BIG JOKE! You are criticizing Pres Digong for Venting his anger at the UN. Which was more damaging by the way, Digong hurling invectives at the UN, or you being part of the MAGNIFICENT 12, which voted to remove the American Bases here? Enabling China to TOY with our poor country?

    • Wala siyang pinapapatay?Sinasakripisyo nya lng buhay ng iba pra sa sariling interes tulad ng ginawa nya sa mga saf44.Wala siyang pinapatay ksi buhay na buhay sa kanya ang mga adik at patok ang negosyo ng druga.Wala siyang pinapatay pero kinakatay naman ng mga lulong sa druga ang mga walang kamalay malay na tao.Gumising ka naman!!

    • wala siyang pinapatay… pero maraming namamatay…. wala rin siyang nagawa…. he just allowed drugs to proliferate in the country at allow illegal acts in favor of friends esp in tax collection. i would rather have a president like duterte who is a local person. sabi nila masyado siyang local because our problem is very local. we dont need to be good at other countries what is important is what the people want to happen and what they need is answered. ganyan ang kailangan natin ngayon to survive. ok lang ang mga mayaman they have money to buy what they want but the poor do not have a single centavo to but what to eat. yong mga critics na mayaman critic lang kayo ng critic but the majority of the Filipinos are poor that is why we supported President Duterte. dahil hindi niyo nagawa ang dapat niyong gawin sa mga bumoto sa previous officials natin.

  8. In real life, the only way for San Beda seniors to lose to St. Scholastica HS team is if all the officials including the referees, scorers, timekeepers etc connived to CHEAT San Beda out of certain victory, right? It took you 40 long years to concede that it was not Marcos who masterminded the Plaza Miranda bombing even if it was your hero Ninoy Aquino who said Marcos did, without presenting any proof which is the standard for all these accusations against Marcos by the yellow cult. By the way, Ninoy is not qualified to be buried in the LIbingan because he was convicted and sentenced to death by a military tribunal for his involvement with the NPA. Will it take you another 40 years to conclude that Ninoy at the very least was privy to the bombing and that his overstaying at the debut party of Doy Laurel’s daughter that night was just his poor excuse to avoid the grenades he knew were coming? Are you going to censor this comment again?

    • Agree! This Saguisag is nothing but a foul mouthed Yellowtard who adores and see nothing bad from the Aquinos! What a shame and a Hypocrite to the highest degree!

  9. You are the protector of Binay. That alone tells who you are. Go transfer to Inquirer thats where you belong.

  10. Samuel Abiertos on

    You admit: “I recall that when I’d give Prez Cory serious advice, she’d laugh and laugh, but when I’d tell her a joke, she’d implement it.” No wonder then that her Presidential term, despite the unending hossanas from the Yellow crowd for restoring democracy to the Philippines, ended up largely a joke–leaving us such horrible legacies as a weakened Constitution that abolished the existing presidential system and supplanted it with an easily and overly abused party-list system, and a succession of presidents and vice presidents coming from different parties along with a horde of entertainers in the Senate and lower electoral posts owing to an ineffectual electoral system that favored the popularity of candidates over their competence. I’m glad that you’ve decided to put on record, even if only as a joke, the provenance of these disturbing eccentricities in the post-Cory Aquino politics in the Philippines. Ngayon alam na namin kung kanginong ideya at kasalanan ang mga walang kwentang reforms na ito.

  11. Relative to basketball…

    NBA has a drug protocol and a domestic violence protocol where the league intervenes when pro basketball players
    engage in both drugs or sexual violence. A suspension and stern warning is the norm.

    I hope we do have these in the PBA too as one player just overdosed after beating up his ex.

    And his team makes it appear he needs their support?