THE Duterte administration, which we wish with all our heart, to succeed—its success is everyone’s—asks us to move on. In this traffic? How can we move on when we apparently can hardly move at all on very bad hair days?
Traffic to our left and right, behind, and no light brigade to try to rescue us. How can we move? At all, let alone “on”. A hallmark of the new administration, after eight months of tough Digong, a maton, no question.
Have the Jews moved on following the Holocaust? Have the Chinese and Koreans moved on after the atrocities of the Japanese seven decades ago? The Germans and Japanese have made amends long ago for their misdeeds. Have the Marcoses? In the US when I trained with a law firm in the late 1960s, I was told the North-South Divide subsisted. On principle.
Beginning next year, January 25, we are supposed to mark the glorious day the Mamasapano 44 attacked in enemy territory and killed terrorist Marwan, on whose head there was $6 million. The attack was 80 percent successful to me. Casualties? But of course, they had attacked fearless Muslims. It’s a pity many troopers who die in combat with rebels, singly or fewly (rare), elsewhere, all over, do not get a day of remembrance of their own. And what about Sara, 5, and other Muslim victims who were killed or wounded in Mamasapano?
Now that Operation Delenda Est Senator Leila de Lima (“Leila de Lima must be destroyed”) has resulted in her detention, would government and VACC (Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption) let the courts alone? And someone like confessed killer SPO3 Arthur Lascañas should be heard. When most everyone is terrified of Digong, here is someone, ailing, with intimations of mortality, offending the most powerful and intolerant individual in the land (recall that as a law senior, for merely taunting him as a promdi, a fellow stude—Octavio Goco, who passed away in 2004—of his, he shot, as he openly bragged in his campaign last year before arguably bloodthirsty mobs).
Hit Lascañas, but hear him first, the ancients would cry.
In 2007, Leila and I represented Biñan’s Mayor-elect Len Alonte in the COMELEC against a son-in-law of Ben Abalos. With us was fellow Bedan Mon Casano, Lagunense, No. 6 in the 1978 bar exams. (I was also No. 6 in 1963. Poor Leila was only No. 8 in 1985. Sniff. Blush. In fact, taga-abot lang po ako ng folder ni Leila).
Digong and Vit Aguirre keep condemning our fellow Bedan as well. To me, some courageous court should dismiss a case against her on grounds of mistrial so that future administrations would just file a case and then shut up and leave the judiciary alone.
So should the talkative VACC shut its trap. It should take refresher courses on the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hooting throngs should know their place. Due process matters. Vit and taga-abot I, helped Hubert Webb, et al., jailed for more than 15 years cuz of mobocracy. VACC and Ka Lauro Vizconde even reportedly talked most improperly with the then Chief Justice to affirm the conviction of Hubert, et al. Not the right way, if true, to do what one may believe to be the right thing. (I have never spoken with a magistrate about a pending case. I hear though that my name would be dropped most particularly when I was in government and perceived as Cory, Jr.)
Another wrong thing is to raise morale by the promise of P2 billion to the Surigao calamity victims. Then government takes back Digong’s vow. We are not to take all his statements seriously, only two out of five, we are cautioned. Is this any way to run our seemingly ungovernable scofflaw country? The disappointed Surigaonons may have relied on it, pining to see the color of Digong’s promised money. In vain. BTW, isn’t increasing pensions a legislative power? Do we still have a House, where such should originate exclusively?
In the Bureau of Immigration, the employees are used to overtime pay. Bad governance, it seems to me, to take away what one was used to, since Commissioner Miriam’s time decades ago. Lowers morale needlessly. Where would the incentive money go?
Talk of the DSWD “incentivising” beneficiaries to go to the Luneta last Saturday reminds me of Macoy’s playbook. I remember one September (1975?) when government employees walked in the rain to mark either his bday on September 11 or the infliction of martial law days later. (I hold on to the 23rd of the month but Macoy preferred the 21st, as a superstitious numerologist.)
Macoy is associated with Maharlika. My long-time friend, Senator Eddie Ilarde, has revived his interest in renaming our country Maharlika. Macho, given what it means in Sanskrit. The naghaharing-uri may welcome the arguably phallic name but maybe not the majority of alipin sagigilid at busabos, about 7,000 of whom involuntarily contributed to the government’s population reduction program. Willy-nilly.
After eight months of EJKs, what else has marked the period? Traffic much worse than ever. Our divisions have deepened and we don’t see a healing leadership. We will now have our first car, thanks to Mitsubishi. The Japanese we helped defeat, now has the Lexus. We have our Borloloy dyipnis, which if put in any metropolis, along with our tri-sikads, would also result in hellish chaotic traffic. In the US, the 7:17 a.m. bus I would expect to be on time. Here, the dyipni driver may simply take the day off, contented with the very good day he had before. Last Monday, my midterms exams for San Beda Mendiola and Alabang had to be reset, thanks to the transport strike.
Digong of course is not necessarily to blame for it. He has bigger fish to fry; he should be given more time. When Artikulo III met last week, I was shown a pix of a young pert lady in Digong’s stable of kulasisis (not fave Honeylet). Bilib. He told troopers to have no more than three kids. He should tell them not to have three families, which can mean nine kids. RH may be a problem but wild libido may pose the more serious one. Again, we see no leadership by example here.
And the many retazos and bubwits I see all around in our Barangay Palanan in Makati and elsewhere may now be refining their cussing skills, again, thanks to Digong and his limited vocabulary.
So, I again repeat my fraternal advice, expand it and show that country mice could be more refined than their city cousins, make no enemies where we can make no friends, help our TNTs (instead of telling them, “pahinog kayo diyan”), and lead us in surviving our crises, mending the ruptures of our discord, as we endeavor to continue to live and function as a family, as it were.
And, forget judicial murder via the anti-poor death penalty. EJKs have harmed us enough. A merciless bloody campaign against druggies failed in Colombia, Thailand and Myanmar. It has not succeeded anywhere as the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs is validating. The US has spent/wasted billions of dollars and a number of well-meaning personages see in the problem a repeat of Prohibition via a constitutional amendment (18th), banning liquor, leading to speakeasies and Al Capone. The US humbly accepted defeat and retreated, via another constitutional amendment (21st).
Time to look at Portugal’s experiment, decriminalizing all drugs; druggies are seen as sick people who need rehab, and not human beings to be destroyed in jail or EJKed. Syndicates may go out with the profit motive gone as government supplies what the frail may need, gratis or at cost.
Shall we start with Cong. Rudito Albano’s medical marijuana bill? Recreational marijuana has been legalized in many places earning substantial taxes. Sin tax we now impose on liquor, demon rum to some, the oil of conversation, to hapi-hapi others. Why Rudito’s Mary Jane measure? As the French explain, why they kiss a woman’s hand, “mon ami, you’ve got to start somewhere.”
Digong’s bloody unconstitutional Operation Tokhang policy is doomed to fail. It has failed everywhere else. The Operation’s unconstitutionality is a key conclusion in the reported Senate draft report of the body headed by Senator Dick Gordon, not a human rights addict, I think, but there is hope for everyone. We in MABINI knocked off Mayor Fred Lim’s spray-paint campaign in 2000. “This house is drug-free” will do indirectly what cannot be done directly (“a pusher or user lives here.).“
Dick and Fred can appreciate my mantra of doing the right thing in the right way at the right time in the right place for the right reason. Young lovers with rampaging hormones may make make love but not in the street where a Victorian lady (Ms Campbell) was concerned it may frighten the horses. W. Manchester, The Last Lion – Winston Spencer Churchill 74 (1964).
And Jim Paredes, keep going. Bully for you. Kudos. I went to People Power Monument last February 25, not the Luneta. I am not a boor or provocateur aching or looking for trouble in our divided land. I try never to lose a sense of where I am, like your courageous patriotic mother, who was detained by Marcos for years, part of a gutsy group (Light-A-Fire) which did not hurt anyone (but may have inspired Burn Baby Burn Bato de la Rosa); it fought, while much of the nation slept.
When feelings run high, prudence and restraint are indicated, something that may be lost on some of the more excitable pillo members of our Filipino family.
Digong, reflect and lead us, please, in the right direction; we have your back. But, do not apologize only to foreigners like Koreans and Germans. What about five-year-old Sara’s parents? She was killed, while they were wounded, in Operation Mamasapano. The human life and dignity of all matter. Including those of Filipinos, I plead and submit, on our feet, and not live in shame on bended knees (“preferiomorir de pie que vivir de rodillas,” as Emiliano Zapata and La Pasionaria, Dolores Ibarruri, popularized).