WHAT kind of president is this that he could give honor to a deceased policeman who served as his security for a few years but couldn’t even say any good word on the death of a patriot like the late Sen. Joker Arroyo who had been unquestionably a friend of the Aquinos for more than 40 years?
Now, is the President trying to fill the void in the Senate left by Joker by fielding the son of Sen. Lito Lapid as official senatorial candidate of the supposed “Tuwid na Daan” slate? Perhaps, the President wants the son to continue the “legacy” of Senator Lapid. After all, Senator Lapid has “authored” one law in the 11 years that he has been a legislator. I placed “authored” in quotation mark because Lapid’s supposed law is an exact replica of an archived bill of Senate President Franklin Drilon. What’s more, Senator Lapid never stood up on the floor to defend the bill that he now crows as “Lapid Law.” That duty fell on Sen. Chiz Escudero who was then chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice.
Evidently, the Liberal Party, the party machine that’s supposed to lead the “tuwid na daan,” isn’t a model of virtue. It’s a run-of-the-mill party that seeks victory at all costs. A Liberal may be involved in a lot of shenanigans but as long as he could deliver the votes, then he remains a party member of good standing. And if a long-time Liberal isn’t strong politically, then he can be cast aside in favor of a new party convert with a potent machine. This is the lament of old-time Liberals in La Union after the LP decided to support an Ortega.
The LP is also getting divided in Iloilo, the home province of reelectionist Sen. Franklin Drilon. The intramurals started when Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. reneged on a previous family agreement that a brother, the vice governor, is the next in line for congressman. Tupas, as is the case with most other dynasts, decided instead to field his wife. Now, the vice governor has joined the Nationalist People’s Coalition. The family patriarch, former Gov. Niel Tupas, is also reportedly set to bolt the LP. Now, how will this division affect the candidacy of Secretary Mar Roxas who’s from the region?
Back to righting Philippine history
Lt. Col. Ronal Jess Alcudia of the Philippine Army sent me an email seeking to give delayed honor to a long-forgotten hero of the Filipino war against the United States – Gen. Macario Sakay, whom he described as “a genuine Filipino patriot” although American black propaganda had branded him as a bandit.
“To continue adhering to the American historical view of the Philippine-American War is to maintain the historical distortion against Filipino freedom fighters who continued the resistance as ‘bandits’ and ‘tulisanes,’” Alcudia argued.
He noted that Philippine military history recognized that the Philippine-American War ended in April 1902 with the surrender of Gen. Miguel Malvar and ignored the continuing resistance by Sakay and his men until Sakay’s arrest by the Americans in July 1906.
Alcudia proposed that Camp Eldridge in Laguna be renamed Camp General Macario Sakay, as he joined the UP community in seeking to rectify Philippine history by making Filipinos aware of the “real Macario Sakay – a freedom fighter, revolutionary patriot, Third Supremo of the Katipunan and President of the Philippine revolutionary government during the early American occupation.”
Times turns 117
Better late than later – congratulations to The Manila Times for turning 117 last Sunday. An appreciation dinner to commemorate the event will be held tomorrow at the Pasion Restaurant, Maxims Hotel, Resorts World Manila.
I never tire of recounting this anecdote to let readers know what kind of paper the Manila Times is. Our publisher emeritus, Dr. Dante Ang Sr., was then the main legislative liaison officer for the approval of the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement. As what he and his son Klink, our executive editor and CEO, always tell us, we should get all sides, so I interviewed those opposed to the JPEPA.
Klink saw my article fit to print and even gave it prominent treatment. In other papers, such an article would have been thrown to the wastebasket and the reporter who dared write it would have been given a severe tongue-lashing. But not the Manila Times. At the next public hearing on the JPEPA, the lead counsel of JPEPA oppositors quoted from my article and said that even the paper of Dr. Ang had some favorable comments in their favor. To this, Dr. Ang replied: “I have my own beliefs but my son who edits the paper is independent-minded.”