The best man for the job is a woman?

Rene Saguisag

Rene Saguisag

Si Senador Jinggoy Estrada ay naghihimutok na si Senador TG Guingona, ang Tagapangulo ng Lupon ng Lasong Bughaw, ay hinatulan na siya, has prejudged him, by saying in interviews that Ruby Tuason had fired a “three-point shot, that wasn’t only a buzzer-beater but also a winning shot.”

To be in the evenings news is vital to some senators. Life support. How a Senate inquiry can go on, where the guest has a lawyer who is no more than a part of the furniture, has his own mouth, or silence to lead to his own perdition and criminal prosecution, may mean that in this country we continue to see in the Senate the best thinking of the middle ages and Cardinal Torquemada.

In at least two prominent cases, cause of death that could have been put in the certificate is – Senate Investigation. And then came the killer appointment of a retired PNP official to chair a key human rights Board. A student of mine in San Beda Alabang gave to me last Saturday certain publications I name in a letter responding to an email, asking me why I question the appointment. My response by email last Tuesday essentially said as follows.

“The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 wisely requires that a member of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board must “have a deep and thorough . . . involvement in efforts against human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos” (R.A. No. 10368, Sec. 8 (b). So far the Palace has not answered my question on such involvement of one Lina Sarmiento, if any; no disrespect, we simply don’t know her in the human rights community.”

‘“Basta!’ seems to be the response instead. My late ever-loving wife, in her very very rare jealous fits would say` `Iba ‘yan!’ “ Huh!?` Woman’s Instinct!!’ “ Huh!? Huh!?` Basta!!! Wala naman dahilang giyagisin ng panibugho. I think. But, torpe mahiyain me knew better than to prolong my agony; I kept quiet instead of mumbling an answer to one who placed in her home where I was her star boarder –“the best man for the job is a woman.”

It is said that the appointee has been involved in human rights work in recent years but the law specified Macoy’s regime. It may well be that she contributed to putting together the excellent Compendium of International Laws on Human Rights, PNP Guidebook on Human Rights Based-Policing (2013 ed.) and what appears to be its slimmer precursor, and Laws to Protect You and Your family, PNP Human Rights Office publications through the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany. Good, but. . . ?

Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board member Byron Bocar was with me on September 23, 1972. (He was my law stude ’68.) We vowed then in San Beda – to resist! resist! resist! He became a member of MABINI. He clearly qualifies for the Board, even as its Chair. Swap with Director Sarmiento?

The son of a Manila CFI Judge (when such a one was revered), the father was shown an ASSO for the arrest of By (short for Byron). By was not in. His law office of Mendoza Araneta & Papa on the Escolta was also raided. Neither hide nor hair of By, either. Then wanting to get married, and hiding could be boring, the urban legend was By tried to surrender but was not taken in, since “that is not the procedure,” said the military. Ha, ha. Judge Bocar was a 1935 Constitutional Convention Delegate. By has had a colorful life, and qualifies to be Board Chair, along with Joker, Bobby Tanada, Rene Sarmiento, Joey Lina, all of MABINI, along with Cookie or Chel Diokno of FLAG – to follow the Rule of Law.

Sounded out months ago, I made clear my health issues. Even today, I use a baston. A Bastonero in human rights?

I guarantee a passing grade to any human rights stude of mine who will question the appointment, in 1) court, 2) the Civil Service Commission (“[t]he civil service embraces all branches of the Government, Phil. Const., Art. IX[B][Sec. 2[1]), 3) the Office of the Ombudsman, which may “[i]nvestigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, . . .” or 4) the Commission on Audit (to be the dog to watch to cause the “disallowance of irregular . . . expenditures.” Art. IX(D), Sec. 2(2). I urge my studes to be part of the passion and action of their time, and here, likewise, share my concern that the unelected Supreme Court seems to act as a Super-Legislature?

I agree with retired Justice Vic Mendoza that there must be an actual case or controversy involving a proper party. In the cybercrime case, the unelected Super-Legislature reviewed an entire Act of the elected Congress.

As in the anti-terrorism act.

This week we mark February 22, 1986, when millions finally joined Cory Aquino at Edsa, where she had stood since September 23, 1972 (not only for four days).

February 19, 1986 also marked the centennial of Chief Justice Vicente Abad Santos, who preferred to die on his feet than live in shame on bended knees – the Spirit of Edsa’86. Was Lina Sarmiento with us in Edsa’86 when cops like Fred Lim finally joined the People with the poignancy of a recantation – defying orders to disperse them? Fred realized: Vox populi vox Dei. Foreign intervention of the Divine variety we welcomed.


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