Reign of error and terror?

Last January 15, I wrote here: “In 1941, we were one huge US military base but America was Pearl Harbored into submission and mighty Uncle Sam could not defend us. Japan is now our ally against China, our World War 2 ally, which saved Col. Doolittle’s remnants after that daring raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Alliances shift. No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests–Lord Palmerston. The US brutalized us when first they came. But there was no TV evening news to report nightly, say on the Balangiga or Mount Bud Dajo Massacres.”

I have been a student of American military abuse for decades, such as in GIs shooting Pinoys allegedly mistaken for boars in Clark.

I do not forget though the benefits America has given me–certain values, like work ethic and frugality, scholarships, etc.–and the nation, e.g., on human rights and yes, Lebron, whose December visit Nike has canceled. We may despise official Washington, D.C., but not individual Americans (it was in Boston I was to meet my would-be wife, Dulce, who was naturalized as a member of the Red Sox Nation).

On account of arguably ancient US military atrocities, the President now wants US Special Forces out of Mindanao, ostensibly and, from where I sit, disingenuously, to get them out of harm’s way kuno. But such Forces are trained, to survive or die. We should be ready to die to the last American.

Seriously, I remain of the view that the EDCA required concurrence by the Senate, the proper democratic constitutional institutional arrangement. Not only President Noynoy and Defense Secretary Volts Gazmin should be involved, but also the people, thru their elected senators. My eldest apo, soon to be 8, loves to play soldier.

If in a decade or so, he is in the frontlines against China — there’s always the risk of winning — it should be by some popular majoritarian process, not only because of the Aquino-Gazmin pact. There should have been public hearings, the procedure we adopted in 1991. Here, EDCA was inflicted allegedly on the morning of President Obama’s 2014 arrival. And I did not get a copy until days later, in a TV talk show.

Sadly, the SC shafted our effort to question EDCA’s constitutionality. Yellow Me was the lead petitioner against Noynoy, in the same manner that Yellow Me turned down President Cory’s personal appeal to support her in 1991, on the bases.

Of course this is a new Senate, with Money Pacquiao, alleged as Top Tax Evader, reported to be abroad, focused again on datong. Insatiable. The body will probe Sen. Leila for something done before she became senator? That was not our norm when I headed the ethics panel in 1987-1992. (Should Sen. Tito Sotto again have to defend himself for some ancient episode? No fair.)

Anyway, Digs seems to be a loose cannon, bombarding friend and foe.

Digs said in the case of Mary Jane (an unfortunate name, for marijuana) — the law is the law. Fine but he should not have to expedite her departure from the land of the living, contrary to what the Palace had misled us to expect; a mission of compassion and clemency it had been ballyhooed.

Do we see here the Reign of Terror and Error? A Police State after Martial Misrule?

Is public cussing (PI! Ulol! Atbp.) everyone’s human and constitutional right that the President cannot be denied?

In Re Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1 (1946) reminds us of the atrocities of the last war, particularly in February 1945, or 61 years ago, when 100,000 were killed south of the Pasig. Justice Frank Murphy, the last US Gov-Gen here voted in favor of Yamashita, in dissent. The Japanese are with us in our row with China, as is Obama. Both Japan and the US give us military assistance. Should Digong also now curse the Japanese premier or royalty for World War 2 (after thanking them for generous assistance)?

There’s a time for forgiveness. I am delighted that Imee Marcos now sort of apologizes for his father, reportedly. It may be a beginning, if true. No insistence on burial now in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani as long as the wounds are raw and deep should help. The Marcoses should make amends by way of financial support for ageing, ailing human rights victims on medical and burial needs, and scholarships for their children and apo. The healing may begin.

And now the bright side. We now have our first Woman Grandmaster Janelle Frayna (and Eugene Torre, first Pinoy GM, had a sterling result in the Baku Olympiad, just concluded). Is Honeylet Avanceña Digong’s Grand Mistress? She should be housed somewhere in San Miguel, near the Palace. The two kulasisis can stay in Davao. But, note that what a President says and does the young may imitate.

Family values matter.
Drugs would not pose our only problem. Values, yes. Even traffic. I should not have to go to City Hall, Manila, from our home, in two hours plus. Palanan is only a few kilometers away. How do we house the poor in our barangay who now sleep on sidewalks and bridges? The War Against Poverty is not a War Against the Poor, who supply the bodies for the administration in their body count. The rich get due process. The poor? Little in life, nothing in law.

In the timorous wealthy barangay, policemen should not just be allowed to enter the villages to knock and say, “Mawalang galang na nga po, mayruon ho bang shabu dito?” Shabu is being studied for legalization in Thailand, I see, affirming that a bloody expensive violent failed policy is not the answer.

No one would be happier than Bottom Line if I am proven wrong by year-end in my continuing differences with a fellow Bedan. I was a decade ahead. Too bad Digong was never under, as far as I know, Justice Eduardo Caguioa, whose lo cortes no quita lo valiente, is never beyond easy recall. Courtesy does not detract from valor.

PI! may or may not be criminal, depending on the facts.

Context, Nizer said, is the most important word in English./Rene Saguisag,Manila Times, Opinion Columnist


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