I HAD wanted not to oppose my fellow Bedan Digong Duterte during his so-called political honeymoon period, but his early advocacy of the anti-poor-eye-for-an-eye-tooth-for-a-tooth-rape-the-rapist death penalty forces my hand, sandbags me and makes me do so now. (He’s our Prez-elect; what “presumptive” Prez? Reminds me of Consumptive.)
The penalty was not restored during my Senate watch (1987-92) due to my personal “filibuster” against it, as much as anything else. It was returned in 1993 and killed again in 2006, thanks to GMA. In my last meet with Joker Arroyo, he said that in a visit to Europe his hosts could not praise us enough for discarding the penalty. Not severity, but swiftness and certainty, of punishment, deter. I doubt if any criminal carries the Revised Penal Code to see what crime he can afford based on the penalty. The Supermarket theory of the criminal law I don’t buy. Which Digong does but how does he explain it to the Pope should he go to Rome? Not “from extrajudicial killing anymore, we’ve moved on to judicial murder.”
Digong has declared war against the human rights community, which opposes executions, judicial or extrajudicial. It may signal the wrong D, Decay, not Deliverance. My pal, Tony Lopez, reports that Edsa traffic “violators will be stripped naked in front of media.” (Standard, May 17, 2016, p. A10, col. 5). I am incredulous. If true, another sign of Decay. The cycle is supposed to be Savagery, Civilization and Decay.
99.99 percent of those we have executed were poor, thanks to laws imposing death authored by wealthy lawmakers who probably deserve it, if at all, we must have it. (The House and Senate may be housed under one roof, in the Muntinlupa penitentiary, so certain members can conveniently serve two terms, one in office, the other, in jail.)
I lament the decay or death of reason by those who talk of hypotheticals. Where does it say that if Bongbong leads at the start it would not be necessary to proceed with the count?
Why slur Leni? Is she (and hubby Jesse) linked to any electoral skullduggery? I accept there was massive vote-buying last week. But, I cannot believe someone cheated for Digong. If one did, it would have been possible for others to pad Mar’s votes, for a narrower margin at least. Vox populi, vox Dei.
Serge Osmeña, a Senate jewel, has graciously accepted that he lost, fair and square. He should be returned in 2019. The VP? If there was cheating in regard to No. 2, why would Leni’s imagined cheater not cheat for others also? If only to shave margins? Correcting a minor misspelling is de minimis, from where I sit.
It is the Marcoses who have long experience in massive poll cheating.
1969 – goons, guns and gold.
1973 saw them getting the 1973 Siopao Consti. Asked in Barangay Assemblies who wanted siopao, nearly 100 percent raised their hands, which were listed as “yes” votes.
1978 – Laban, led by Ninoy, lost to Imelda and many nonentities and Kenkoys (but despite
the cheating, we won 13-8 in Pasig, thanks to Uncle Jovy and Bobbit Sanchez, my townsmen).
1980 – Massive cheating. Ask Ben Abalos and Josue San Pedro on their Mandaluyong experience, replicated all over the land.
1981 – Boycott was the response. “Pinaboto na nga kayo, gusto pa niyong bilangin. Abuso. Sobra.” FM had to trot out a token oppo candidate.
1986 – Comelec staff walked out, as the body did not know how to count (per Monching Mitra). JPE confessed on Feb. 22, 1986 that he had cheated by 300,000 votes in Cagayan alone.
Fruit never falls far from the tree. It is the Marcoses who cheat, not the squeaky-clean Robredos. Bongbong confirmed to Raissa Robles in Feb. 2012 that he had a direct hand in trying to withdraw $213 from a Swiss bank in 1986. Embroidered pa ang university credentials. Talagang anak ng Tatay at Nanay niya.
Digong could not have cheated but he must allow me to differ.
1) I read his appeal to lawmakers not to abuse resource persons. (Phil. Star, May 17, 2016, p. 2, col. 1.) We’re on the same page here. No more Jimmy Ongpin and Angie Reyes driven to suicide by the Senate.
2) Hanging? Cruel, unusual and degrading. I am unalterably opposed to the death penalty. Popular move? But, a leader is not a mere weathervane.
3. Visit to Rome? Urong-sulong. Why? The death penalty as a gift? I am sure the Pope welcomes saints and sinners. But, to bring his reported fave companion with him would present problems. Iwanan na lang? But, a background check would indicate that in the Church’s eyes, Digong is a public sinner, who has cohabited with a companion for decades without the benefit of clergy. Has anyone researched Rome’s record in this respect as to Catholics? Forgiving Rome is not a Davao City Barangay of Unforgiving Digong, a womanizer who has canceled the prematurely ballyhooed trip.
3.1. Known adulterers welcome? But, what about the youth who look at Prezes as role models? OK pala si Pangulo mag-kalaguyo. . . . Does Digong admire Clinton, FDR, JFK, et al., all the way to Jefferson? And Quezon, et al. But, “discreet” may be the key word. Erap may be sui generis.
4. On going home to Davao, do we have the government aircraft fleet to fly a presidential party, including advisers, security, medics, et al. DAILY? Pastor Quiboloy offers his aircraft and would even answer for the fuel. But, for Digong to accept would open the giver and recipient to prosecution under PD No. 46, etc. Using PAL, etc. would mean humongous expenses and logistical concerns daily. Skeds would be disrupted as wang-wang approaches. So he cannot sing to anyone in Davao every day, “you’d be so nice to come to.” How sweet but he has to sacrifice.
4.1. On using religious leader Quiboloy’s fancy aircraft, how can he direct his Cabinet, et al. to use ordinary vehicles? What if they own fancy vehicles and use the same (they pay for gas in that case)? And no OA, Digong—Bullet-Proof Digong—Mobile Pick-Up?
5. Will the Dutertes (a political dynasty in their own wrong) come clean on their alleged bank deposits? Transparency, openness.
Problems can drive one to drink. Up to 10 p.m. only? One o’clock a.m.? Two? Prohibition failed in the US. I see a human rights dimension here, the tension between seeing liquor as demon run or the oil of conversation (which I heard in Singapore in 1971).
I read this week in the Manila Bulletin’s NYT Int’l Weekly supplement: “From her apartment at the foot of the celebrated zigzags of Lombard Street, Judith Calson has twice peered out her window as thieves smashed their way into cars and snatched whatever they could. She has seen foreign tourists cry after cash and passports were stolen. She shudders when she recounts the story of the Thai tourist because he resisted thieves taking his camera. And that is her tally from the last year alone.” (May 16, 2016, p. 14, col. 3.) The above, from Dirty Harry’s very own city. No one cries “hang ‘em.”
Civilized San Fran “is known for a political tradition of empathy for the downtrodden, now divided over whether to respond with more muscular law enforcement or stick to its forgiving attitudes.” (Id.)
I am not for arresting the urchins and their parents who sleep in our Palanan sidewalks or on the Marconi bridge separating Makati and Pasay. The scene can tear away one’s heart by the roots. (Of course, the law in its majestic equality forbids the wealthy Dutertes and the truly poor, alike, from sleeping on sidewalks and bridges, to paraphrase Anatole France.)
I doubt if any San Fran candidate vows that he will end crime in months and feed the fish in the Bay with human carcass. Crime is a permanent problem of the human race. Can be reduced but not permanently eradicated. Not even in the City of Dirty Harry.
June 30 may mean continued 1) Deliverance from the dark Marcosian era, as Digong builds on what Cory, FVR, Erap and GMA have done, or 2) acceleration of Decay.
We are all pledged to help Digong succeed but at times he and his team may need to be protected from themselves. And from the Iglesia ni Cristo. Last Tuesday, I had a hearing in the Sandiganbayan. Abbreviated and aborted due to the choked traffic. Can Digong ask the INC not to hold medical missions on a working day, please? Maybe some weekend with advance notice. Sticklers for rights are a menace. There are corresponding duties. Such missions violate the human rights of many others. Be thoughtful. Be considerate. Don’t bully.
My mantra is do the right thing in the right way in the right place at the right time for the right reason.
Execution is wrong. So is stripping, despite UP’s Oblation Run in our Scofflaw Society by MAD (Mga Anak ng Diyos). Speed limit at Edsa? The more common quotidian problem is how to move faster than turtles or snails.
But, we should make haste slowly, Mr. Prez-elect, Sec. Bingbong Medialdea, Sec. Vit Aguirre and Sec. Art Tugade. Digong’s win helps validate that frats take you where the power is and may make it harder for San Beda to ban the same. You may consult Gibo Teodoro, UP Law, No. 1 in the bar, and Harvard, son of admirable Bedan Gilberto Teodoro, who, as SSS honcho, could say no to “the First Lady wants this.” I must have last met Gibo when a state-of-the-art room named after his father was inaugurated in Mendiola.