Issue of July 15, 2018
Mt. Province

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Please God, no more Joans of Arc

No doubt about women, they are unable to resist temptation when it comes to power.

Although called incompetent by President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo, sensing the time is ripe to make a grab for Malacañang, is now offering herself to head what she calls a “unified opposition.”

In short, all those who are not for Duterte should rally behind her in a unified front to put a halt to the abuses and mistakes of the current administration.

Translated into ambition, she wants to be the next President.

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Let’s take a closer look at who Leni Robredo was before her husband was killed in a plane crash. Although a lawyer by profession (what is it about lawyers of whatever gender that makes them think they are fated to lead the country, a dream shared by PMAyers after tasting power during the Marcos years, power that scared succeeding presidents into sharing leadership with them) Leni’s politics was limited to being the wife of a thrice elected Naga City mayor. It is said that her biggest ambition then was to be appointed Regional Trial Court judge.

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Pushed into the limelight following the untimely demise of her husband who was Department of the Interior and Local Government chief at that time, she ran for Congress and won reasonably, a phenomenon in Philippine politics, that widows of slain politicians are elected in place of their husbands regardless.

And because Grace Poe didn’t want to be the running mate of Mar Roxas unless it was the other way round, Leni, with no second thoughts, said yes to former President Benigno Aquino III and Mar’s overtures.

Nothing wrong really, except it just tells you the story that women will not stop or say no to political opportunities.

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But it goes all the way back to Cory Aquino. A plain housewife with no political or government background, she ran against Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential elections.

Okay, so maybe Marcos won that one, but because he cheated (wanting to make sure), Cory won. The logic is a bit warped, but that is how it is hereabouts.

Anyway, Cory became revolutionary president after Marcos fled the country, following a people’s revolt.

Picturing herself as a Joan of Arc who restored democracy to her country, that was all that she probably did.

At least she had the sense – something that Duterte should emulate – not to seek re-election, a decision that only a woman who constantly seeks guidance from heaven can do, not blinded by the lure and love for power and riches.

I wish we could say the same of the Catholic hierarchy.

Which reminds us – greetings to the Iglesia ni Cristo on its founding anniversary. Even with family squabbles, the INC faithful remain true to their church – black pants and shoes and white shirts for the men, black pumps and skirts for the women. No shorts or blouses exposing cleavage during religious services.

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The only thing is that the INC meddles in politics and has a few key people holding high government positions, but I have to hear of an INC minister getting an SUV vehicle from a president, or demanding that his nephew-in-law be appointed Comelec commissioner.

In sum, us Catholics should be different from the rest. After all, we are God’s chosen people, and our church is founded on a rock. True, we have been here for centuries, but when was the last time God showed Himself? In the 16th century, through the Blessed Mother appearing in Fatima and Lourdes.

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But back to the women. Former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno jumped over the heads of more senior associate justices without so much an apology, like her appointment as Chief Justice was the best thing for the High Court.

Now she wants to go to the Senate, Malacañang would be more ideal, but Leni certainly will not step aside for her.

And neither will Grace Poe give her nod to Leni’s presidential ambitions.

Likewise, frustrated Joan of Arc Loren Legarda will not fall behind any of her gender aching to be president.

Neither will Sen. Nancy Binay nor will Sen. Cynthia Villar rally to the cause of the women, whose grandstand platform will be – the men have ruined this country, it is time for us to do something about it.

But incoming senator Pia Cayetano would rather back her sibling, Alan, who has all the years, been salivating to be president, which is why he has lots of hits and misses, more of the latter.

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Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against women, provided they stick to being mothers and housewives – okay, even as mayors, governors, congress persons, senators, but up to there only.

Tell you what, women make good judges and prosecutors, but please not as secretaries of tourism (I do not mean you, Secretary Romulo-Puyat) you are one of a few women whose heart is in the right place.)

Oh yes, Atty. Barry, Robredo’s lawyer, defends her client from Duterte by saying look who’s talking, and recites a litany of the President’s miscues.

The issue panyero, is not Duterte, it is your client. Kaya ba niya?

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We are halfway through the year, and neighbors and friends are stealing marches on us. Our condolences to spouses Isabelo and Esther Cosalan, and former councilor Popo Cosalan, on the demise of family member Dr. Sharon Cosalan, long time neighbors in New Lucban.

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