February 25, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Aug. 20, 2017)

It is the same old story – a supposedly competent and incorruptible lawyer with impressive credentials is appointed to a highly sensitive government post that requires Christian values like truth and honesty, or in the more fanciful language of politics, dedication, and integrity.
Hopes are, of course, high, and the church, civil society and even media are lavish in their admiration and praise, quite a good start for a public servant who also happens to be a graduate of a top law school in the country with a master’s degree from an Ivy League American university.

An election is held under his watch, and despite claims for a job well done coming from his own quarters, the political exercise is replete with controversies.
A defeated vice presidential candidate could not believe that his initial lead of over a million votes disappears overnight, eventually losing to his opponent by 200,000-plus vote margin.
To downplay the seeming manipulation, the Marcos ghost is resurrected. Voters still remember martial law, fearing a return of Marcos rule, hence, the unexpected victory of Leni Robredo.

A winning candidate does not look at the gift from the horse’s mouth, and says her victory reflects the true will of the people.
Meanwhile our hero plays it cool. Despite noises of alleged cheating and other election irregularities, he says everything was above board. What, me, a party of wrongdoing?
Except for a smudge on his face and a few dirty spots on his shirt, our hero manages to come out smelling like a rose.
But where is all that foul odor coming from?

And then the shit hits the fan. Our hero’s wife accuses her husband of keeping lots of money, most of which are deposited in a small little known bank.
Our hero panics a bit, and says that the deposits are monies entrusted to him by his own family, and literally isn’t as much as being bruited.
He then overplays his hand, accusing his wife of infidelity, finding comfort in another man’s arms.
It is just like what my friends on the streets love to say – if you are truly a crook, that doesn’t change, no matter if your wife is sleeping with someone else. But we will get to that later.
Poor hero, now his clean cut image is all shot, facing investigation from the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

An unhappy wife will surely fall prey to a man with whom she shares the same interest.
Patricia B is alleged to be a psychic, so she is naturally attracted to a man who also has her gifts.
Just like college professors who feel some kind of kinship with historians, poets, novelists, and other academicians.
Also the reason why doctors marry each other. Sure some women find lawyers interesting, but the more discerning consider them boorish.
And contrary to what mind doctors or child psychologists are saying, it is not the separation of parents that harms them. Okay, to a certain degree. But children are aware that separation becomes inevitable when their folks can no longer stand each other, screaming and shouting in each other’s presence, even turning violent at a certain stage.

Children are more affected by what people are saying about their parents – that their mom is sleeping with someone not their dad, and that dad is really nothing but a common thief.
As an amateur psychologist, I suggest that both parents sit down with their children and assure them that there is no truth to what they are hearing, and that despite all, they remain friends.

Nuts are running the world – Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, even our own Rodrigo Duterte appears to be suffering from the same syndrome.
The Philippine National Police is the people’s police, not his private army. If he keeps on sending the wrong messages to them, God help us all.
No one will be safe from abusive policemen carrying out the wishes of their boss.
Lawyer ka? Ha! You have drug links, pareho mo si Judge. Patay ka!
Please, Mr. President, stay in control. Not every Filipino is yellow, or a criminal.