WHY should Prez Digong formally inflict martial law with its downside? It would be admitting that, at variance with his campaign promise, qua candidate, six months would not suffice to bring us to paradise. He now has an elastic, sliding- scale timetable. First an extension of three months, then six, then his entire term, maybe even beyond, as Premier, to solve certain permanent problems of the human race, like graft.
Seizure of drugs worth billions? In whose possession have they been all the time in the first place?
Anyway, we have had a de facto police state since June 30, 2016. Even a cop, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel—a person of interest—preferred to surrender to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), not the Philippine National Police (PNP), fearing for his safety, which the terrifying scofflaw organization cannot guarantee.
Its Operation Tokhang is one manifestation of blatant human and constitutional rights abuse. The flagship is inquisitorial and represents the best thinking of centuries back. Not even Marcos, the criminal genius, had thought of anything Tokhang-like, correctly declared by the Senate as illegal, as I understand it. It openly violates Republic Act 7438, which says the police may not even “invite” anyone, and trivializes the right to privacy, to be let and left alone. We in the Senate, in approving Senator Bobby Tanada’s laudable bill, knew how coercive and intimidating a police invite can be, which cannot be refused. One’s right not to speak is not honored and there’s always some under-the-mango-tree shyster to allow his name to be misused as one lawyer provided by the cops.
Speaker Bebot Alvarez need not name and shame anyone but urge that charges be filed, in the proper forum, not in the media. Trial and conviction by publicity is a no-no.
Digong and his puppet House—an echo, not a voice—will bring back the death penalty, by public hanging at that, to reduce the numbers of the poor. The elite honored in some necktie party? They pass the laws, which represent their biases. But, there may be hope in the Senate, where I once led the opposition to the anti-poor measure (1987-1992).
Senator Manny Pacquiao, said to owe the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) billions, wouldn’t be touched for that of course and Digong even touts him as his successor. The BIR announced no-more-shame-campaign, a practice I had disagreed with for decades, beginning with Mayor Lim’s spray-paint campaign against druggies. Therefore, the BIR would not issue posters announcing that Manny seems to be our Top Tax Evader, in the billions.
And Untouchable Manny, the third man in the aborted Fighting Trillanes versus Flash Zubiri bout last Tuesday, is said to be juggling his sked to have four(!) bouts this year. One problem is who he will fight and where. He has to accept that he no longer sells as before and he needs time to study and train to run a country of maybe 120 million rabbits in the next decade. He faces at least 30 suits in the United States for misrepresentation, for reportedly concealing an injured shoulder. Can he update us on these lawsuits before juries that can run away?
And what about his inviting Bato and family to Nevada to watch him fight at his expense? Illegal and unethical, arguably, which appears not to bother the Senate, he being a formidable Digong Sipsip. Take that, Leila! (Canada’s premier is facing an inquiry for having accepted a family vacation invite to the Caribbean.)
But, maybe Prez Manny won’t have as bloody a first semester as we have just seen. And amateurish, even childish, in some ways. Rookie misjudgments of which we hope to have fewer in this, the second semester, as the administration leaves Kindergarten.
It is all right to improve ties with Russia and China but why needlessly offend the US, the UN, Australia, and the European Union?
What programs does Digong have to improve working conditions in government, not only of cops (and soldiers)? Not martial law.
But, clarity we need. The Secretary of Clarification, Retraction, Apology and Pi’s (SCRAP) had better improve, such as dealing with Digong’s recorded statement that we might inflict martial law, in language eerily reminiscent of Macoy, “to save the Republic.” Utterly lame and confusing statements by the Cabinet on what was said by a Prez seemingly inarticulate and unable to express himself clearly.
A recent Times editorial quoted Angie Dickinson as saying, “You know my story. I am pretty.” And everybody knew her story. (Her legs were insured with Lloyds, for $1 million!) I was a young law teacher when she was the talk of the town, along with our Divina Valencia. (Vivian Velez came a decade later.)
But, what if a Mae West-type asks Digong and chum Mon Tulfo: “Are those guns in your pockets? Or are you just glad to see me?”
We need clearer communication skills, in very short supply in the Palace in the past six months. There are many grammar schools nearby. One is St. Jude. But, the way Digong & Co. at times talk makes us feel we need to learn Chinese. Or Greek. It may be in the Tower of Babel in the Palace that we may need Zipper Lane. Ang dadaldal; wala namang pong katuturan madalas.
Some serious study is required in dealing with the 5/6 phenomenon, of losing certain benefits from the European Union if we keep reducing our population problem with EJKs, etc. (We now plead for help in setting up rehab centers, which should have been built much earlier, before the bloody spree.)
We are glad not to hear of Digong jet-skiing in the West Philippine Sea. We don’t want him drowning. But, Foreign Secretary Jun Yasay has to do a better job in explaining why we allow China to enter our home and screw the kasambahay, a daughter and the wifey, and announce big economic benefits coming our way. One perception of it is that we are now engaged in high-class prostitution. Would we really do anything for money?
No respect for human rights. None for human dignity.
What happens to national honor, pride and sovereignty?
Good to read that the Prez met the new American Ambassador, of South Korean descent, without Digong telling him what our Numero Uno thought of him and his mother, and where to go, the unfortunate fate of an American Prez of African descent.
We want to see a vigorous anti-corruption program, which should not focus on prosecution alone, but on improving working conditions, better pay, health care and pension programs (not only for cops [and soldiers]), the non-rocket-science secret of others.
No, Sir, you used to be Mayor, but now you are our Prez, by the grace of Providence and our people. Time to think national, even international, not parochial.
No need to make us pee in our pants. Stop campaigning, start governing.
You may start by marrying Honeylet—your partner, significant other, companion, mistress, kulasisi, or “concubine,” in a sense—and stop showing that you are above the laws of God and man. God’s time has come, to avoid awkwardness, if only in official receptions.
You are a role model.
We look around and see split-level Christianity all around. Or be reminded of what Chesterton observed of the Christian ideal: It has neither succeeded nor failed simply because it has never been tried.