• Too many people have died


    JOKER ARROYO and I had coffee early evening last Monday. I reminded him that Uncle Jovy Salonga turned 95 that day. It seemed no one cared to remember or mark the day.

    Glory is truly fleeting.

    We wondered how the human-rights lawyers of the martial law years would be remembered. But, I always say we can do so much more if no one cares who gets the credit.

    Then talk drifted to Veep Jojobama Binay. It turned out he had not been in touch with either of us, following that incident early this year when we assisted Mayor Junjun in his arrest by the Senate, posing Blue Ribbon and human rights issues. Joker used to head the blue ribbon panel.

    I noted Jojobama’s resignation and his blast against the administration.

    I am a political naif who spent a year in Malacañang and five years in the Senate, without really understanding the weird world of politics. I generally supported Prez Cory but differed occasionally, such as on the bases, suing Luis Beltran for libel, not keeping Bobbit Sanchez as labor minister in October 1986, naming me as a Senate bet in February 1987 (she got her way), giving me a signed Supreme Court appointment in January 1987, at 46 (I declined, and got my way, as in my refusal to replace Bobbit in Labor.)

    Jojobama blasted the Aquino administration record. Matter of opinion. He should perhaps also have acknowledged the plus points and promised to build on them. And correct lapses.

    PNoy has not been pure, as in pure evil.

    But, on matters politically partisan, I should perhaps not be taken seriously. I know my limitations.

    I may know a little more about the law and policy considerations and justifications.

    Last Tuesday, I met the legal panel that would defend Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, et al. from the remarkable charges of treason and sedition filed by my pals, Cong. Tolits Atienza and Cong. Jonat de la Cruz, and Jemy Gatdula, my very occasional email correspondent; the three attended yesterday.

    Given my health issues, I asked that another lawyer act as co-lead counsel to walk over me, should I collapse, and carry on. Picked was Mina Rasul-Bernardo, a daughter of Amina, and an apo of Nina, who joined the Senate with me in 1987. Muslims.

    Lawyers are banned by the 1987 Constitution from appearing personally in court. This is widely circumvented by being a litigant. The Constitution may have to be amended by banning all lawmakers from litigation, save where they have a clearly personal, not institutional, stake.

    As it is shaping up, the Manila case seems premature, like that in the Supreme Court, where the petitioners lined up for photo shoot after filing the petition. Maybe we can do so much more if we shed our Kodakan culture.

    There is no law to question yet. If none is passed, it will be carried over to the next President. The BBL is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Holmes.

    The Northern Ireland Troubles began in 1690 with the Battle of Boyne. Paisely and Adams found a solution two decades ago, with the assistance of a US Senator (Mitchell, of the Good Friday Agreement). It is holding.


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    1. vagoneto rieles on

      The President and Mesdames Quintos-Deles and Coronel-Ferrer are dilettantes who were given a chance to conceptualize and apply their theories on real life situations that, sadly, have earth-shaking and far reaching consequences to the Republic.. and who have fallen way short of target. This situation is not unlike video-game enthusiasts who dabble in ‘nuts-and-bolts’ negotiating and in military tactics.. even take charge of a real life military mission. The results, of course, were tragic, but predictable. We ended up with the short and dirty end of the stick.The long-running and still burning question now is..”Is there anybody capable and serious enough in this administration, who could lead and be held to account for his/her actions?”

    2. There you have it, an admission that BBL is merely an experiment. God does not play dice with the universe. Nor should government play around and experiment with the Filipino people.

      • Teddy Sevilla on

        At this point, every proposal to solve the centuries-old problem of Mindanao through constitutional means will be an experiment. If we had a perfect blueprint and a perfect plan where all Filipinos in Mindanao will live in peace and mutual respect for cultural differences, then surely this would be in place by now. The problem is nobody has a perfect solution.

        An alternative to not having “experiments” like the BBL is to have nothing at all and just let an all-out war of attrition decide the matter. Matira matibay. I don’t think this is what most Filipinos, even the Muslim freedom fighters, want.