• Super Bowl, Fil-Ams and Super-bowled Senate

    Rene Saguisag

    Rene Saguisag

    “I ’d gladly kill Bangayan – Avoid Davao Duterte warns rice trader,” this paper headlined last Tuesday.

    No one in the Senate took exception last Monday. A Senate without a single human rights advocate, sigh—making me feel forlorn, dejected and rejected.

    The Committee Chair crooned “let me call you sweetheart” when Mayor Rudy asked if he could read an opening statement. Was it cuz politicians fear antagonizing a leader of vote-rich Davao who can deliver? Politicians always have an angle. K, who has funeral parlor investments?

    So no human rights advocate in the Senate? Even guest Justice Sec. Leila de Lima let it pass, surprising for one who used to head the Commission on Human Rights. Was Leila just being polite and restrained in dealing with fellow Bedan Rudy’s provocation?

    I see that later, after the session, she denounced his position. And so did Sen. Grace, daughter of another Bedan, FPJ. But in debate, at times, better never than late. Good to see the CHR and CBCP denounce Rudy’s population reduction posture.

    The others? Quiet or fawning as Mayor Rudy made us wonder in what stage we are — savagery, civilization or decay — on national radio-TV with Sal Panelo, formerly of MABINI, seated at Rudy’s back.

    Last Monday was super-special in civilized US cuz of the Super Bowl (SB) in East Rutherford, New Jersey (where I once watched an NBA game, from the nosebleed section, long, long ago). The game must have been so-so but I remember the parking arrangement. No problem — even if the vehicle owner would have to walk a mile in an open field. Good exercise.

    Parking here seems to be the least of the concerns of Metro Manila zoning officials and of building owners and builders. Indeed, where are our sidewalks? Double parking seems to be a national sport. Overspeeding, jaywalking, drag racing, etc., not too far behind. Am I glad that the Sys’ new Sucat Mall has not added to our family’s travel time to Manila Memorial. Good urban planning by them, a household name, and Parañaque.

    Doug Baldwin is no household name here. But, the wide receiver shone last Sunday in the SB. He’s half-Pinoy whose Lola Pica grew up in Yolanda-struck Tacloban last November. Lumpia-loving Doug, before a game with the Minnesota Vikings, carried our flag upside down, as if we were at war. His team raised more than half a million pesos for Yolanda victims, which was matched by the team owner.

    Doug said he might go to Tacloban during the off season, with Lola. Hmmm, another Douglas going to Leyte, as in October 1944. If he does, he may yet conclude we are in a state of war. The AFP versus the NPA, BIFF, etc. Rudy versus the human rights community regarding his unorthodox personal RH or private population reduction program.

    We in the distressed human rights community simply don’t agree that Rudy can play God and decide who will live or who will die, which we leave to Him. No judicial or extrajudicial execution lest the Doug Baldwins wonder in what stage we are in, savagery, civilization or decay.

    I was tempted to pick the third which may be arrested if I hear our vocal leaders, including church honchos, who speak out regularly against PNoy, ALSO speaking out against leaders who say their turf is no man’s land for other fellow human beings perceived as rice smugglers or Yolanda looters. Rudy must be reminded that we cannot underrate anyone’s capacity for subjective change.

    In the 80’s I would march in Davao streets against the dictatorship with gutsy Soledad “Chuling” Duterte, Rudy’s Mom. I also met in a Makati Hotel coffee shop last year Sara, his feisty daughter, then with principled Ombudsman Chit Carpio-Morales. Courage is the Duterte’s middle name but Rudy should not go gaga on seeing smugglers and should follow the law, God’s and man’s.

    Anyway, local viewers going gaga over showbiz types saw at halftime Fil-Am-Porto-Rican Peter Gene Hernandez-Bruno Mars. I wonder how many Moms would pick Bruno for their kids. A Bruno, an outstanding movie villain in our youth, had that monicker, which we put in the same class as Bokyo or Agaton Borong-Borong.

    But, we walking wounded share the pain of losing Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.

    And I share the joy of Lot Gonzalez, fired two years ago as Deputy Ombudsman and vindicated last week. Emilio A. Gonzalez III is San Beda Grade School 1958 and High School 1962 (the class of Manny V. Pangilinan). Every January 9 used to see us in his 1154 Paz,Quiapo home, where we would see the family of Ombudsman Justice Dadoy Vasquez, of a jurassic age when honor was first. Fiesta. (Full disclosure, the architect in the Vasquez family worked with Dulce in renovating her place where we live, virtually pro bono she said.)

    Lot a crook? As my three-year old apo, Dulcette, would say, “No way!”

    No way I could enjoy viewing from the human rights community a diminished Senate with no one saying, “Mr. Mayor, we honor and respect human rights here.” If he can make bastos human rights there, he can make or do it anywhere.

    The other night, I polled my human rights class: a few said Rudy for Customs, even fewer for Prez. If the latter, I might have asked: of what country naman kaya?


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    1. Sir Rene – Rudy’s bravado is a wisp of fresh air from us who has became numbed with legal processes that does not moved. Mandurukots, robbers, carnappers if ever caught just make pyansa and do it all over again in an in your face manner. Even the Valhalla of your Profession by their flip-flopping or after 30 + years decisions has already decreed that only the moneyed can avail of Justice daw. The effect of their decisions- Have money and have justice happily ever after.

    2. In this world I live in.during it’s infancy as a democratic country, vigilantiism existed in many states especially in the wild west, and it was tolerated by the “have enough majority”.

      Is the philippines any different?……….let me see……was it june 1898 or july 4, 1946
      when a western form of government was shoved in their innocent behinds?

      An ample greedy minority of these innocents got educated and learned fast…………..fast enough on how to circumnavigate the law and manipulate the many and get away with it!

    3. The honorable R. Saguisag’s play of words sometimes reduces me to being a slow reader trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind the tandem of words to describe a “decayed” society and its otherwise “decayed” populace. The effort is well worth it, nonetheless. The human rights advocate hit the head squarely using a blunt nail. Couldn’t care less what a decayed Senate would say using a more sharpened nail.