June 4, 2023

(Editors’ note: The Midland 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 Dec. 4, 2016)

The late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Sr., controversial in both life and death, also dubbed as the Filipino Ali Baba (Many say however that he had more than 40 thieves in his stable) can be said to be laughing while turning in his grave.
And there is basis for the Marcos mirth, since even after he was ousted from power, the thievery didn’t end with him, and remains unchecked up this time.
A government alas, of ladrones, one after the other.
Like replacing a tyrant with another tyrant.

Admittedly, former President Cory Aquino was no tyrant, but in much the same way that the cronies of Marcos plundered the country, so did the kamag-anaks and her close friends enriched themselves during her forgettable term. The only difference was that while Marcos was part of the plunder, Cory wasn’t, but it is plunder all the same.

In many South American countries, tyrants rule and tyrants, earlier disguising themselves as revolutionists, take over sometime later.
Fidel Castro is a case in point. In his old age and failing health, his brother Raul, replaced him as president of Cuba.
Fidel, a sworn enemy of the United States, once said that he will die only if the United States will be on its death kneel, or words to that effect.
Donald Trump is elected American president, and Castro breaths his last, allegedly with a happy smile on his face.
You think there is a message there somewhere.

In politics, dedication, goodness of heart and brilliance of mind, are no longer assets but liabilities.
Insofar as the ignorant voter is concerned, their kind is not to be trusted.
Buti pa maging bastos, foulmouthed, pikon, at walang pakialam sa mundo.
Bared to-bato sa….

But back to what we were saying earlier.
Former President Fidel Ramos resurrected the military – in limbo for sometime – from the grave, with the generals forming a chorus line, arms wrapped around each other, singing “Happy days are here again.”
Deposed President Joseph “Erap” Estrada couldn’t keep his hands off money and women, so off to jail he went.
Now as mayor of Manila, he is spending his remaining years trying to make up for past sins.
Good for him.

What can one say about GMA (Gloria M. Arroyo)? Beyond Malacañang, was it she calling the shots, or was it he?
Former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III? Well, he may be the son of the saintly Cory, but he was also Ninoy Aquino’s boy, one of the shrewdest politicians during his time.
So, whose genes did he inherit?

President Rody Duterte may have been unbeatable in Davao politics, but he was no heavyweight in national politics. He is one lucky SOB. However, coming into the national scene at a time when he was being spoken of as a legend who did miracles for his city, like a near zero crime rate, and galvanized a scared Filipino nation who no longer trusted government.
Perhaps to make himself look better, all his people surrounding him are practically lightweights with their fractured grammar and even more fractured logic.
In the case of Marcos, he had the best minds in the country working for him. After all, he himself was brilliant, albeit criminal inclined, like Lex Luthor of Superman fame.

But Duterte is no Marcos, hence the Aguirres and Panelos, who would ask “how high?” if he tells them to jump.
To keep things on a balanced keel, there’s Sunny Dominguez, Manny Piñol, maybe Bingbong Medialdea whose dad I know, and perhaps think-tank behind the scenes.
Duterte is one puzzle hard to decipher.
We can only cross our fingers and hope he succeeds for the good of us all.

I believe truly in my heart that Sen. Leila De Lima is guilty as hell when it comes to raising campaign funds, but that does not justify ripping off her clothes and exposing her body and soul like you do with a frog in Biology class.
If there is anything that can be said about the House inquiry, the art of cross examination was lost upon the lawyers – congressmen, asking silly questions fit only for bar gossip.
Just because a woman sleeps around does not mean you need to go under the bed sheets to check what the coupling is all about.
Like a motel ad says, “What happens in Hollywood stays in Hollywood.”

The circle atop Session Road is practically bare – no lighted lanterns, no colorful decorations. No Christmas tree at the foot of Session Road either.
Whoever moved the spirit of Christmas somewhere else should be cut up like Yuletide décor and hung to dry.

We are now in the month of December, my birth month.
Early Christmas greetings to one and all!