I HANDLED the case of Romy Jalosjos in regard to his eligibility to run as an appealing convict. His criminal case was handled, if my memory is true, by a dear friend, ethical and principled super-lawyer, Compañero/Caballero Pros Crescini, respected by all who knew him. We did not lose in the electoral challenges posed by Pio Galleposo and Artemio Adasa, Jr. so that as a convict Romy won reelection twice, with ever widening margins. I assisted Panyero Vicente Balisado.
In the Comelec, the member I respected the most (Commissioner Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores) voted against us in SPA No. 98012. Litigation is inherently unpredictable. In the House Electoral Tribunal’s HRET Case No. 98-008, it was a breeze (a member was highly-regarded Justice Vic Mendoza). Indeed, only a conviction by final, unappealable and executory judgment bars, not a final but still appealable and therefore reversible judgment.
I doubt that the system meant for the Ombudsman by his/her lonesome to be able to disfranchise a candidate in a “mere” administrative case. Romy’s supposed crime may be characterized to be as heinous, if not more so (“supposed,” in that the arguably
worse Arab offender wasn’t touched). Only the Supreme Court may so disfranchise, or the People, in my view, with all due respect to highly regarded Chit Carpio-Morales, to whose family we send our condolences, for the loss I read in Jake Macasaet’s Business Insight column yesterday.
I was in the MOA Arena last Tuesday watching San Beda beat Letran when Veep Jojobama called asking that I assist son Mayor Junjun. I said yes only as to the disqualifying order of the Ombudsman, Chit Carpio-Morales, who I respect highly. No time I believe for the other cases. I am no longer the tireless dynamo of old. The game in the dying seconds San Beda won so no ill will toward interrupting Jojobama.
In the case of frontrunner Grace, only the people in their role as particles of popular sovereignty should decide the most political question of all in a democracy: who should lead us from 2016-22? A pulot who comes to this world with two strikes against him/her should have all presumptions in his/her favor (under Art. 24 of the Civil Code). An infant cannot lobby, march, protest, vote or take care of him/herself. Totally faultless, unless he/she comes from Mars with one eye and an antenna, or from Manchuria (Manchurian Candidate, smuggled in while an infant). If a plurality, or a majority, wants her and considers her qualified as one of us, who’s to second-guess the People?
Am I relieved that the LP senatorial slate finally didn’t include Manny Pacquiao, who may set a record in Senate absences; a Non-Perfoming Liability in the House he is. I am also glad, as a human rights advocate, that Digong Duterte finally said nyet. I have long wondered where he was anyway during the dark years? He’s a ‘72 alum of the finest law school along the entire length and breadth of Mendiola (mine too). Post-Ninoy salvaging, I marched with his mother, Tia Chuling(?), on the streets of Davao. But, where was he? I also met daughter Sara, who punched that sheriff, in a Makati hotel. Lahi talaga ng mapupusok at matatapang.
For a while, there was talk of Digong-Bongbong team-up, maybe of the Human Rights-Clean Government Party. Jojobama first courted Bongbong but had to settle for Gringo, who led the bloody coups, one of which almost fatally affected Noynoy’s metabolism. I can understand why PNoy would go hammer and tongs after the UNA combo.
But, I cannot, his seeming insensitivity to the passage of Joker Arroyo, who served the country, Ninoy and Cory, long and well. No early confirmation of his passage? What, with our diplomatic and intelligence resources?
We deserved better. Sonny (Coloma, who I met in 2008 in the old Yankee Stadium), spoke for the Palace. Kulang po yata. BTW, it took Rocky Nazareno’s Bulletin piece for me to know that Joker also religiously followed major league baseball, tracking the McGuire-Sosa homer duel, Rocky particularized. I have been a Yankee fan myself since Makati Elem and my wife Dulce eventually became naturalized in the US, as a member of the Red Sox Nation. Oh, how it was, in Fenway Park which probably is the only one left where Babe Ruth played, aside from our very own neglected Rizal Baseball Coliseum.
But, not even the World Series or San Beda-Letran can match the excitement of our elections. More than a score are running for Prez, including a number triggering the query: “of what country naman kaya?” But, it remains a basic human and constitutional right to dream, fantasize and entertain illusions, aware always of the risk of winning. Automation removes the delay. In 2012 in the US more than a baker’s dozen presidential candidates ran.
Nature (age) protects us from a Pacquiao presidency but he’s running for the Senate, for which he’s old enough, with two brothers running for Cong. They seem to have a ravenous insatiable political-electoral appetite. Thank God the LPs did not include him in their slate, in the end, despite the initial static that they were courting him. For shame.
Manny seemingly preferred fellow Mindanaoaonon Digong, urong-sulong, at 70, but Jojobama is 72. Now the latter’s Veep is Gringo Honasan, one of whose many failed coup tries, nearly resulted in Noynoy’s departure for the Promised Land. Fellow Bedan Gringo has mellowed, from where I sit. (Jojobama, parenthetically, also reviewed in San Beda Law in 1967.) Presidential wannabe Roy Seneres also attended San Beda, LL.B.’71, and has two classmates in the Supreme Court, Bodjie Reyes and Bambit Mendoza, with Noel Tijam and Nick Acosta, in the Court of Appeals and Rudy Ponferrada in the Sandiganbayan. I should add that Leni Robredo enrolled as a grad student in our law school where I met her as my stude. Walang aire. Grace-Leni? Stranger things have happened.)
Oragon Joker was no marauding Gringo. The Aquinos should acknowledge his contribution to the return of democracy, now imperilled by Bongbong’s comeback. We have such short memories, unlike the Koreans, Chinese and Jews who remember WWII only too well. In 1954, the crowd sentimental fave in the 2nd Asian Games in Manila was Atsuko Nambu, a pert Japanese sprinter (but Japan’s cagers were so robotic then in the Rizal Memorial Oven but now as fluid as Pinoys). She was the daughter of a Japanese gold medalist, Chuchei Nambu, in the 1932 LA Olympics. She perished in a vehicular incident, like my wife.
Bongbong can acknowledge the unfortunate gross human rights violations, disclaim complicity, and donate to the fund needed to facilitate reparation and closure. CHR Chair Chito Gascon says for instance that the body needs P15M, which the Marcoses can quietly, even anonymously donate, the petty cash, and move on. Processing 75,000 claims requires time and certain claims may turn out to be spurious.
Bongbong says no prosecution of PNoy? Whatever for? PNoy has no immunity even today for unpresidential or criminal acts. This common-sense egalitarian rule in a democracy with no royalty we saw in JFK, Nixon and Clinton settling lawsuits they could not get dismissed because of the immunity superstition. A virtually idle Veep has no justification for immunity, as Aaron Burr found out when he killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
Closure is fine. But, any time a Japanese premier visits a war shrine in Japan, rioting there would be in China and Korea. Nazi hunters persevere. We have forgiven and forgotten American atrocities when first they came, to Christianize us with a Krag, and sing “oh the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga.” We can forget Balangiga (but the Kanos have to return those three Bells and apologize to the Muslims for the Mt. Bud Dajo Massacre). More than a century ago is much longer than 29 years (from 1986, when we kicked out the kleptocratic scofflaw Marcoses, to world acclaim).
The Right Thing must be done in the Right Way at the Right Time in the Right Place for the Right Reason. Some working group in the UN cannot single out GMA for relief, who deserves it, given her reported spinal condition. She’s unwell and rates humane treatment. But, the group may not disrespect a country’s process in progress. The UN cannot be the New Imperialist demanding compensation for GMA. And we should stop being a colony or some black slave in a UN plantation.
We need a Game-Changer. From the House to the PBA to the Senate? Josme! Nope, haymaking is not lawmaking but forgetting purposes is the most common form of innocence (Nietszche).