AFTER I made boundary, he, he, in Antipolo the other afternoon, on our way back, I decided to pass through what may now be called Libingan ng Mandarambong at Bandido-Berdugo, to visit the plot of my pa-in-law, Col. Alfonso Quintans. Security was not what I was used to. Very tight. But, polite to me, very professional, as always.
Who’s paying for the extra costs of securing Macoy’s plot? Not the government, I hope, as was ballyhooed regarding the flight from the north to the LNMB last Friday. The Marcoses did kuno. Which would have been only right and just.
Why the secrecy of the furtive burial? Were they not burying someone like Ninoy or Cory when throngs came for the wake and burial? For final respects. After Ninoy’s, when millions went to condole, the joke was that for Macoy’s, many more would go, just to make sure. Ninoy’s and Cory’s funerals took the whole day of people marching. We used to josh that had Marcos died in Malacañang and the wake was held there, multitudes might have wanted to go, and see the corpse–again, just to make sure.
Indeed, who or what was buried?
The fact that last Friday’s funeral had to be done surreptitiously indicates that Digong and the Marcoses realized that the event would be a shame and scandal. Of course Digong had known; the military would not have moved without his gogogo! Not naman to insult our little intelligence by dissembling. Lokohin nila ang lelang nilang panot. Thieves in the night, thieves in the day.
My wife, Dulce Quintans, had a nice send-off in November 2007, I was told (I was in a coma). St. Scho, her alma mater (with fellow Kulasa Cory), lovingly took care of a daughter. Cory, FVR, Erap and GMA, went to condole, again, I was told. Nothing surreptitious. St. Scho even extended viewing hours to midnight, to accommodate all who cared to go. I am more grateful than I can say. No expensive security concerns.
Can Budget Secretary Ben Diokno tell us who is paying for the security expenses for Marcosian caprice? Can Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tell us why it is harder now to go to the LNMB? Fear of the Pooh-Pooh Brigade who may put up “Here a lawyer lies still” in the dead of night?
SolGen Joe Calida invokes Christianity. But that ideal is not legal. What is legalistic was to have had a cockamamie law like “an act disqualifying Ferdinand Marcos from being buried in the LNMB,” said the Supreme Court majority. But, who would have thought such bizarre exceptionalism was needed?
The law has a spirit. The lawmaker could not have anticipated that a divisive family would insist on burying a kleptocrat and a gross human rights violator on hallowed ground, and dividing us so needlessly.
In 1998, my Dulce went on nationwide TV to say that if Erap had prevailed in allowing Macoy to be buried in the LNMB, she would try to convince her family to take out the remains of Pappy Col. Ponching Quintans to Manila Memorial and move same where Mommy Pacing Maramba-Quintans rests (along with the Aquinos). El sitio nada importa; the place does not matter really, but the heart does.
There is such a thing as spirit of the law and the great silences in it, filled by common sense. The Marcoses were ordered by the Supreme Court to return billions on July 15, 2003, as “ill-gotteners.” Macoy and Imelda were found liable for gross human rights violations by Honolulu (with Imee) and Seattle courts. The Swiss cooperated and returned the billions and made it a condition that part of the loot would go to human rights victims.
(The 1776 US Constitution says the Prez is the boss chief of the Army and the Navy but obviously also of the Air Force; no need for a new law, just common sense.)
Earlier last Wednesday, I was in Lipa, partly because of Operation Tokhang–where suspected druggies are supposed to turn themselves in to the authorities. Cops may not just “invite” anyone said, or suspected, to be into drugs in a perceived “It’s More Bang-Bang in the Philippines” policy. What happens to the right to remain silent? What happens to Republic Act 7438 banning the police from “inviting” people? One has the human and constitutional right not to speak.
Today, Sen. Leila is sought to be disbarred for immorality for admitting her frailty as a woman? What about our fellow Bedan, Tsikboy Prez Digong Duterte who has fave Honeylet–without the benefit of clergy–to fly home to every weekend (via expensive trips), with two or three kulaccs on the side, I am told. May he be disciplined by the Supreme Court? What they have in common is: marriage annulled. Do they not have the human constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness and the happiness of pursuit? And the Prez is well known to flaunt Honeylet as life companion, and a daughter of theirs even took part in his inauguration. May the two lawyers be disbarred? Are they not both exercising a human right, their marriages having been annulled? Or acting as questionable, wrong models for the young? Lei’s affair has ended. Digong still hears a thousand violins.
One has a right to a good name and to be presumed innocent. You are a judge trying a case against Leila on drugs. You receive a motion to dismiss/quash on the ground of mistrial as the Prez and the justice secretary have prejudged and condemned her publicly. Decide, I ask my students.
Digong did not attend the Apec dinner. (Perfecto “Jun” Yasay may have looked more presidential in the pix taken. Presidential na, perfect pa.) Digong did not proceed with a scheduled program with Kris Aquino. It is suggested that he undergo a throughgoing medical check-up for his recurring migraine, Buerger’s Disease or thromboangiitis obliterans. May he refuse on the ground of privacy, the right to be let and left alone? Asked once about his health, Digong retorted by asking how the vagina of the wife of the one asking smelled. Susmariano! We do have a right to know. Pikon talo.
Anyway, I have asked my studes to get a copy of Ferdinand Marcos’ birth certificate, and pass (the early birds). My ulyanin mind seems to recall that he said under oath, “1916.” In Honolulu. But, Macoy loved 7, so why not 1917 instead?
I hope Digong does not succeed in getting Leni Robredo kicked out and replaced by Bongbong. It may reassure that Digong promises to give way as otherwise BB’s many fans may accelerate his permanent departure by tampering with his metabolism via bullets. Remember Nalundasan? Brushing one’s teeth in the open could be hazardous to his health.
If burying Macoy or whatever in the LNMB is the right thing, I doubt that it was done at the right time. Too early. We need to wait until the last claimant is paid by the Human Rights Compensation Board, in a year or two, max. The Marcoses can meantime offer medical assistance and scholarships, even as they acknowledge that abuses occurred from 1965 to 1986, to the victims or their heirs, without admitting personal liability. To hasten the healing.
The right thing must be done at the right time in the right way in the right place and for the right reason. Here, the wrong thing was done at the wrong time in the wrong way in the wrong place and for the wrong reason.
Meantime, Mr. Prez, how’s your Buerger’s Disease?
The people have a human and constitutional right to know and deserve an answer, not vilification, if we are to move on. By, say, accelerating the Ampatuan trial and remembering Bday Boy Ninoy on the 27th, Sunday.
To arrest decay. Many acclaimed Manny Pacquiao when he was in need, but now we seem to see another manifestation of the Reign of Greed. Forget Mayweather, Manny, and prepare to face Bongbong in 2022.
Savagery, Civilization, Decay. Go figure. Digong may complete what Macoy began, but there is time to change course.
A personal migraine problem should not metamorphose/transmogrify into a national one./Rene Saguisag/Manila Times On Line#