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The destabilizers

SO, instead of the promised freewheeling press conference last Tuesday, we had Prez Digong, my fellow Bedan, and his legal counsel, my MABINI pal, Sal Panelo, crooning, off-key, to each other, let-me-call-you-sweetheart. Scripted, hard to take seriously.

The administration has been committing slow-motion suicide since June 30, 2016. It may be beyond help but, for more than two years now, I have been trying to help prevent it, as its failure is yours and mine. It has been killing itself, softly, with its blunder after blunder. Petty Mayor Duterte has yet to become wise President Duterte, pledged to “do justice to every man.”

The most powerful and effective destabilizers are Digong himself, and his alipores, including the cronies whose fortunes have vastly improved from June 30, 2016. Some are smarter than others indeed, as Imelda was supposed to have said during Macoy’s reign of greed. The new cronies are from all over, but markedly, from Imperial Davao. They all have explanations to make on their reported acquisitive para-que-estamos-en-poder (what-are-we-in-power-for?) surge.

Such a one is Solicitor General Joe Ab Initio (AI) Calida, doing the study the presidential legal counsel and the justice secretary should have done, as voices, not echoes. AI’s duty is to litigate in an office swamping the courts with countless motions for extension. But, he appears to give priority to his personal business interests questioned by Senator Trillanes. Kapakanang pambayan, di pangsarili. Non sibi sed patriae or aliis. Not self, but country or others. Unite, not divide.

Unprecendented publicity

SolGen AI does not like Sen. Antonio Trillanes initiating a probe of his family’s profitable contracts with the government in humongous amounts. Delicadeza, which the Marcoses ruined, continues to be in short supply. On that basis alone, AI should not have gone after someone probing his family’s fortunes.

From losing vice-presidential toothpick, Trillanes is now a legit vice-presidential timber at least, thanks to SolGen AI, Mouthpiece Harry Roque, legal consigliori Sal Panelo, Injustice Secretary Meynardo Guevara, et al., all struggling to be on the right side of history, while martyrizing Trillanes, willy-nilly. They appear ready to ask “from what floor, Sir?”— if and when asked by the Prez to jump to a conclusion. The carefully worded Supreme Court ruling last Tuesday was prudent — wait a minute, get a warrant, observe due process. No winking, please.

What SolGen AI did completely overshadowed the Israel and Jordan visits of Digong, who returned to his countrymen queueing for rice in Bukbok Pila-Pinas. Trillanes preempted and hogged the headlines, vital in name recall, whose unifying normalizing amnesty was revoked. Digong’s face is so sensitive that it had a strange color or patina he attributed to the sun, which apparently did not shine on his huge party, including rewarded or bribed retiring military brass, whose loyalty to flag, country and chain of command seems to be intact though, befitting true professionals.

I worry about our dozen or so clients in the Oakwood case, very ordinary folk (Capt. Rabonza, 1st Lt Caoguiran, Sgt. Llamas, Cpl. Cabrestante, Pfcs de la Torre, Belarmino, Cabaltera, Hatana, Hiponia Molon and Palada), who may have to return to their cages. Deficient applications? Then, give them time to correct and supply what is needed. No worry as to civilian Eki Cardenas, acquitted, on our motion to dismiss or demurrer to evidence, without us even having to present our side. Apparently, Trillanes is being singled out; in our system, patterned after the US’s, the textbook hornbook doctrine is that even if the law or order is fair on its face, it is administered with an evil eye and an unequal hand, such application would be unconstitutional.

If Trillanes had been silent, or silenced, or joined the hallelujah chorus, or some Hugpong (not Sugpong) and focused on improving his fortune, he wouldn’t be holding out in the Senate today, because government has lost or misplaced his amnesty papers. Huh? Modern technology recorded the event while government’s sloppy record-keeping is exposed. Its fabled inefficiency SolGen AI unfairly exploited.

Why bother giving Trillanes unprecedented publicity? He has only months to go. Weird. Maybe SolGen AI is really closet-opposition anyway? Puzzling indeed unless AI’s businesses being probed provides the evil eye and an unequal hand as explanation or motive.

Like Jair Bolsonaro, who may become Brazil’s new Prez next month, Digong should not have bothered to elevate Trillanes’ profile — and say in effect, enigmatically, “I wouldn’t rape you because you do not deserve it,” as Congressman Jair did, addressing Congresswoman Maria de Rosado.

America’s Turumpo advised — grab women’s pussies. Our Digong is a merciless Kissing Bandit, and now Jair. Savagery, civilization, decay. Are we now in the third stage?

September 21

Let’s look at UP, now in a pickle because President Danny Concepcion made a sentimental but arguably needless and insensitive journey home to his Kabataang Barangay (KB) days. As KB boss woman, Imee Marcos made known that she wasn’t amused by a question from Mapua stude Archimedes Trajano in 1977. Her sikyu took him out and he was found half a day later, very, very dead.

Danny made known that there would be some anti-martial law program on September 21. How long do we have to live with this superstition? Danny propagates, with others, the myth that it was on that date in 1972 when martial law was inflicted.

To me, that 1972 Thursday was just another day in the office, at San Beda. I was running the best law school in Mendiola since Dean Feliciano Jover Ledesma was tied up as a Con-Con Delegate. I monitored by radio, as head of our Free Legal Aid Clinic, a Plaza Miranda rally, here Ka Pepe Diokno, Charito Planas, Bal Pinguel, et al., spoke — ready to rush should there be any disturbance and arrests. Ho-hum.

The next day, September 22, Friday, more of the same. Routine, but, going home after 8:30 p.m. to our rented place in Sandejas, Pasay, atop Ayala Bridge, I heard on radio that Manong Juan Ponce Enrile had reportedly escaped an ambush. Fake news, he said on February 22, 1986, at EDSA, luring doubters to troop there to rescue the doomed plotters waiting to be Ver-becued. True news, he said in his 2012 memoirs (Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir, page 386). Ano po ba talaga?

September 11 is the birth anniversary of Macoy, born in 1916, not 1917, he told a Honolulu court, under oath. Oh, how he loved 7 and 11, and their multiples. Hence, September 21and 1917, falsifications of history. I do have a copy of his Sarrat, Ilocos Norte birth certificate, evidencing the 1916 birth of this criminal genius from UP Law.

Back to UP, which won in the UAAP inaugural last Saturday. It seems UP is not for Useless Players anymore. I had to cut my Mendiola and Alabang classes hoping, in vain, to see Stephen Curry in his cameo appearance. He had gone by the time I left. But, the crowd’s contagious effervescence continued. Digong need not worry, the people are too busy lining up for rice in Pila-Pinas, texting, pix-taking and partying. And basketball continues its stranglehold here. Jim “Bulldog” Bouton romanticizes baseball the way we do basketball. I’d much prefer NBA star, and much later senator, Bill Bradley, counseling us never to lose a sense of where we are.

When will we ever learn?

And where are we? When will we ever learn? Will we remember the past that we may not be doomed to repeat it? Or do we continue the decay the Marcoses inaugurated, discarding delicadeza and palabra de honor, pursued by its current sponsor.

Yesterday and today, two Makati courts set hearings in the reopened Oakwood cases. Abangan. Will mysterious Kuya’s name resurface? Ooh-la la. Meantime, no regime change as we spend/waste our time partying, picture-taking and texting. At the UAAP opener last Saturday, I paraphrased in my mind’s eye major league pitcher Bulldog Bouton: “We spend a good piece of our time gripping a [basketball]and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” The Bulldog took part in controversial activist causes (and adopted a Korean child).

BTW, my son, Atty. Rebo, of San Beda, UP and Ateneo, who, as a new lawyer, helped in the Oakwood case denouement, is being asked to run as Makati councilor. I got elected as a Pasig barrio councilor in my senior law year. Should I encourage him? I recall Chelsea Clinton, asked if she would run for public office, answered: “A definite maybe.” I need to tell him we cannot duplicate my euphoric-EDSA Senate run in 1987, when I didn’t have to spend a single centavo of my own. My wife’s boss, Tony Gonzalez, the courageous generous anti-martial law hero, donated a million buckaroos as seed money. After I won (only Orly Mercado beat me in Metro Manila), we returned the datong intact. No need for it. I lived a dream.

How do we restore the values, institutions and processes of pre-martial law and of 1986-1987, to pass on to the young and the unborn? The administration should reduce, not deepen, our divisions. To screw Sonny Trillanes to protect SolGen Ab Initio is not in the national interest, I don’t think. Nor was the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association’s full-page anti-Trillanes ad appearing here on page 3 yesterday. I have never seen such a godawful ad with as many infelicities and grammatical lapses, such as “recommending for”, “towards to”, bespeaks of,” etc.

No grammar teacher in the Philippine Military Academy?

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