March 3, 2024

Like a destroyer with a crew of thousands holding out to sea to do battle with the enemy, the S.S. E. F. Lopez appeared unsinkable.
Although traumatized and still carrying the scars of the Marcos years, ABS-CBN, over time, had become bigger, stronger, and tougher.


Navigating poorly, however, the Lopez Armada Flagship soon found itself in unfriendly waters, and promptly got hit by two torpedoes, the first from the National Telecommunications Commission, which merely damaged its hull, but enough to halt the “Titanic” vessel in its tracks.


Pending repairs, the other torpedoes, this one coming from the submarine Congress Nautilus, scores a direct hit, splitting the ship into half, forcing the crew to abandon ship and take to the lifeboats.
The last words of the Captain were “Every man for himself.”


Speaking of submarines, Glenn Ford played the role of a skipper of an atomic submarine, hence the movie title, “Run Silent, Run Deep.”
Today the phrase no longer applies to submarines, but to men of strength and character, men like Claro Recto, Jovito Salonga, Lorenzo Tañada, Jose Diokno, Arturo Tolentino; yes, including the tyrant Ferdinand Marcos.


The women? Well, no question about their depth, though they tend to blabber a bit too much, cackling and quacking, but the exemptions are Eva Estrada Kalaw, Geronima Pecson, Tecla San Andres Ziga, Justices of the Supreme Court Cecilia Muñoz Palma and Conchita Carpio-Morales, and of course, my tita Miriam, who could have been Supreme Court Justice had she not gone into politics.
Include too the four – some say five – lady senators, all aching to be president.
Sara Duterte would be in my list, but since she is a chip off the old block, that leaves her out.


It will be State of the Nation Address time tomorrow, minus the glitter and fashion show, but more of the same.
The recital of achievements, the goals targeted, and how the present dispensation is coping up with the current situation.
Like they say, hearing one SONA is like having heard them all.


Listening to Harry Roque and Sal Panelo on TV, one remembers when Kit Tatad’s profile would be flashed on TV, speaking for his boss, after Marcos declared Martial Law.
Somehow you feel like throwing up.
Having worked for government myself, I know how hard it is to be your own man.


I remember when I was City Prosecutor, the Secretary of Justice called me up to give the United Nations representative a difficult time, having come up to Baguio to investigate human rights violations by both military and the left.
When it was my turn to speak, I told the U.N. representative that the issue was a domestic matter, and that he nor the U.N. had no business meddling with local affairs.
The U.N. representative threatened to report me to my boss.
Was I ever so scared? He he.
The generals present were probably wondering why I was talking the way I did.
In this country, quite sadly, there are more pawns in government than there are in all the chessboards put together.


Let me be clear about my position on the Anti-Terror Bill, recently signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The terror menace is real. There are sinister forces working together to bring people and nations down on their knees, and being particularly targeted are third world countries like us.
It might even be said that the most vociferous cities of the law may be terrorist agents.


It is terrible to imagine, but the terrorists are actually having their cake and eating it too.
We are a nation divided, the rift getting wider with every issue that comes along.
The trouble is that our police and military have none of the blood of our heroes who fought in the Spanish and American revolutions, and in Corregidor, Bataan, and Bessang Pass.


Filipinos of today care more for themselves, and family, very little, if at all, for the birthland.
The possibility of abuse is dangerously high.
Walang pakialam kundi sumusunod sa utos.
Mr. President, instill in the minds of your soldiers and police that they serve not you, but us, the people.
Teach them the true meaning of good manners and right conduct, love of country specifically.


Sige po, hindi naman lahat, pero the bad eggs are setting the example. ‘Pag sinisigawan ka ng hepe (ng Maynila, halimbawa) tatadkayakan ka ng SPO1.
Mr. President, we stand behind you in your fight against terrorism, but tell your men in uniform to also stand behind us, your people.
Sabi ni Senate President, there are safeguards, and activists and protesters are not included.
Sure, pero alam ba ng pulis kung alin ang alin?


My father, Pete Sr., was the town raconteur, before I came along.
He loved regaling friends, relatives, and others who cared to listen with stories that he often embellished to add drama and humor to his never-ending tales.
He was a philosopher of life who knew what he was talking about, a sage, so to speak. He is me, talking.


Obit-trivia:
A certain Sebastian was spotted attending a cockfight derby somewhere south of Manila. Sitting beside him was a bearded fellow with a high-powered gun slung on his shoulders.
My spy no longer has 20-20 vision. How can someone already buried be with a guy who buried him?
Knock, knock, what’s messier than the Covid-19? A Bucor 2020, what else? Follow the money trail.