Ninoy, Butz, Jason and Mary Jane


NINOY AQUINO, August 21. Cory, August 1. Butz, August 17. Aquino Month. Ghost Month.

On August 7, 1983, we had a huge meeting in the home of Esto and Maur Lichauco (Ninoy’s sister.) We all looked forward to Ninoy’s homecoming on August 21. All save Dr. Guy Fawker, of Rand Corporation, who said Ninoy would be killed at the airport. Naaah, we, kadunongs, said, surely Macoy, a certified criminal genius, would not be that stupid.

Doña Aurora, Ninoy’s Mom agreed with Dr. Fawker. We were politely dismissive, “di po mangyayari ‘yun, Tita,” and asked her what her basis was. “Kutob ng ina.”

The majoritarian view prevailed. And so Ninoy, an unwelcome Balikbayan to Macoy, was salvaged on August 21, 1983. Happy-Go-Lucky Butz Aquino, who attended San Beda for grade school, and moved to the Ateneo, was among those who emerged to lead us until Macoy was ousted by People Power on February 25, 1986.

Ninoy being Ninoy, a heart bypass was but a heart bypass, to be taken as it came, and without skipping a beat, but being bypassed by history, could well be fatal, as it were. This he avoided and so his wife and son became prezs. Brother Butz became a senator.

Butz being Butz, impetuous, immediately responded to Cardinal Sin’s February 22, 1986, call to protect the doomed plotters led by Manong Johnny Ponce Enrile and General Fidel V. Ramos. My wife and I drove to Camp Aguinaldo that night; I did not alight as I was then seen as Cory, Jr., qua her spokesperson. I did not want to compromise her while we were assessing the situation. Was it what RAM was telling us the year before in confidential meetings? Or a Zarzuela? Butz was as audacious as RAM.

Ninoy had said the Filipino is worth dying for and put himself where his mouth was 32 Augusts ago.

Is Amazing Grace a Filipino worth voting for? I finally met the Senadora the other afternoon in the Senate memorial for Butz.

Her residence and citizenship have been questioned.

At a time of modern communications, how relevant is residence in terms of actual physical presence? Cable TV, ANC, DZMM and GMA 7 make sure caring Pinoys wherever know what’s going on here. Reinforced by CPs, Skypes, etc. The rationale of the requirement is for the candidate to know what’s going on in the homeland.

On citizenship, no one can be stateless under the UN Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 15), and other international covenants.

My Poli-Law teacher, Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, defined a natural born citizen as “one born a citizen.” It would be hard to argue that Grace Poe was born a Martian (or thru a cesarean operation, ha, ha).

Grace is a natural-born Filipino citizen. No question, in my mind on her status, when born and found in Iloilo. It is not illogical to presume that she is a citizen of the country where found. Grace looks Filipino and speaks our language like a native, which she is.

Is Jason Day, who looks Filipino, one?

Not a foundling, Jason, who won the Professional Golf Association title last Sunday, is a natural-born Aussie. But, there’s no denying, his mother, Dening, is a full-blooded Waray. Local papers describe him as a Fil-Aussie. No foreign account I have seen says so. Or that Jason thanks his Mom for sacrificing for his golf future, holding down two jobs, skimping, and not even being able to attend the event last week. She was at work.

But no longer making salok.

Is he interested in his roots? I have not seen an account saying so. He has not really acknowledged his Waray origins. He has not shown any interest in connecting, nor in making a sentimental journey home. He did speak of his kin victimized by Yolanda. It is not known if he helped them. But, maybe he is like FPJ, who help unadvertised.

Let’s have some pride naman. Hindi tayo pinapansin, hahabol-habol ta?

Golf saved him from being a juvenile delinquent. He probably never smoked marijuana, unlike Clinton, Dubya and Obama.

In 1983, I wrote “Who’s Afraid of Mary Jane?” in Mr. and Ms. Portugal isn’t afraid and has indeed decriminalized all drugs early in this millennium. Addicts Portugal sees as weak sick persons, not criminals. Portugal has removed the profit motive. Hardline is a failed policy. Yet, Portugal is not a failed state.

Here, I admire the Catholic Church for not condemning medical marijuana. Doctors, of all people, do so.

A New York Times editorial supports George Schultz and many others who view hardline as a failed policy costing billions of dollars.

“The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. . . .

“There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the `Reefer Madness’ images of murder, rape and suicide.

“There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.

“Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime.” (Int’l New York Times, 7/29/14 P. 8, col. 1).

A lawyer I am assisting has a client who credibly claims that his arresting team had a member from the Bureau of PLANT Industry. Worse is planting the

circumventive idea that PNoy, constitutionally barred from reelection, should run as Veep. My take is what cannot be done directly may not be done indirectly.


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  1. Ninoy is a Fake hero! why??? Bernabe Buscayno, Lieutenant Victor Corpus, and Ninoy Aquino was Convicted of Treason and sentence to Death by the Military Tribunal on November 25, 1977..

  2. Amnata Pundit on

    The yellows like to paint Marcos as the devil personified, so why don’t you guys ever mention that once upon a time, the evil Marcos was accused by your hero/idol Ninoy Aquino of bombing Plaza Miranda? If the Democratic party rally was bombed in downtown Manhattan 45 years ago and the entire Republican party and all their allies including those in the media accused the sitting Democrat president of masterminding it, that would have sent shock waves all the way into the future for at least a hundred years, yet Plaza Miranda today doesn’t even merit a ripple in your constant anti-Marcos propaganda. Why?

    • Amnata Pundit on

      Correction: I meant ” if the REPUBLICAN Party rally was bombed in downtown Manhattan 45 years ago…”

  3. Ingkay Garutay on

    It is quite simple. State tends to prohibit anything they can not control or regulate (read: taxed).

  4. Because she was born in Iloilo makes Poe a Filipino. Does it matter who gave birth to her? The question is when she renounced her American citizenship and when was it granted. The point is Poe herself should put all these questions & doubts to rest. Why doesn’t she. Whether she runs for president or not, she still needs to satisfy the qualifications of her being a senator. When is the “proper forum” she has been saying? Tapusin na yang mga duda na yan!

  5. if Ninoy became president, Joker Arroyo, Solita Monsod, Jose Diokno, et al would be quarrelling with Ninoy. Why? They wouldn’t stand his loquacious and arrogant personality.