June 21, 2024

The fugitive
Following several court hearings and after an assessment of the seriously damning evidence against him, Mario toyed with the idea on going on the law, but not before consulting with his lawyer.
“Look Mario,” his lawyer says to him, “Give the matter some serious thought, not rush yourself into making a rash decision that you might regret for the rest of your life.”


“Okay then attorney,” Mario replies, “but what are my chances for an acquittal?” The lawyer looks Mario straight in the eye, and tells him – “Three witnesses who saw you having a heated argument with the victim the day before he was found dead the next morning, a sketchy police report placing you at the scene of the crime, and a bloodied knife taken from your car matching the blood AB type of the deceased. I would say slim to none.”


“But given the fact that you confronted the deceased because he was sleeping with your wife, and laughed in your face saying, “so what?” with lab reports that only the prints of the victim was on the knife handle, that might create some doubt in the mind of the court that maybe it was planted by the police, as you claim.


Try not to keep your hopes up too high, but the presiding judge is known to be a fair magistrate with a compassionate heart, (OK, unusual) that could get you a lighter sentence of maybe 10 to 15 years.
Given good behavior and a favorable endorsement from the Parole Board, which we can be able to obtain – for a fee of course – you could be out in five to six years.
If you skip, you will be a fugitive for all your life, in hiding forever.


Shaking his head, Mario tells his lawyer that even a day or two in prison will kill him.
“Attorney,” he adds further, “a free and independent spirit in love with the outdoor life, and just staying home bores me.”
Shaking his lawyer’s hand, Mario insisted on going through with his plan. No way will he go to prison for a justified crime of passion.


That was three years ago, and the year is 2020. Everybody was in hiding, fearing to venture out lest they catch the virus.
But things were more relaxed. One can do marketing and shopping for groceries, but put a mask on first, and distance yourself from others by about a meter or more.


And so, it was that Mario’s lawyer had gone shopping for groceries, when someone taps him from behind.
“Attorney, it’s me Mario, I am roaming the city free as a bird, no policeman asking me to take off my mask but to keep it on.”
What a laugh, but the bigger laugh is that even with your mask, attorney, at this very moment, you are the one being held up by your grocer. Each time I make a purchase, two things come to mind – my money is either Japanese or yap-yap currency not worth anything, or that with every purchase, I am buying a bar of gold.”


“It must be hard on you attorney, I mean, with the courts closed. No appearance fees for you.”
“Here, let me tide you up a little,” and Mario drops an envelope in his attorney’s shirt pocket, bidding him goodbye with a wave of the hand.


The bully from Wuhan
He took us all by surprise, putting up the biggest dormitory building in a neighborhood that only had a small cluster of boarding joints, dwarfing two other dormitory houses.
Like all big shots, he took hold of the premises, getting him into trouble with the other neighbors who despised his high-handed tactics, with charges and countercharges filed with the barangay official, many decided in the bully’s favor because he had loaned money to whoever needed a fast buck.


And then the virus came. Trying to get past the guards manning the checkpoint without a mask, he was politely told to go back home and put on one.
The bully that he was, he tried to force his way through, and one soldier quickly put a judo lock that pinned him on the ground.
After a few moments, the soldier helped him get up, and again told him no one is allowed to go past the checkpoint without a mask and a barangay permit.


Unfazed, the bully took up a fighting stance, screaming, “Chinese ako, Pilipino lang kayo.” But just about when the irked guards were about to move in on him, a bystander (he probably owed him money), pleaded with the guards that the Chinaman had a heart condition. As if on cue, he puts his hands to his breast, whimpering, “Alay, alay, sakit puso ko.”
Another bystander, who obviously didn’t owe him anything, said, “Mr. Liong Fong, sundalo mga yan, hindi pulis.” No protruding bellies, no outstretched palms.
It was the best entertainment the neighborhood has had in months.
“Alay, alay, sakit ako tiyan sa tawa.”


With all the pundits coming his way, our good mayor may be planning to give Isko Moreno a run for his run to Malacañang.
Mayor Benjie Magalong has a way of adding dramatics to his job, like he didn’t have to say that San Juan Mayor Zamora apologized to him for breaching quarantine rules.
Sure, no one is above the law, but neither is Mayor Magalong above our intellect(s).
Oh, two things that Philippine Military Academy grads and lawyers share in common – unbridled ambition, and a flair for the dramatic.
Sige na sir, boto na kami sa pagpunta nyo sa Senado.
Hip, hip, hurray!
A truly happy freedom!