June 2, 2023

The editorial of this paper in last Sunday’s issue queried – “Who suffers from the Beneco leadership crisis?”
But wait – Is there still a Beneco? According to Baguio lovers, there is no more Beneco, and while it still has to be officially announced, Beneco is now Boneco.
“Sige, maglaban-laban kayo, huwag niyo kaming idamay. Pakiusap lang, puwede ba iuwi niyo ang inyong away kung saang lupalop kayo galing, huwag dito sa lugar ng karapat dapat at kinauukulan.

Up close and personal, I do not know aspirants Ana Marie Rafael and Melchor Licoben, but I recall being introduced to Miss Ana Marie by her uncle, likewise retired City Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago, during my thank-you blowout following my appointment as city prosecutor some years back. Even then she struck me as a woman from whom wolves like Marvin and Rene shouldn’t try their luck and end up painfully spurned.
Smart, pretty, and articulate, she reminds me of a more subdued Miriam Santiago, not the kind who will back away from a fight, exuding an air that says, “Are you even worth my time?”
If she is a chip off her mom, the dearly departed Natonin mayor Anastasia Rafael, does poor Melchor stand a Chinaman’s chance?

Her uncle Elmer proposes a win-win solution – joint leadership.
Trust Elmer to come up with a happy ending for his niece and provincemates.
But I have a counter proposal. Why not give the job to Benguet natives Joe Molintas or Peter Fianza, lawyers who can hold their own against feisty women and overly ambitious men.
But if the two would rather stay in politics, why not offer the job to Jonathan Vergara, who will bring his engineering and managerial skills to an electric cooperative badly in need of restructuring and reform, a nearly dried- p milking cow of people who speak the same dialect – “One for them, two for us.”
I would prefer Jonathan to be mayor, but city voters have yet to learn the difference between the fake and the real thing.
Sadly, Jonathan is not the kind who will go around shaking hands and making false pro-mises just to win votes.
Mabait masyado kasi.

Once again, we apologize for the lapses in our column last Sunday.
We blame no one except our errant ballpen. Like I keep on “nagging” him, campuses are sprawling, but mushrooms sprout.
In a world where kids understand technology better than us elders, my hands are near useless – it can’t – like Shaq – shoot free throws, good only for scribbling and holding cards.

Bear with me please, if I keep on repeating myself.
To borrow a line from veteran actor Brian Cox, playing the role of a retired but celebrated Shakespearean thespian, when his long time girl Friday tells him, “But sir, you have told me that story many times over, and I know it by heart.”
Without flinching, Cox retorts, “At my age, everything I say, I have said before.”
I take after my old man, a raconteur non pareil.

In 1959, as an out-of-school volunteer for the Grand Alliance, I couldn’t take my eyes off a stunning beauty helping in the campaign.
They made a fine looking pair – the young and good looking Raul Yaranon and the strikingly beautiful Lilia Guirnalda-Yaranon.
Beauty and brains, as they said of the couple, although at times the beauty was the brains.
We bid a fond farewell to mother Lily, the grand dame of Baguio politics, gone to join her husband in paradise.
God bless!

Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was born on Sept. 11. When he was president, he surrounded himself with the best minds in the nation – Paeng Salas, Juan Ponce Enrile, Placido Mapa, Onofre Corpus, and many more.
If he were president today, he would still be the same enthralling speaker that he was in his time – not cursing, not making insults, not foul-mouthed.
Even in his worst state while suffering from lupus, he would never have hired or employed Francisco Duque, Harry Roque, and Sal Panelo in any capacity.
The trio are too smart for their own good, and will flee with their boss to Hawaii when the time comes.

Belated birthday greetings to my nephew, the landed Satur Diaz.
And for those who have yet to pay their respects to my cousin Manny, please be informed that his wake is on lockdown.
Burial will be on Sept. 26, at which time his three daughters – Wardahl, Margaret, and Chastity shall have arrived from the States to bury their beloved dad.

As per the latest survey, Ed Avila, Joe Molintas, and Peter Fianza are leading the pack.
Sure winners, provided they know which position to run for.
There is no truth to talks going around that the fight for the city mayorship is between one thick of face and the other thin of hair.

We wish old friend and colleague Atty. Pablito Sanidad a speedy recovery. Tolits, if you go – God forbid – us your friends – Rene, Juris, Noe, Eric will fall down like dominoes.
Time for the bad guys to celebrate.