Pride and prejudice; people misspeaking


PHIL MICKELSON was TBPNTHWAM, the Best Player Never to Have Won a Major, a decade or so ago, until he started winning. But, last weekend, in Pebble Beach, he bombed again in the final hole of the final round, after leading the pack. So joy for the winner, tears for Phil, who missed a five-foot putt needed for a playoff with winner Vaughn Taylor, No. 447 in pro golf ranking.

Tears, as in the case of the death of Justice Anton Scalia. Obama nearly has a year to go but the Republicans are intent on blocking any appointment, in hopes that a new Republican President will name a Conservative Justice. (In our country, the Consti requires a replacement in 90 days. We’re one up?) The Conservative Republicans will use every trick to beat back the Liberal Democrats.

It is because if one is liberal or conservative, court-watchers can predict the outcome of voting, more or less (but not always). It validates what William James said, we think we are thinking when we in fact only rearrange our prejudices.

Justices have prejudices. Of course. All of us do. Strictly, they cannot be objective but they are expected to be fair. Justices Hugo Black and William Douglas would say that when the Constitution says no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, no law is no law. So no conviction for defamation.

Daniel Webster argued for his alma mater in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 578 (1819). His performance is remembered for “It is, Sir, only a small college but there are those who love it,” So said Webster, with tears in his eyes, and so moved Chief Justice John Marshall, the ponente in Webster’s win.

If Justices argue passionately for foundlings, to move others, what’s the problem? I see none. I have always agreed with one of my AB teachers in San Beda, Prof. Joe Icasiano, that man is a rational and emotional animal. That was where I got introduced to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Some of us need to shed our pride and prejudice and deliver a fair decision. It need not be objective.

Again, to Justices Black and Douglas, the constitutional language on “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech” meant NO LAW against libel, defamation, pornography, etc. should survive.

Black belonged for a time to the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) against blacks, but became one of the most libertarian Justices. Douglas was for more speech, not less. We are not to underrate anyone’s capacity for change and subjective growth.

The Supreme Court (SC) is not wrong in holding weekly, not daily hearings, in Grace’s case. It is not Senate Prez Frank Drilon’s place to dictate the SC’s pace. I see that a group is pressing for a ruling on K-12 which some would want thrown in the discard. I am inclined to support it. Having spent only five years in Makati Elem, I tend to agree. My bias. Our secret was our fine teachers from before WWII, and bright classmates, in Section 1. Without such teachers – who affect eternity (Henry Brooks Adams), and brilliant classmates, not even K20 would work.

Anyway, we have reason to worry about the quality of political discourse. Since Manny Pacquiao has been away so often we hardly know what he stands for. Now, he said something that makes one wonder whether he’s been hit in the head too often, with his antediluvian view on gay couples as “worse than animals.” Misconduct is misconduct and to disrespect and marginalize gays couples per se makes us grateful he’s away often insulating us from his remarkable views.

I was hoping to hear from him, as a Mindanaoanon, his views on the BangsaMoro Basic Law, and the death penalty, drug trafficking, etc. If he would agree with me that the kubols in Muntinlupa should be kept, as a public-private partnership project, he would be an object of my new respect. Indeed, why not keep the improvement of wealthy prisoners, for use by the ageing, ailing inmates, or model prisoners? Government has seemingly no funds to do what it should. There’s a talipapa inside prison, a real marketplace. Let the rich build basketball and tennis courts, to benefit as many as practicable.

Instead, Manny keeps talking about his next fight, but does not settle his tax issues, and now interfering trainer Freddie Roach tantalizes us with a President Pacquiao in 2022. Susmariano! Any party wanting Manny to be on its senatorial slate is suspect. Yet, the interloper American intones – “Roach dream: Pacquiao fighting while president.” Manila Bulletin, Feb. 17, 2017, p. 16, col. 1.

On the drug problem and the failed hard-line policy, Manny, what should our delegation to the UN say on users being prosecuted? Bernie Sanders, who may beat Hillary, sees them as patient to be rehabbed, not as criminals to be destroyed in prison, Portugal’s edifying stand.

What can Manny say about JPE now railing that Cory was a dictator? But, unlike his boss, Macoy, who was a despot, she did not suppress the press, steal, or commit human rights violations in 1986-87 and worked to normalize the situation at once. A constitution in less than a year and a Congress a few months later. No perpetuation in power, Manong. He was a prime architect of martial law CARRMA (Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang) will remember on Monday, February 22, in UP – Film Center, 9-12 am.

Manong and I were in the 1987-92 Senate, to which I got elected without having to spend a single centavo of my own, thanks to the egregious abuses of martial law I fought against, of which JPE was perceived as Administrator.

Has Manny read NPA KILLS 6 COPS IN CAGAYAN FIGHT, Standard, Feb. 17, 2016 headline. Any program to treat them like the Mamasapano heroes? Paging JPE as well.
Digong’s private population production program calls for killing labor leaders who encourage the establishment of unions in economic zones (which he tried clumsily to “clarify” later). Phil. Star, Feb. 17, p. 5, col. 1 (“Duterte fails to appease workers’ fury.”)
Problem is Manny is away most of the time. What’s Digong’s excuse? From 1972 to 1986, did he handle any human rights case for a victim? The Kissing Bandit, Digong, may be overly focused on his population reduction approach.

Diyos na Mahabagin. For us, “for all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” The last fragment RAM stole from Ted Kennedy (1980) and caused us nightmares, abetted by JPE.


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  1. Keep on telling us what is in your mind, Mr. Senator Rene, no matter who gets the scorn! Personally, I welcome it; I appreciate your frank and courageous postulation. Very few people, specially Trapos, can dare proclaim what you are saying – re Paquiao, JPE, who lately I think have shown some signs of mental degradation and extreme bias against his political enemies, encouraged perhaps by his success in his quest for temporary freedom, for the large sums of people’s money that he is accused of stealing through her girl friend. Mabuhay ka, Mr. Rene. Keep on writing. I pray that God gives you more years to live and write your mind!

  2. “…she did not … commit human rights violations in 1986-87…”

    You keep saying that and your fellow Yellows seem to be claiming that too. Yet according to Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, there were more than 1.2 million victims of dislocations due to military operations, 135 cases of massacres, 1,064 victims of summary executions, and 20,523 victims of illegal arrest and detention, 816 desaparecidos. Superimposed against 9 years of Martial Law which you routinely denounce as cruel and oppressive and her supposedly democratic rule of only 6 years, she would be judged as worse than Marcos. But then maybe I am wrong. Could you please help me understand why I should not feel that way? Bakit muhing-muhi kayo kay Marcos sa isyu ng human rights pero mahal na mahal ninyo si Cory e pareho lang naman pala sila?

  3. Tohell W. Duterty on

    Let me ask you this Atty. Saguisag. How come that a San Bedan graduate like Duterte can hardly express himself? He had been bragging around that he is a graduate of an exclusive school like San Beda but his communication skills is worst than a 3rd grade student. Did he bribe or harass the schools to pass elementary, high school, college (College of Law)? And because of his poor communication skills, he is now demanding Comelec to give him more time (than the other candidates) to answer questions during a scheduled debate. Who the HELL is Duterte to make demands and if not granted, harass (he is good on harassment to get girlfriends) the Comelec to boycott or withdraw from the debates. Where in the world do you find a person joining a debate with his own rules? Duterte is nothing but a nuisance to Philippine society. He should stop bragging (and harassing with his UGLY face women) his being a lawyer and San Bedan graduate if he just paid for his diploma.