JDV, Atty. Lambino speak; Game of Generals reprise
If John Lennon’s rock composition Sgt, Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has its Sgt. Pepper’s Reprise, my Internet’s hits-weary column (ahem!) Games of the Generals: Esperon, Lomibao, Bataoil, Alarcio, Ferrer (with additional Pangasinense surnames like Marcelo, Navarro, Cabuay, Braganza, Goltiao) cries for a reprise after it became topics in some news outlets and in media’s “Kapihan.”
A media wag asked recently former three-star general and now Mayor Reynaldo Velasco if retired generals gunning for political office are competent since the job description they are vying for is far different to what Philippine Military Academy has molded them.
Mayor Velasco (PMA Class ’71) pooh-poohed the observation since these military and police officers have master or doctoral degrees in public administration from reputable universities in the country. Velasco for one has a doctoral degree that entitles him to be called “doctor” – with the power (just like surgeons) to prescribe political medicines to his constituents.
Mayor Velasco added the advantages of electing retired police official like him is he doesn’t need to join a “queue” of congressmen, governors, and mayors, to follow-up a project request for his town to the offices of Senators like Panfilo Lacson, and Gregorio Honasan (both his classmates or mistahs at the PMA), and other senators “because I knew them when I was a general.”
He said that because of his associations with these VIPs, he could expedite his request by going at the back door instead of spending precious hours joining the long weary lines of public officials who are not even certain if they can chalk-up a project or two for their turfs.
Many of his 250 cheap but quality one school room projects came from his friends at the military and public service.
Meanwhile, Tess Orbita (gorgeous staff of Senator and presidential aspirant Chiz Escudero), told me that Senators at GSIS Building in Pasay City have no back doors. It should be back channel, and the “queue” there is a stack of request papers for projects from those elective officials. She knows this process because some high officials once in a while called her for her intercession for the fast resolution of their request.
She told me General Velasco is only using a figure of speech.
For the sake of arguments of getting wary to those bumbling-idiots from the military and civilian alike running for elective offices, the Local Government Code (R.A 7160) has safety clauses to protect the masses from the harm coming from these officials.
Despite the modicum of requirements required by law for them -– like being able to read and write Filipino or any other local language, one year residence at the situs they vie for office preceding the day of the election, to name a few — the Code provides that a mayor should have a career service administrator, treasurer, accountant, assessor, to name a few, who have strict qualifications –- higher than their boss — like holder of college degree preferably in commerce, public administration or law, first grade civil service eligibility or its equivalent, acquired experience in their profession for at least three years – for a sheer purpose to guide the bumbling elective officials who are not even required by law to speak one or two English words, or even an elementary diploma from Mababang Paaralan ng San Andres Bukid (Lower School of St. Andrew’s Fields, as one mayor in the Western Part of Pangasinan proudly translated to me).
One example of a mayoralty abuse that was stalled by these civil service qualified officials was a particular mayor in the province who insisted that the town’s coffer pay the bill of the banquet of his inauguration, and the gas of his private trucks. But the town’s bursar and accountant did not capitulate since all of them would be liable adversely to the audit law administratively and criminally.
I saw former Speaker Joe de Venecia came out from the side door of Dagupan City’s air-conditioned Astrodome after he spoke in the jam-packed anti-Charter Change rally led by Archbishop Oscar Cruz last Independence Day
“Speaker, andito si Kuya Rod (Rivera),” I shouted with my lungs-out, waved my left hand, and then pointed my left forefinger to his perennial arch critic Mr. Rivera – who was an editor-in –chief of some local newspapers since the 1960s.
I saw the eyes of JDV brightened with excitement as he hugged Kuya Rod and warmly told him:
“My old friend Rod!” as both exchanged some short pleasantries. For so many years, Rod did not tire negatively criticizing De Venecia for his bids of Constitutional Revision when he was still in the forefront of the presidential administrations of Fidel Ramos and Gloria Arroyo.
Both did not see each other for decades.
If he hugged Rod, he affectionately punched me with a right jab on my left shoulder. At first, I thought he mistook me for a punching bag, but when he told me to visit him at his house for chit chats I realized then that I was not a leather bag but a political animal that has been given an honor to be invited by the country’s shrewdest and sharpest politico.
I asked the rabble-rouser former Speaker about the dilemma of a Supreme Court dominated by presidential appointees that could conspire with the House of Representatives to ram to our throat Charter Change before the May 10, 2010 poll.
He told me that was a problem: “But I’m praying the members of the Supreme Court will be guided by the lights of reasons, and by the lamp of conscience that they will do right thing” he poetically explained.
This Shakespearean dialogue made me vulnerable to de Venecia despites being a de Venecia basher since my college days. If I discussed earlier with Kuya Rod word smiths like Teodoro Locsin, Sr of the old Free Press that I used to peruse at the stock room of our school library in the early 1980s, I’ll be discussing with him JDV’s exceptional gift of gab powered by his natural ability to rhythmically lumped words like “guided by the lights of reasons, and by the lamp of conscience”.
Geez, If Congressman Victor Agbayani has the ability to lump pro-Agbayni towns so he can have chance to win the congressional race, JDV has the magic to lump all the lamps —including the lamp posts of Meralco — that could give us Filipinos the lights for guidance.
It was last February 2009 when I personally commended former House Speaker Joe de Venecia’s play of words when I emphatically mimicked Winston Churchill’s Never Surrender speech (about the British soldiers’ withdrawal from Dunkirk) in comparison to his earth-shaking privileged speech at the dais of the House of Representatives – an hour before he would be politically executed as Speaker by his peers in February 4, 2008:
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills”
“We shall fight in the villages….”, as he excitedly interrupted me.
He was apparently flattered when I told him that his eloquence is comparable to Churchill, Indonesia’s Bong Sukarno, Cuba’s Fidel Castro (man, all time record of four hours fiery speech in the United Nation before), and the greatest speaker of all probably, 3rd Reich Germany’s Adolph Hitler as he mesmerized those in and out of Reichstag (Parliament) with distinctive hand thumping speeches like: Today Germany, tomorrow the world!
I asked also JDVs political wizard and the former Capo di tutti capi of the legal nuances of charter-change lawyer Raul Lambino who was brought in tow by the former. “It seems that GMA trusted allies in the House have already the model in former Russian President and now Prime Minister Vladimir Putin”.
“Mismo, tama ka diyan!” he emphatically answered.
For the readers’ information Putin wiggled to the Prime Ministership due to constitutionally mandated term limits that bar him to run for the presidency because he has completed his two terms — just like the dilemma of La Gloria de Excelsis. He was nominated by his presidential successor Dmitry Medvedev to be Russia’s prime minister.
Raul who struggled with JDV in trying to change some provisions of our constitution thru Constituent Assembly and later People’s Initiative that bogged down after he was rebuffed by the Supreme Court in that famous Lambino vs. Comelec Case where Justice Antonio Carpio was the ponente. It resulted in a hotly contested 8-7 votes that left us with unforgettable epithets” as the present petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Group’s glaring failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution,” “deceptive and misleading!”
He told me that their “Constituent Assembly bid” before was not successful because GMA and her allies undermined him and JDV.
Raul who taught Constitutional Law at the Universtiy of Pangasinan every weekend told me before –over bottles of San Miguel Lights at Star Plaza Hotel — that GMA and Secretary Ronaldo Puno distrusted JDV and FVR since they know that JDV has a moist eye also for the prime ministers hip.
But how time flies, when I asked him if the Cha-Cha Bill (House Bill 1109) railroaded under the speaker ship of Prospero Nograles seems destined to succeed because majority of justices of the Highest Tribunal were appointees of the power that be, Raul raised his voiced:” Well, I’m not afraid of that! I’m a lawyer and I have all the valid arguments that could stand to reach the Supreme Court. I would be the one who will be filling the complaint to the Supreme Court!”
Son of a gun! That was Raul the former fiend of the Supreme Court that will become its friend when justifiable controversy on Constituent Assembly reaches the Highest Tribunal soon.
I asked him if he felt in the innermost of his heart the bid of Malacanang seems destined to succeed.
“Kung tayong mga ta-o ay papayagan natin ang isang kasamaan na manaig dahil ang ginagawa nila ay isang masamang hakbangin ay mana-ig ang kadiliman. “”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” as he waxed to me an Edmund Burke adage that became an epilogue of actor Bruce Willis in his U.S Navy Seal’s inspired flick’s Tears of the Sun.
When I posed to him the following morning – thru Orly Navarro’s radio program at Aksyon Radyo — that it seems he was outsmarted by the political adviser of Speaker Nograles since the latter has initially succeeded in passing HR 1109 thru Viva Voce (Voice Votes), he answered that we should not call the person smart since nobody deserve it as he abets evil.
Hallelujah! (Send comments to email@example.com)
Entry filed under: Opinion.