THE other evening, Wednesday, in Club Filipino, we launched “Honorary Woman — The Life of Raul S. Roco,” on his 10th death anniversary. It was written by wheelchaired Conrad de Quiros, present, not all that well, but in high spirits.
I was a year ahead of Raul in AB and Law in San Beda. Attendance in the Club launch was very good but there was no time for me to say a few words; I had to meet a human rights class. Widow Sonia had invited me to say something, quoting Antoine St. Exupery. But, it was in his Little Prince that I read in 1967 — do not speak, for words can be the cause of misunderstandings. So I did not speak on the run and instead dashed off to school.
Officiating at Mass was Archbishop Tony Ledesma, S.J., who was in our batch of Ten Outstanding Students of 1963. Edna Zapanta was Most, in a batch that included Ditas Rivera, Vicky Palanca and me. Sonia was Most in ‘64 (Raul was in her batch), Tatti Licuanan, in ‘62. All mentioned were in the Club, with Sen. Frank Drilon, Justice Francis Jardeleza, Lorna Kapunan, Raul Pangalangan and Jimmy Galvez Tan, among countless others.
I was a year ahead of Raul in those exciting times. Our campus contempo, Eddie Chow was the San Beda ‘62 high school valedictorian. With a computer mind he was a member of the Bedan team that lost to UP by a nose, 2-3, in a weekly televised quiz show in the early 60’s, Anything Goes. (?) If my memory is true, the Bedan team was composed of Eddie (HS), Jun Villanueva, Jimmy Licauco, Pabling Trillana, Claro Mamaril (all AB) and me (LL.B.). Formidable UP had the likes of Jimmy Abad and Tristan Catindig. Again, if my failing memory is true.
Last Tuesday, I reconnected with Bambi Fernando of San Francisco, a classmate or campus contempo of Eddie, in Solaire, were we had met previously. (?) He confirmed that Seattle-based Eddie, with no known ailment, recently passed away in India on a tour.
Class’ 62 includes many obscure nonentities like a certain Manny Pangilinan, as well as whosis Congs. Noli Fuentebella, Tom Apacible and Rene Diaz, Fr. Clement Roque, OSB, Atty. Manuel L.M. Torres and Prof. Rene Azurin. Billionaire, Congressmen, priest, bar topnotcher, computer whiz, et al. lang.
Manny, our eldest, Rebo, told me, donated in our time of great need following our 2007 family tragedy. Manny’s Makati Med settled for IOUs to give us time to settle, for our expensive fatal loss and my month-long confinement (three weeks in the ICU). A cuzn told me that in one board meet, Manny said, Be kind and gentle with one who did not steal while in government.
So Eddie, many years younger than I, joins a bayaw, 70, a balae, 71, a teacher, 87, and a classmate, 73, of mine, who left this vale of tears in the last two weeks, for a place beyond temptation.
Do arguable temptresses have the right to go around topless (true and legal in Canada since 1996)? Hong Kong just saw a woman allegedly assaulting a cop with her boobs – deadly weapons?) Would they be arrested here? What if they raise the defense that in UP, during the annual Oblation Run, men run around wearing nothing but smiles. Yet, no prosecution. Could women join, asking why should the men have all the fun? Could they be arrested and prosecuted for obscenity under Art. 201 of the Revised Penal Code? If no, may we organize a San Beda Mendiola to Alabang Fun Run with runners in their birthday suits? What does UP have that we don’t? Define obscenity, I ask my classes, to see if anyone can improve on Justice Potter Stewart, in despair, ruing that he “could not define it, but I know it when I see it.”
Like Syndicated Estafa, I know it when I see it, I think. Under P.D. No. 1689 of April 6, 1980, Ramon Ang may justly feel aggrieved but I don’t know whether jailing Ben Gozon without bail is the proper response. Just like the case against Chris Brown, which would look like a breach of contract case, so why brand him as a criminal? What the Iglesia ni Cristo, wants it gets? Not while Sec. Leila sits?
PD No. 1689 increased the penalty for certain forms of swindling or estafa, with these Whereases:
“WHEREAS, there is an upsurge in the commission of swindling and other forms of frauds in rural banks, cooperatives, `samahang nayon (s)’, and farmers’ associations or corporations/associations operating on funds solicited from the general public;
“WHEREAS, such defraudation or misappropriation of funds contributed by stockholders or members of such rural banks, cooperatives, samahang nayon[s], or farmers’ associations, or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public, erodes the confidence of the public in the banking and cooperative system, contravenes the public interest, and constitutes economic sabotage that threatens the stability of the nation; . . .
“Section 1. Any person or persons who shall commit estafa or other forms of swindling as defined in Article 315 and 316 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall be punished by life imprisonment to death if the swindling (estafa) is committed by a syndicate consisting of five or more persons formed with the intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction, enterprise or scheme, and the defraudation results in the misappropriation of money contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperative, `samahang nayon[s]’, or farmers association, or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public. . . .”
I respect Mr. Ang and his lawyers and await the outcome. Our current system discourages predictablity, a sign of a mature legal system. Hirap nang lumabas na bulaang propeta. I don’t know it even when I see it then.
If they have syndicated estafa in the U.S. that may well be the charge against Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, et al. Manny may even be so charged here, for topping the House in absences. Estafador.
If Jojobama and Mar want Manny in the Senate, let us not vote for either for celebrating cynicism and committing syndicated estafa.
Manny should slide down and run for Guv of Sarangani but not for Congress where he tops in absences. He should also leave the PBA, showbiz, commercial endorsements, etc. unless he first leaves the House he has cheapened.?
I have not spoken with Jojobama for a semester but maybe he should be saying PNoy had certain things done right on which he could build, but made mistakes he won’t repeat or continue.
Mamasapano? Arguably, flogging a dead horse, and the demand for more, more, more, may sadden the many other widows and orphans of servicemen who have received little attention, unwept, unhonored and unsung. The latter victims may not even have invaded enemy lair where special forces know they will kill or be killed. Shall we say a prayer for Staff Sgt. Ferdinand Leynes, killed by the NPA last Monday in Masbate? Three soldiers were wounded. They had set out to serve search warrants, relatively risk-free, not to attack anyone.
On Mamasapano, PNoy will answer to history. We don’t litigate fortunes of war and deal with unmanageable standards. Victor’s Justice may create more problems than it will solve.