• Ping Lacson as rehab czar

    Rene Saguisag

    Rene Saguisag

    From Jude Roque: “Fellow Bedans, tickets for Champions for a Cause benefit game between San Beda and La Salle on Saturday [tomorrow]are now available at the SBC athletic office and ticketnet. Please support our team and at the same time help Yolanda victims. Also for bragging rights vs. La Sallians as the bigger donors. Go San Beda fight! December 7, 12 noon at Araneta Coliseum.”

    The kind of payabangan to encourage.

    Now, the much bigger picture.

    Ping Lacson and iron fist as rehab czar?

    Why not Tony Meloto (as suggested by others, like Bobit Avila) and friendly persuasion?

    The matter is now moot and academic. The appointment has been made—a fait accompli—and we should all support Ping, for the sake of the victims.

    If I had my druthers, I would rather see him at Customs to instill fear in the hearts of malefactors. But Ping might see it as a demotion yet he might succeed where other worthies have been found wanting.

    Could anyone have done a better job than PNoy in dealing with Super Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest ever reportedly to hit land? Do we have the personnel, the logistics, the aircraft carriers, the choppers, the C-130’s, the packed food, the doctors and medicines, etc. that came flowing as CNN and BBC told the world, along with our networks, emails and word of mouth, about the unprecedented super typhoon?

    Law and order problems? Many local officials were victims along with law enforcers. They had their own private tragedies. Outsiders were needed.

    If Ping does a hell of a job, he’ll be a presidential contender in 2016, a prospect that should scare the bejesus out of the human rights community, which classifies him, rightly or wrongly, with Mayor Fred Lim, Captain Jaylo, Mayor Rudy Duterte, et al., perceived or misperceived to play god, deciding who will live or who will die. It is not for us to send anyone to the Promised Land through our own private population reduction programs.

    You don’t fight Destiny
    If Tony Meloto agrees to be a technical adviser, Veep Jojobama, Secretary Mar Roxas, et al have to worry about a Ping-Tony ticket, which might not have crossed the mind of anyone. But, in 1983 onwards, when we would tease Cory Aquino about succeeding Macoy, she would say “oy, tigilan n’yo ‘yan” and we would retort with “Ma’m, you don’t fight Destiny.” In late 1985, her eyes finally moistened, given the wrangling of the other wannabes—and thanks to Chino Roces & Co. Providence there was in the fall of Macoy.

    Rudy Duterte was reported to have wanted to shoot looters. If true, I again beg to differ with my dear friend whose gutsy mother, Soledad (Tita Chuling), we marched with in Davao during the dark years. Anyone looting for food, medicines, etc. is just following the first law of mankind: survival, the name of the game for many victims. We may not hasten the metabolism with bullets.

    Now, it’s not as if Ping had been named to chair the Human Rights Commission or the Human Rights Compensation Board, which should have started work many months ago. It has two years to do its work counted from the effectivity of the Implementing Rules and Regulations it will promulgate.

    It will pay out P10B. But, where’s the Board?

    My nominee to head it: Joker Arroyo—who may be “bad shot” in the Palace—to cap a lifetime of human rights advocacy. Time to reconcile as shadows lengthen. Uncle Jovy Salonga is out, given his condition, but others could be Tito Guingona, Nene Pimentel, Bobby Tañada or even Chel Diokno, not a member of the Sunset Club.

    RA10368 is the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013. It was signed by PNoy last February 25. I have not seen it published but I may have missed it as I have dealt with serious health issues since September last. We join another fellow Bedan, Rep. Neri Colmenares, in urging the implementation of RA10368.

    PNoy should not sound like berating the “nattering nabobs of negativism.” In my time as Prez Cory’s spokesman, I would tease the Wild, Wild Press as validating that “media is the plural of mediocre,” per Rocky Bridges, but Guinness wrongly attributed it to me.

    We need everybody in nation-building. Manny Pacquiao is doing his part, I see. But, one has to follow the law before being generous. Let’s hope the matter is sorted out soon, in win-win fashion.

    Yes, we can do no less than Erik Spoelstra, Paul Walker, Pau Gasol, the NBA and countless Pinoys all over the world crying for the beloved Motherland, and doing something about it.

    Tomorrow, Bedans and La Sallites will do their part.


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    1. Those who suggest Tony Meloto for anything from President as Inquirer columnist Conrado de Quiros to rehabilitation czar do not really know the person they are recommending. I have dealt with him with a Gawad Kalinga (GK) project that I asked a client-friend to finance. It was a traumatic experience for me and very disappointing for my client-friend, to say the least.

      There are those who are or were with Couples for Christ (CFC) who know the inside stories, but they would rather not speak publicly then and now. What we know is that Tony Meloto is a product of a very successful mass media promotion that also cost a lot of money. One time, Gawad Kalinga (GK) appeared every Sunday on the front-page of a leading national newspaper. Surely, it was NOT for free.

      The award given to a GK doctor who helped in Ormoc, Leyte, is typical of the great PR work of Tony Meloto. It was timed with President B. S. Aquino III as the guest of of a group of lady editors, columnist and reporters called Bulong-Bulongan at Sofitel Hotel, formerly Philippine Plaza Hotel. Naturally, Tony Meloto was there instead of the GK Executive Director even when he is no longer involved with GK.

      If P-Noy was not the guest of honor last Tuesday, the award given to the GK doctor in the presence of Tony Meloto would not mean much. Meloto may not have even attended at all. But the award was precisely timed with P-Noy’s attendance to make the event will get maximum media coverage. You can imagine Ms. D. Sitangco orchestrating the affair in collaboration with Maria Montelibano, the cousin of P-Noy and wife of Boy Montelibano, the sidekick of Tony Meloto.

      Tony Meloto and GK is mostly media hype. It would be great if the PCIJ will conduct an investigation on the GK projects and Tony Meloto. They can talk to the persons, companies and organizations who have been involved.

    2. Yong mga pangalan na binabanggit mo ay puro yong original na yellow loyalists. Kayo lang ba ang mayroon kakayanan? Manahimik ka na Rene. Pagbigyan naman natin mga iba. Marami nang magagaling at mas bata at mapagkatiwalaan. Retired na kayo. Mga kasama mo nagpayaman nung unang appointment pa lamang nila ni Cory. Hindi ko na kailangan banggitin kung sino sila, alam na alam mo pati mga buong pamilya nila nangungurakot hanggang ngayon, nakapuesto pa rin. Siguro si Cory umiikot ang katawan sa Paranaque sa galit nya. Tama na !

    3. Sir rene may you live as long and as healthy as JPE but don’t be like him. As for Ping Lacson he should read first the fine prints of the Executive Order before signing and taking the Oath.

    4. Juliet A. H. S. Arciwal on

      Comment on former senator Rene Saguisag’s “Ping as rehab czar.:

      Very good remarks, as usual. May God bless you with better health so you can continue to write as fairly as you do.

    5. I thank you Senator Saguisag for giving us a column that implies love for the Philippines. No undertones of personal scores to settle. Only facts and suggestions how the country can rise from the devastation. Goodwill in your writing is palpable. This kind of writing helps the healing to begin. Columns that reek with anger and recriminations scatter efforts to rebuild Eastern Visayas. Thank you.

    6. yes it but fair to give Mr. Lacson a chance, and a chance to succeed, indeed. out of the deepest crises my city went through last month, i fain would hope she will rise again phoenix-like, from the ashes. it seems every crises may lead to victory. with enough purity of motive, clear and focused vision, thorough consultations, the spiritual discipline to fulfill to the last detail, the Plan for the region, the region will provide a road map to others, a change of landscape will usher in a new era therein.