The President erred initially when he infelicitously mentioned 3 million Jews as Holocaust victims, putting to overtime work, again, the frantic office of Corrections, Recantations, Apologies and Palusots (CRAP). Hitler was behind the VW (my first car in 1971) but we don’t remember him for that feat. The Jews, vilified and persecuted, are a great race. Hitler had at least 6 million Jews killed (Why did Digong halve the figure?).
Centuries ago, Rabbi Hillel The Elder asked: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
Good that Digong has quickly made amends to the Jewish community. Not the only happy conciliatory development. Thank God the House won’t be one of voyeurs. What a person does in romancing is his business unless there is clear proof that public interest is compromised. As was said by one Victorian lady in her time, she could not care less if a couple made it out on the streets as long as they didn’t frighten the horses.
Arguably caught by his mouth again, which Digong should use not in personal feuds and vendettas but in solving our traffic problem, for instance. It may be only biased me who may have felt that since he took power, our bad traffic has become much worse, dictating the tempo of our lives (and costing us billions in daily losses, say some people who seem to know about these things). A week ago, from Diliman to our Palanan, Makati home, three hours (used to be 45 minutes). I could not even say goodbye to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in person because of traffic. (But, I did make it for the memorial Mass the other evening for Joker P. Arroyo, who left us on October 5, 2015 — an event conflicting with a Senate Centennial Dinner, which I had to skip. The long queues waiting for rides along Ayala could tear one’s heart by the roots. Never saw anything like it before June 30 last.)
My few meetings with Miriam were always warm. She asked me to be her counsel in the Supreme Court case filed against Angie Reyes in early May 2001 following the bloody assault on Malacanang. Manong JPE and Ernie Maceda were arrested and detained in Camp Crame. Without warrants.
If my memory is true, Miriam was shown in some frontpages with a pistol, warning that if any warrantless arrest would be effected on her, she would shoot the arresting officer right between the eyes. No one bothered; the knowing authorities considered themselves told and survival is the first law of mankind.
During the Corona impeachment, I described her as Lady Gaga, Lady Ganda, Lady Galing. She made Justice Secretary Vit Aguirre rise to national prominence when he cupped his ears, ha, ha.
Given her grace notes to me in early May 2001 when I represented her in the Supreme Court, in Santiago v. Reyes, 357 SCRA 756 (2001). GMA quickly withdrew on May 6, 2001 her emergency proclamation of May 1, 2001 of a Metro Manila “state of rebellion” (not “state of lawlessness,” an unfortunate choice; the Constitution speaks of “lawless violence,” not “state of lawlessness”) and the cases were dismissed. Another win for the firm of Moot & Academic, despite our insistence that that courts should “decide a question otherwise moot and academic, if it is `capable of repetition, yet evading review’. . . .” – a basic black-letter hornbook principle.
On top of traffic – homelessness, which has led to the loss of our sidewalks as adjoining owners and informal settlers have appropriated them as their own teenie-weenie places in the sun. The War Against Poverty seems to continue to be a War Against the Poor. No Big Fish sent to the Promised Land yet. Outlawing “endo” may result in the unemployed drifting farther away from the employed. The isang-kahig-isang-tuka Poor don’t have the lobby, wherewithal, and energy to fight the Palace.
Energy? The President is urged to make a decision that the engineer FVR would not put on line the nuke plant in Bataan. I remain opposed as it is beyond economic repair and we don’t have the American, Soviet/Russian and Japanese capability to deal with an accident/meltdown. I was chairman of the Cabinet Committee and later, the Senate Committee, on the issue. We relied on foreign expertise, which seems inadequate if not virtually non-existent here, looking at our rescue track record. What do we do in case of a meltdown? We have to ask the locals given the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) mentality. What to do with toxic nuke waste no one has an answer to, I think.
BTW, I met Edgar Matobato last Monday and I would like to look at the dough, not the hole, in the doughnut. Why should any ordinary citizen dare lie to offend talkative Digong? Motive matters. Chilling tales on crocs, “chop-chop,” and if there are lapses about events taking place years ago, I, an oldie, cannot even quickly recall what I did last month. (Of course I am much older than Edgar, a seeming Fellow Loser battling Goliaths.)
But, I do remember that last Sunday, my panganay, the lawyer Rene Jr. (Rebo), UAAP commissioner, arranged for my watching the La Salle-Ateneo game. This I wanted to do, if only because the two schools had asked that black be worn to protest extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and Macoy’s interment in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Many wore black but not all. It took Ateneo and La Salle years before joining us in the vocal protest movement against Macoy. Today, in fewer than a hundred days, they are more vigilant. The August 21, 1983 “salvaging” of Ninoy Aquino, 50, made all realize that no one was safe. Not too many joined us when only ordinary folk were being “salvaged” earlier, in the 1970s. Any new 50-year old Ninoy today? Obsta principiis. We have to resist the first encroachments.
I, 77, was clad in black last Sunday but wore a red jacket, as a Bedan; we Bedans are generally in support of Bedista President Digong who often wears shirts with a Lion on his shirt and who, to stress the unnecessary, we all want to succeed as his success is ours. He has to adjust though, like in increasing his limited word power, now laced with expletives. The nation of 100M+ conejos is not parochial Davao City of fewer than 2 million souls, among whom PI! would probably do.
Last Sunday, I missed Ateneo’s “Fly High, Blue Eagle Fly and Carry Your Cry Across the Sky” (Raul Manglapus), and La Salle’s “Cheer, Cheer for Old De La Salle.” (Notre Dame) In the NCAA, I no longer hear San Beda’s rousing “Red and the White,” nor JRU’s “Till the End of Time” (Perry Kumot, ha, ha) or Mapua’s “Trail the Eagle,” which I learned as a Makati Elementary School Boy Scout, playing basketball, softball, sipa, pitik, dyolens, tanching, patintero, tumbang preso, step and taguan. Running in the Rizal High Oval too. But not golf, even if Makati Elementary School classmate Carlos Maquiraya of Pinagkaisahan kept giving me golf balls and tees.(Whatever happened to Club Pro Carling, a good golfer?)
Am I glad anyway that thanks to Buddy Zamora, brother of Ronnie and Manny, golf superstar Jason Day, a fellow Waray of Digong, is coming next month. They should meet; Digong should take a break from his visits to camps announcing pay raises (arguably, to quiet supposed unrest as we had in 1986, etc., then stoked by Bedan Gringo & Co., now reformed – but what about the teachers, garbage collectors, et al.?). Jason has a Waray mother (Dening). Yet, Jason does not really seem to identify himself as Fil-Aussie, his right, but it would be nice to welcome him in his delayed sentimental journey home, his roots. The $1.2 million he is guaranteed to be paid, he can donate to Yolanda victims, including his relatives. At least part of it. It seems that in 2013, he lost eight kin, to the super typhoon, including his Lola.
I hope we’ll hear Jason talk proudly of dual citizenship, which I have, Pinoy and yes, Senior. A tape showing me romancing? If my students see it, the Sipsips will tell me, “Sir, we like your style.” Talkative Digong seems surrounded by terrorized Sipsips, who keep confusing us with their contrasting corrective pronouncements.