The indolence of the Filipino

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THIS paper carried last Tuesday a reprint of the front page of an old issue and mentioned Judge Bienvenido Tan as setting for hearing notorious Ben Ulo’s case on December 28. No big deal. When I was a young lawyer, I was in court between Christmas and New Year. Courts always open, say the Rules of Court. The lore was the Judge would fine anyone not in court at 8 a.m. but should be; if he was late, he’d fine himself. Fine work ethic. No Filipino time for him.

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The other day, I was supposed to help bail out a septuagenarian couple, wheelchair-bound, in a building code violation but saw a TV crawler the day before, courts closed. I hope they don’t get arrested this weekend.

Last year, courts closed also on December 23 and did not reopen for business until January 5 of this year. Good that Jito Arreza, a lawyer I am assisting in a drugs case had a client released just before courts closed the other day. We had dealt with scalawags whose gang included rogue elements from the Bureau of PLANT Industry.

Else, indolence. No work ethic in a country with the longest holiday season in the world, this year not only in the ‘Ber months. The Supreme Court (SC) should not make a big deal of readiness to act on Grace’s case tomorrow or Tuesday. It is paid to work.

I head on radio-TV Christmas carols beginning in July. Part of the holiday climax for us was our Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach winning as Miss Universe in a manner that would never be beyond easy recall. I do remember Gloria Diaz’s win in 1969 when my then girlfriend, Dulce, called me from Boston to say that her fellow Scholastican, Gloria Diaz, had won. I have not met here but I did, Marige Moran, in Clark, in a get-together arranged by Mondragon’s head honcho, Tony Gonzales, a La Salle visionary who started rebuilding Clark after the Mt. Pinatubo devastation.

The Miss Universe gaffe early this week may be likened to Digong Duterte winning in May 2016 and proclaimed as Mayor of the Republic of Pasay.

Seriously, I am for allowing Grace Poe and Digong to run. As a member of the human rights community, I cannot see myself voting though for my fellow Bedan law alum, Digong, with the private population reduction program he brags about.

He seems to be focused on riffraff. If he starts dispatching crooks to the Promised Land or where my critics tell me to go, how many would be left? That is why we have to have Leila de Lima, another fellow Bedan, in the Senate. Digong dislikes Lei.

I have to question any wannabee’s preference for Manny Pacquiao, who is not preparing for the Senate, but for his next bout. I keep saying I do not underrate his capacity for subjective growth but he seems to have knocked out all opposition to his being the House’s Top Absentee.

Grace is the daughter of fellow Bedan FPJ, whose middle names are generosity and decency. Grace and my wife, Dulce, attended Boston College and may be expected to rely on Jesuitical jiu-jitsu in tough situations at the commanding heights of the presidency, where I was in 1986. Digong also attended Ateneo in Davao, per press reports.

At times, based on my Guest House stint in 1986, a Prez may have to choose among bad, worse and worst, guaranteeing flak no matter what. I may not like Pia’s answer on US bases but I can live with it. We fought for the right to express ideas we agree with and even those we disagree with and even abhor.

Grace continues to be a popular choice and again, as a human rights advocate, I see Art. 24 of the Civil Code as mandating that the system be vigilant in according protection to the handicapped. I include in this sector an ampon, anak sa labas, putok sa buho and illegitimate who must not be unfairly burdened with having to prove who his parents are.

Hey, orphaned Jojobama Binay reviewed for the Bar in San Beda in 1967. He stars as cover boy in the new Esquire issue (I am an extra).

My constant caveat has been I have not decided who to vote for in May. Let us see how many will remain standing when the smoke clears. I have cited case after case where the Supreme Court has refused to rule on political questions, avoiding legalisms and leaving it entirely to another Branch of the People in their sovereign right to decide, Tanada v. Cuenco, Sanidad v. Comelec, Daza v. Singson, Tanada v. Angara, Philippine Bar Association v. Comelec etc. Let the sovereign people decide who will lead us after Pnoy, not the unelected Comelec or SC.

This piece may be the first column I have appearing on Christmas Day.

May we all have the best and the finest the season of grace, generosity and goodwill and the coming year can bring anyone.

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16 Comments

  1. “Let the sovereign people decide who will lead us after Pnoy, not the unelected Comelec or SC.”

    Another attempt to poison the minds of the Filipino people. You are a lawyer and supposed to protect and uphold the Constitution. The Philippine Constitution is the voice of the people and will of the people. It was ratified by the Filipino people. And that the people will elect the persons who met the Constitutional requirements. But your Grace Llamanzares did not meet the requirements and here you are espousing mob mentality and supporting Grace Llamanzares team to disobey the Constitution ironically created during the reign of your friend Corazon Aquino.

  2. “My constant caveat has been I have not decided who to vote for in May. ”

    That is a big reversal now when last time you were rooting for Grace Llamanzares.
    Is it because clearly the law is against her?

  3. Let the Philippine constituion /Law prevails/decides and not the peoples court. We are not in Jungle law..we are civilize people.. Dahil marami sa ating mamayan ang mga bobotantes. at kulang sa kaalaman sa pagaaral.. Kaya ganyan na lang ang trato ninyo na mga dilawan sa mamayang Filipinos…ZERO VOTE TO ALL LIBERAL PARTIES AS WELL AS THE ALLIES OF ABNOY, INCLUDING GRACE POE POLITICAL GROUPS…
    Only MDS and BBM will bring the Filipino people into equal prosperity, equal education , equal standard of living and equal justice.

  4. I do not agree with “let the people decide” idea….the Philippines have more “bobotante” than discerning voters. Let the law prevails as to who are qualified to run or not and let the “bobotante” vote for whoever pays them or fool them, it is their country anyway.

  5. if Ninoy Aquino became president, criminals would be found floating in Pasig River. This is what he bragged to the late columnist Teddy Benigno.

    Then, Atty. Saguisag would denounce the government of Ninoy and criticize severely the human rights violation record of Ninoy’s administration.

    Mabuti na lang at hindi naging presidente si Ninoy, kung hindi ay mag-aaway at magkakasamaan lang sila ng loob ni Atty. Saguisag. At least sa alaala ni attorney ay nanatiling bayani si Ninoy.

  6. Our leaders have taught medicancy instead of work and so called popular laws instead of productivity .. You are part of it Saguisag and so was your boss Cory.. Look into the mirror

  7. The DQ of Grace Poe , I believe are the machinations of PeeNpy, Marred Roxas, The Firm (Carpio, Cruz, Simeon Marcelo) , Andy Bautista of Comelec formerly PCGG whose fame for honesty and uprightness can only be surpassed by Suharto and his cronies (MVP, Albert del Rosario -Salim Group).

    Their reasoning is WARPED really believing that we are still at the age of Zaibatsus
    and Chaebols……..they are in a JURASSIC frame of mind…That is the reason they want to keep the economy closed…., they will bring the Pinoys to the promised land and their obscene profits and and mistakes are only NATURAL in any endeavor….

    “Can you (referring to this cabal of thieves ) get it thru your thick skinned faces and thick skulls that that thinking went out of fashion and usefulness .about 3 decades ago.
    I remember one of the Marcos cronies defending his style during the Marcos years,,,
    ” That is the price of progress”

    If Grace Poe is disqualified, I would consider it a violation of her human rights and those of the Filipino people too ….

    I would consider it a FAILURE OF ELECTIONS . I would not recognize the outcome. For whatever that is worth !

  8. i have no confident in you anymore mr sagisag, you dont dexerve to write anymore here in these rescpectable paper. why dont you writwe in PDI instead.

  9. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Ang isang miembro naman pala ng “SAGUISAG ng PANGANIBan” ay may ugnayan kahit papaano kay GRACE who disgraced herself by allowing herself to swim on lies and misrepresentations. Kaya pala ganoon na lang ang pagpupursigi na maisama ang pangalan sa balota at maisahan tayong mga Pilipino. Pagpalain tayo ng Panginoon.

  10. We need more actors and actress, more comedian’s, more boxers to show up a couple times a year, more high school graduates, more thieves in the senate and house to run the government.

    More candidates that think the law does not apply to them, More candidates that say god wants them to run for office, more friends, relatives and submissive appointee’s heading the major agencies.

    That should fix the everything.

    If it doesn’t then prepare for rising crime rates, increased poverty, failing infrastructure, in short the same slide that we have been on since Aquino became president.

    Let’s find out where the bottom is to this continued insanity.

  11. Atty Saguisag, in a previous article in the Manila times several months ago, you praised your panero as a good lawyer and lawyering for people pro bono during the martial law years but the last sentence in that article you said you are not voting for him if he run for president.Any change of mind?

  12. Korek: If the Constitution is silent or doesn’t say, the Comelec or SC’s duty is to clear the way for the Peoples’ final say.

  13. Hi Mr. Saguisag, I’m wondering if your middle initial is “B” or “Y”. You have a penchant for BRAGGING
    Si Ganito classmate ni ganuon, graduate sa Ganito University. Ako graduate sa San Beda,
    Ay naku,

  14. Your old and experienced enough not to understand how politics play in the Philippines. Estrada became President, Revilla, Lapid, Jinggoy and Sotto became senators, next will be Alama Moreno, Manny Pacquiao. What you need to do is, since you believed in “LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE” mentality is to march and protest together with Ramos and Panganiban together with Grace Poe and her follower like 20% of low informed filipino voters.

    • And the people decided already by approving the Constitution that sets the provision for who are qualified to run as president and vice-president, senator, atbp. But never there was an article citing that you and the others’ battlecry of “LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE”. Do you want a repeat of the present administration brought about by the majority who DECIDED to vote for an unqualified president because of the death of his mother. Were you sleeping since July 01, 2010 not to see what happened to the Philippines since then? Now comes yor favorite Grace Poe who has never been too concentrated in Philippine politics. What does the country need? An American President and OAW (Overseas American Worker) to nanny the Philippines? Come on mr. Symbol, don’t insist on LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE.-.