WE have economic difficulties but arguably not a crisis such as that which beset the US in the late 20’s and early 30’s. A morbid joke that went around was that if anyone tried to get a room, the hotel desk clerk would ask: “for sleeping or for jumping?”
The man on horseback who came was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his first hundred days that would transform America. The US Supreme Court (SC) proved hostile, the nine scorpions in a bottle voting against his initiatives, 5-4. He threatened to pack the court with his appointees but Owen Roberts joined the minority of four. Urban legend had it that “the switch in time, saved nine.”
PNoy has a little above 500 days to go. Time to think legacy. I remain a foot soldier, with a cane, in the Yellow Army. My hope is that he will be followed by other non-stealing Presidents to restore the values, institutions and processes damaged by World War II, exacerbated by the two decades of Macoy and Imelda and nearly shattered by the decade of Glo and Mike.
The BangsaMoro problem dates back to centuries ago. And we keep multiplying like rabbits. Etc., etc., etc. Not an easy task for any Prez even if the nation were 100% behind him to run our undisciplined country of ungovernable people.
We are fanatically sticklers for our rights but casual and so-so about, or indifferent to, our duties. Traffic rules are ignored. We remain what we were called during martial law before Edsa’86, a circular firing squad. And, we have just concluded the longest holiday season in the world, an annual exercise. Enjoy, not work, ethic.
Where it used to be Congress and the Palace which would declare holidays, our indolent judiciary stopped working afternoon of December 23 last, and resumed working only last Monday. What gave the Supreme Court the authority to declare December 29, 2014 and January 3, 2015 holidays? So different when I was young, when courts worked between Christmas and New Year. In fact, Macoy, even declared December 31, 1965, a working day, having been installed the day before. In the US, election day is a working day, I am told, and many would vote at seven a.m., before going to work.
The Supreme Court should not play point man in flaunting the Indolence of the Filipino.
How many detainees have been released this week when they could have been freed had the judiciary done what it is paid to do: decide cases, not to stage presscons, speechify, travel abroad, socialize, accept accept, etc. In short, return to the jurassic era of Berting Concepcion, JBL Reyes and Ka Celing Munoz-Palma, magistrates not seen nor heard, only read. They decided cases.
This October certificates of candidacy will be filed. The Comelec and the SC should resolve now the Smarmatic issue. I accept with much of the nation the 2010 and 2013 results, save what I understand happened in isolated places like Bacoor and Biliran. The results reflected my hopes or expectations. And a flawless election is impossible anyway in a country of 7,000 islands and 50,000,000 voters. For one thing, a voter may be bribed the night before with indelible ink put on his thumb to disable him from voting the next day, if assumed to be for the other side.
Comelec chief Boy Brillantes was my college contempo in San Beda and my compadre.
Both of us were born on August 14, 1939 and became widowers when vehicular incidents in Makati ended our marriages. I trust him (but not if he shows you a birth certificate that
I am older by hour or even minutes; one may just look at the both of us, ehem).
2010 saw Pepe Melo chairing the Comelec. I thought he did a good credible enough job. Sans delay, and violence virtually disappeared, standard in manual voting.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento was in that Comelec. Comelec critics today include Rene Azurin and Gus Lagman. The three, Sarmiento, Azurin and Lagman, along with Brillantes, all attended San Beda (Sarmiento, AB’75; Azurin , GS’58 and HS’62, Lagman, GS’52, HS’56, and Brillantes, HS’56, BSC’60 and LL.B’64. Boy and Gus were high school contempos. I have no reason to doubt the integrity of these four. They may err, and commit mistakes of the mind, not of the heart. They are all patriots. Would lawyer-accountant Boy not know how to count as Monching Mitra, HS’57 and LL.B.’53, said of the Marcos Comelec?
If Gus beats Boy in their announced debate, it would affect PNoy’s legacy, who may be seen as a Comelected Prez. Abangan!