May 24, 2024

“Bangag” is an adjective to mean high on drugs. In Iloco, it could mean “ulaw”, slow-minded, stupid, or even moron.
I first had a grasp of the word in Holy Family Academy where cousins, First Lady Lisa Araneta and Maggie Cacho, were schoolmates with my wife, Bernie, (who celebrates a milestone on the 16th, surrounded by family and friends who dearly love her).
Ms. Araneta stayed in their place with Manolo Araneta who was into farming and we were active with the Boy Scouts hence Baguio was home for them for quite a while, but that is another story.
The popular drug then was Mandrax or marijuana and not shabu, although I never had the courage or desire to taste them. Neither had Bonggit (President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.) touched them when we were together in Congress or after when he would come up to Baguio every weekend to fetch his wife while she taught at the Saint Louis University College of Law.
We always bided time to Marios drinking red wine over steak or ribs.
On the 29th of January, our favorite-foul-mouthed and former President Rody Duterte at the “prayer rally” against Charter change along San Pedro Street in Davao City spat cobratic-venom at the President and repeatedly tagged him a drug addict, constantly high, or bangag.
“Bongbong, bangag ‘yan. That’s why sinasabi ko sa inyo. Si Bongbong Marcos bangag noon. Ngayong presidente na, bangag ang ating presidente. Kayong mga military alam ninyo ‘yan, lalo na ‘yong mga nasa Malacañang, alam ninyo. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, alam ninyo. May drug addict tayo na presidente!” Duterte said.
His supposed name was on the list of drug personalities of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency when he was mayor, although the agency was inexistent at the time and categorically stated the President “is not and was never” on the watch list and the 2002 database of drug personalities of 6,000 names called the National Drug Information System (NIDS).
He did not mention that his own son, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo, was also linked to illegal drugs and was probed by the Senate for his alleged role in facilitating drug shipments.
The President’s response: “I think it’s the Fentanyl. Fentanyl is the strongest painkiller that you can buy. It is highly addictive and it has very serious side effects. Duterte has been taking the drug for a very long time now. When was the last time he told us he was taking Fentanyl, five or six years ago? After five or six years, it has to affect him, kaya palagay ko nagkakaganyan.”
A month after, Duterte true to his nature, flip-flopped and took back his accusation of bangag disingenuously clarifying “drugs” to mean anything including antibiotics or aspirin, because they are all considered drugs.”
“Wala akong sinabi na gano’n. Even if you kill me a thousand times, wala akong sinabi. Make it, taking a drug. Pero kung sabihin mong adik, wala akong sinabi na gano’n. Patayin ako ni Marcos n’yan.”
Sutil lang talaga o s’ya yung bangag, nay bu-ang! Parang “istorya ra kana, ‘ni tuo diay kamo?” (Kumagat naman kayo?) True to character, playful, mischievous, which one need not take too seriously.
It was a complete about-face from his angry and menacing tirade a month back. More, he now supports the lifting of economic restrictions in the Constitution, the only condition being a flat “no” to term extension of incumbent officials.
He even took back his threat of a Mindanao secession, stating he will not support the dismemberment of the nation although he realized no one came to take his side and even “turned” back against his favorite pal Pastor Q when he said, “Magpa-aresto ka na lang! Gi-atay man!
“Well as they say, the hottest seats in hell are reserved for any of the two and your guess is as good as mine.