• Love that dared not speak its name


    TREATED like a leper, we still hear. When I was in the Senate, I was advised by a constituent not to be unkind, again to lepers. I considered myself told. Lesson learned, on being considerate.

    A leper was our exquisite sword maker in our youth in Pasig. He lived in a kubol in the bukid and had a wife and daughter who did not have the handicap or shortcoming. Not contagious, from where my barkada and I sat. We frequented their kubo in the bukid. Ang babait.

    Let’s hope the discrimination or bias against lepers totally disappears. No wrongdoing, a shortcoming, at worst, in that. But, at the rate the Binays are getting it from all over, I can understand how they must feel, and share their and their counsel’s pain.

    Meantime, the US Supreme Court just ruled that same-sex marriage is OK. It wasn’t made compulsory, however, whew, which could trigger a revolt. Seriously, in this day and age, unusual or unconventional unions no longer represent the kind of love that dared not speak its name, as in the time of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. I saw the movie Oscar Wilde starring talented Robert Morley, in the early 1960s.

    Unmarried pregnant women now flaunt their condition; in our youth to be desgraciada was some kind of death. So was being separada, now viewed in fairer, kinder, gentler, more humane and compassionate, terms.

    Well-known homosexuals would seem to include Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Lawrence of Arabia, Rock Hudson and Bruce Jenner.

    A former assistant of mine, Raymond Paolo “Bong” Alikpala, wrote a book some years ago, God Loves Bakla. A very good lawyer and a very good person. It seems he is associated with Ang Ladlad, which I had helped a teeny weeny bit get a party list accreditation. I jumped in to help a little after two bigoted Comelec commissioners, as I recall it, staged a presscon to denounce Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (LGBTs) as evil people allegedly per the Bible and Koran.

    Ang Ladlad beat back the two Ang Daldal Commissioners in a sterling ponencia of Justice Mariano del Castillo dated April 8, 2010, in Ang Ladlad LGBT Party, represented by its chairman, Danton Remoto v. Comelec. Mar is a San Beda (AB) and Ateneo (LL.B.) alum, and therefore has presumably deep Benedictine Jesuitical foundations.

    My belief is that one may be good and bad despite his sexual or religious orientation. Even atheists can be good, and be saved, said the Pope.

    I hope Ang Ladlad makes it as a party list group and win a seat next time it fights in elections.

    This is 2015 but despite the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) ruling, I doubt that our own is ready to follow, in a case pending there, but ponente Justice Mar subscribes to Justice Jackson’s test of the freedom to differ, “as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.”

    That is why I am perplexed that my pals, Congressman Tolits Atienza and Jonat de la Cruz, arguably engage, willy-nilly, in prosecutorial terrorism. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is a work in progress supported by many well meaning Filipinos who should not be threatened with jail. The institutional arrangement is for the duo to convince their peers in the House of Representatives and win the day there, not make sumbong in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila, a tactic that should not dare speak its name, with all due respect. The final bill can moot their current concerns.

    I am privileged to assist Miriam Coronel-Ferrer in the BBL, daughter of a long-time and valued friend, Dean Tony Coronel, a companero and caballero. Another Miriam, Defensor-Santiago, and a dozen fellow senators, have supported our theory that EDCA should be concurred in by the Senate. That, we contend is the proper constitutional institutional arrangement.

    Same-sex? That should be for the elected Congress and President to act on, with their hearings and consultations, not the unelected Supreme Court (SC), which does not conduct hearings and consultations that the elected do. Then the SC may rule on legality and constitutionality, and benefit from edifying antecedents elsewhere.

    * * *

    Goodbye, my Palanan, Makati, barangay-mate, Sandiganbayan Justice Romy Escareal, gone, at 88. Another companero/caballero, whose feet were not planted firmly in mid-air. We last met in a many-splendored birth anniversary wingding for fellow retired Sandiganbayan Justice Bernie Fernandez, one of the orig Mendiola classroom terrorists. Brilliant, with an orgasmic countenance any day we’d all get 5 in round-robin recitation.


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