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Conrado de Quiros Overkill

While a gaggle of bystanders watches, a team of cops clad in fatigues, bulletproof vests, helmets and gas masks and toting assault rifles storms the place. They start grabbing people and wrestling those who resist to the ground. One cop is pinning someone on his back with his knee while pulling out handcuffs. The other cops who have ringed the place are eyeing the perimeter watchfully, alert for any signs of trouble. Several cops on motorcycles hover in the wings. This is not Malaysia, about which we have been complaining for its nasty habit of tearing into crowds in search of Filipino illegals, and throwing them in jail, presuming them guilty until they can prove themselves innocent, or in possession of the proper papers. This is the heart of Chinatown, in 168. I saw the pictures, taken by someone in the crowd. The “storm troopers” are cops armed with mission orders from the Bureau of Immigration to arrest illegals. The mission orders do not specify who to arrest, let alone their addresses, and are not backed by warrants from the courts. As in Malaysia, this is “to whom it may concern.” Since December last year, the cops have been carrying out these raids in 168, 999, Lucky Chinatown, and 1188, terrifying shoppers and residents alike. The incident I mentioned took place early this month. Thus far, the raids have yielded, quite apart from a few illegals, several completely legal longtime residents and at least one five-year-old. The raids have extended to bodegas whose owners have been asked to show cause why these should not be closed down. Or as the Chinese there say, to “show cost” for it: Bodega owners have complained—privately, of course—of having had to cough up from P100,000 to P300,000 to be left alone. Again, let us be clear. Do we want illegals, Chinese or otherwise, to be expelled from our shores? Yes. Do we want contraband to be seized and their sellers or hoarders arrested and jailed? Yes. Do we want government to crack down on criminals and criminality and do so with force and resolve? Yes. Do we want to do all these in this way? No. At the very least, what’s iniquitous about it is that it’s a glaring violation of human rights. This is a case of doing things the Rodrigo Duterte way, which proves yet again the immense harm he is doing by the example he sets. At least Duterte knows who he wants to kill, this one is indiscriminate in who it wants to arrest. Last we looked, the principle was still that a man is innocent until proven guilty. Last we looked, the principle was still that the authorities supplied just cause why a person should be arrested, or his bodega padlocked, and not the arrestee or owner why he or his property should not be so. Last we looked, the principle was still, as reaffirmed by the Department of Justice in 1999, that “the issuance of warrants of arrest by the Commissioner of Immigration for the sole purpose of investigation and before the issuance of a final order of deportation violates the right of a person to due process.” Carrying this out, moreover, with cops in full battle gear in a fairly peaceful community makes it all the more iniquitous. Duterte’s proposition is that the best way to solve rice smuggling is by killing rice smugglers. The proposition here is that the best way to solve the problem of illegal aliens is to grab the nearest persons in the Chinese malls and jail them until they can prove themselves legal. At the very most, this isn’t just iniquitous, this is dangerous. You can’t find a worse time to do it than right now. We’re in the middle of a row with China, one where the rhetoric has become strident and the moves increasingly martial. An action like this taken against a predominantly Chinese population will not be seen as a purely internal affair. It will be colored by that dispute. It could, and probably would, be seen as action that did not originate solely from the BI, with the cooperation of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments which provided the cops, but from the national government which gave it its full blessings. It could, and probably would, be interpreted as some kind of retaliation for China’s efforts to intimidate Filipino fishermen in the Spratlys, particularly driving them away by water cannon some weeks ago.

We’ve already seen how a wave of anti-Filipino sentiment is sweeping through China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Taiwan at one point made noises about keeping out visiting Filipinos and Hong Kong continues to demand an official apology from P-Noy for the Luneta massacre. Indeed, Hong Kong residents booed the visiting Azkals last year, which threatens to bring the dispute between governments to the level of the people themselves. What now if China and Hong Kong and Taiwan were to ban overseas Filipino workers from their shores? Or if not ban OFWs, since they would be shooting themselves in the foot if they did (they need OFWs for work they do not particularly like to do and Filipinos are the best caregivers), making getting into their shores the hardest thing in the world? What now if those three countries, like Malaysia, were to conduct periodic raids on communities known to host concentrations of Filipinos, the raiders carting them off indiscriminately and dumping them in jail until they can show documents or pay their way out, whichever comes first? What now if the Chinese themselves, never mind their officials, were to presume Filipinos if not naturally given to smuggling at least to serving as drug mules, if not naturally given to gambling in casinos at least playing without work permits in clubs, if not naturally given to anarchy and subversion at least to being incapable of following laws and rules? Overkill does not kill only its victims, it also kills its authors.

The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth
The first thing they ask you while your right hand rests on the Bible is: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” That is the test of a witness’ testimony. One or two do not suffice. All three must be there. So far Benhur Luy and Ruby Tuason have passed the test, or at least Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, and Juan Ponce Enrile have not been able to punch any gaping holes in what they’ve said. Were they telling the truth? The richness and fineness of the detail they supplied in their accounts suggest so, both of them showing much confidence in their appearance at the Senate. They answered the questions of the senators without nervousness, refusing to be baited into speculation, talking only about things they knew. The three senators themselves made it a point not to attend the hearings to show that they did not take the witnesses seriously. But all they showed was that they were afraid to face them. Were they telling the whole truth? The best proof of this is that from the start they admitted their malfeasance. Chavit Singson was a thoroughgoing scoundrel, too, then (as now), but that was what made him believable when he spoke out against partner-in-crime Erap. Luy admitted to getting a substantial fee for his services, and Tuason admitted to getting 5 percent all the way. Were they telling nothing but the truth? Well, there will always be suspicions about their underreporting, or mis-declaration, of the amounts they got. An operation that produced such oodles of cash that Janet Napoles allegedly could no longer stash it in the usual places she had to pack it in her (probably queen-sized) bathtub naturally lends itself to kupit. And barya in this case could mean tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of pesos. Jinggoy’s attempts to defend himself from this, never mind try to turn the tables on the government once again, have only looked like grasping at straws. His attempts to discredit Tuason in particular are cringe-worthy. Of course Tuason would need to consult her notes to answer questions. Can he himself remember who he was with at Zirkoh five years ago? (Well, maybe he can.) And of course there would be no footage of Tuason entering the Senate; CCTV tapes are regularly erased. But comes now Dennis Cunanan. Is he telling the truth? Like the others, he gives a richly detailed account of how the three senators, including Enrile, who he says directly interceded on behalf of a Napoles NGO of his choice (a member of his staff supplied a letter naming the NGO), pressured him into approving and releasing funds for their favorite projects. In Jinggoy and Revilla’s case, he claims dealing with them directly, Jinggoy for the most part over the phone. Jinggoy has denied it and says whoever it was on the line

We may not be sidetracked once again. It’s well past due. But it’s just a lot of whistling in the dark. At the very least. It doesn’t always result in the people trying to shape the terms of their governance. and who have promised to do so. it can also result in vicious rumors. That was when he suddenly became hesitant and evasive.” which vastly amused P-Noy himself. She is quiet. if not the FOI itself. She isn’t loud. It’s an instrument that encourages people to take an active—and intelligent—part in the way they are governed. their heart. The FOI did not create that spontaneous protest. Were the witness Cunanan alone. as we saw last year. but that is much too late.” you raise suspicions about the mettle of “the truth” and “the nothing but the truth. but to stop corruption. she isn’t kulang sa pansin and weighing in on everything in front of the cameras. the FOI is just like any of the items in the Bill of Rights. That is the truth. Those meetings are home. those limits having been shown in all their absurdity by hilarious movies like “The Invention of Lying” and “Liar. Poe is one of the calmer.” (The choice is easy—dark or light. it can also result in people merely ranting and vituperating and parading their ignorance before the world. Frankly. for all the courts to punish. not from a need to oust government. as they stand right now the accounts of the three witnesses taken together constitute one solid. and Cunanan. I was upstairs jerking off. The public weighing down on things also has a downside. at least discretion. Cunanan’s answer did not infuriate Poe—she is not naturally given to infuriation. civilized. it’s a catalyst. It doesn’t always result in reasoned. observations about the way we live. The part in his testimony where he faltered big-time was when Grace Poe asked him about Luy’s statement that he (Luy) prepared a bag containing P960. The nature of confidential meetings is precisely that they are confidential. in the same way that Luy and Tuason have been compelled so. infuriating some of the senators. the FOI isn’t merely an enabler. a lofty one but not an easily realizable one. Poe again puts it this way: “The FOI will not only prevent graft and corruption but. Revilla and Enrile. I don’t know why that provision came into consideration at all. refusing to verify or contradict Luy’s statement. too. what’s your excuse for passing off stupidity as wisdom? The true essence of democracy is not just that we have freedom. Having the right to demand all sorts of records or documents from government means nothing if people will not demand them anyway out of the tedious lawyerly procedures it entails. It held echoes of Napoles’ own sustained bout with amnesia in her own appearance at the Senate. their essence. deserves a great deal of the credit. Liar. It was as dazzling a show of people power as you could get—but one that arose. Lest we forget. It remains for Cunanan to own up to partaking of ill-gotten gains before he can enjoy the protection of law.) Of course. It’s just a potential. But better to have a potential than none at all. to banter and gossip. Its power lies in our ability to use it. and nothing but the truth. Their core. Not putting confidential meetings on the record is not not being transparent. or at least reasonably thought-out. and sees things through.” That’s the subtler point about the value of the FOI. At least until such time as those meetings end up in policy declarations. They do not contradict each other. steer it to a more positive direction. innuendoes. it’s being. What was Cunanan thinking. The struggle for the FOI at least. that something like this could be hidden or snowed under? Quite apart from the fact that it is next to unbelievable that he succumbed only to the stick and not to the carrot when he allowed his office to be used and abused.” You can’t very well have. Let’s use it well The Freedom of Information (FOI) bill that the Senate passed last Monday will not include Malacañang divulging the proceedings of its confidential meetings. “Oh. who has been tireless in pushing it. But the FOI stands to impact back on it. the clamor for the passage of the FOI rose to thunderous levels late last year at the height of the frenzied popular protest against pork. One is tempted to say that is probably just a hope. senators. which is how the three senators took part in Napoles’ scam. Why the foot-dragging? The choice is simple. The one that was marked in particular by the Million People March on Heroes Day last August. his detractors might have done greatly to dent his account. the language being irreverent and full of politically incorrect jokes. as Poe points out: “Madali lang naman ang pagpipilian—dilim o liwanag. or better still. You want to parade that like dirty linen before the public? There are limits to the virtue of transparency or honesty.” But taken in conjunction with the other witnesses.” someone opening the door and telling you. It did with Luy and Tuason. more level-headed. The FOI helps in part to stem this tide. and damning indictment of the accused. She has a point. sorry. except for a kink or two such as this one. as well we know from the Bill of Rights being scrapped during martial law. or strongly linked. The culprits are not Luy. humongous. what’s your excuse for displaying ignorance? You’ve got the freedom to ascertain information. out of not knowing what to ask for in the first place. she isn’t strident. as in “The Invention of Lying. if not lying. the social media. even if the House. And the reason they are confidential is not necessarily because they deal with national secrets but because they deal with personal ones. focused. what’s your excuse for passing off speculation as fact. She has seen this through. which needs to fling its doors open the most. rumors of the death of the prosecution are grossly exaggerated. Is Cunanan telling the whole truth? That is the crux of the problem. even if only by the Senate. the joke about it being that it was an episode of “Maalala Mo Kaya. is there for all the world to see. You’ve got the freedom to obtain information. our citizens will learn to get involved and participate and thus will become true stakeholders in government. making joyful noises about it being the death of the case against them. “I can’t remember” was Napoles’ repeated answer to the questions. the whole truth. He vows that the FOI will pass before his term ends in 2016. more than any other. He could have been cleverer and said for all you know it might have been Willie Nepomuceno. did.” Civilization cannot survive such levels of honesty. what makes it so counterproductive is that the nation would have taken it in stride if he had admitted to it. which is why it invented. but the far more important one. and downright lies about just about everyone. or worse. . but she did threaten to lift the immunity of a provisional state’s witness from him. Tuason. The light of day has to illuminate all transactions of government. But I’m glad the FOI has finally been passed. a march that had the remarkable quality of being next to leaderless. in the shaping of national policy.wasn’t him. they reinforce each other. more importantly. it won’t just give impetus to the public weighing down on things. Having the right to assemble means nothing if people do not particularly feel inclined to assemble out of fear or indifference. The way she shepherded the bill to its approval in the Senate is an example of how to get things done. Without of course prejudice to being compelled to return the loot. You violate the principle of “the whole truth. well. it should have become law as soon as P-Noy stepped on the plate. it’s that we use it well. to the struggle for the people’s voices to be heard in national discourse. This is the true essence of democracy. I couldn’t answer the doorbell at once. in which case the public may demand a summary of their salient points. We now have freedom of information. an enabler. But despite this. they are Estrada. has yet to do it. You wonder why Speaker Sonny Belmonte hasn’t done the same. Why be coy with something so easily verifiable? Jinggoy’s camp was of course quick to pounce on it. wish fulfillment as fulfillment? You’ve got the freedom to test information every which way. But it is a hope that’s not unfounded or greatly removed from reality.000 in cash on Napoles’ orders and he (Luy) saw him (Cunanan) leave Napoles’ office with it. it adds weight to the case. it can give some direction to it. is allied. Kailangang masinagan ng araw ang lahat ng transakyon ng pamahalaan. Grace Poe. More this. Let’s use it well. but that has pretty much left him only with that line of defense.

the Iraq invasion was justified in the name of self-preservation. Beggars can’t be choosers. the Iraq invasion had no global sanction—America defied the United Nations on it—and had only the veneer of the “coalition of the willing” going for it. behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext. He will not be in charge. US State Secretary John Kerry has condemned “the incredible act of aggression” and warned of economic sanctions and Russia’s alienation from the Western world. With the same result. have not entirely outgrown their expansionist and militaristic instincts to learn the ways of the 21st century. “As a concept. adds Ambassador Eduardo Malaya. Arguably. particularly the Germany of the 1930s. The demonstrations lasted several days and ended nearly on the same date as our own People Power. claiming virtually the whole of the South China Sea as sovereign territory. Pure Madness The new arrangement is called “Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation. They seem to have an out-of-this-world view of this world and are spinning out of control.” More than likely. Or if it is not a throwback to the 19th century. erstwhile or current.” and Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino assures it is “80-percent done. Surely it must have to do with the atavistic impulses of their ideology? Not at all. Living under the shadow of a tyranny right at our doorstep was just as bad as living behind the barbed wire of an occupation. a counter-uprising took place in Crimea by pro-Yanukovych loyalists. access is assured. I myself said it missed history by a mile. The difference being that Marcos fled to the United States while Yanukovych fled to Russia. I’ve begun to look at the comment in a new light. Ukraine experienced its own version of People Power. it has always been the implementation.Might is Right When P-Noy first compared China’s leaders to Hitler. fled the country tail between legs. 22. of which Ukraine was a part. I need to see what’s on your grounds. “You just don’t. it allows it only to use our bases. He will not put his foot down. Presumably to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine. was organized and led by Russian elements themselves. History shows so. and China’s bullying could very well lead at least to war.? What all these suggest is that the penchant of nations to look at the 21st century through the prism of the 19th century is by no means rare or unusual today. It’s becoming more common now than ever: Might is right. or at least the preservation of Russian lives. though sympathetic to the Philippines in its confrontation with China. observers believe. which has promised elections in May. Can he be any madder than Dubya. the presumed mastermind of 9/11. but if that was what it took to rouse the world to China’s growing expansionism. All this does is to give the United States the best of both worlds: having de facto military bases back without having to pay rent. it had absolutely nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. Not because it accurately captured the spirit of China’s aggression—that aggression remains nowhere near what Hitler did in the late 1930s. Russia is about to invade Ukraine. Saddam Hussein apparently harbored weapons of mass destruction aimed at the heart of America. The American “base within a base” can have all the weapons of mass destruction it wants and we will be no nearer to glimpsing it than we would be Fort Knox. under conditions where we are the beggars. Lest we forget. And lest we forget. it makes you think twice. including . Last week. The most of what’s wrong with this is a couple of things: One is that we already have the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). The right of the base commander to have access to specific areas shared with them has already been agreed (on) in principle by both panels. Vladimir Putin seems to have forgotten that that the USSR. Hitler was how Bush was called by furious critics of the Iraq invasion. Can anyone seriously imagine a scenario where the Filipino base commander tells his American counterpart wherever a dispute arises. Yanukovych. which plunged the world into an apocalyptic war—but because certain events today hold not very faint echoes of it. is pro-West. “Open the gates. he will be accommodating. Lest we forget.” As though that news would elate us. In fact. The masa of course applauded it. And Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao seem determined to push China back to its isolationist and paranoid times. Remember that this agreement is being hammered under conditions where the Philippine government desperately wants American armed presence in the region on the batty assumption that we need it for our protection and wouldn’t mind giving the United States as many bases as they want if only that were constitutionally possible. The MDT specifies very clearly that in the event of an attack on any portion of the US or Philippine territory. as though he needed a justification for doing as he damn well pleases. so be it. dissolved more than two decades ago and Ukraine has become a sovereign state. fittingly: He didn’t just embark on occupation outside his country. like Marcos. his statement was met with mixed reactions. Self-preservation. a group that. It is American policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons in their installations. But these days. decision to back off from a trade deal with the European Union and turn to Russia instead. The new government has been at pains to put it down. in whose name—fighting antiterrorism—it had been carried out. if not invasion. If I remember right. Three of the most powerful nations of the world have resorted to it or are resorting to it. the Kremlin is preparing to invade it.” One is tempted to say that China’s and Russia’s recent belligerence demonstrates that those two huge communist countries. to put it euphemistically. If Russia wants to be a G8 country. Certainly not so non-Pinoys who. Kerry would be a lot more believable in pointing out the odiousness of “invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext” if the United States had not in fact invaded Iraq on a completely trumped-up pretext just 10 years ago. And Filipino authorities will have complete access to the US installations set up inside those bases. he embarked on repression inside his country. aka George Bush Jr. For those who have not been following their current events. That is assuming in the first place that we want to know. mounting a culture of paranoia. the residents of Kiev protesting their president’s. Even as China has been exhibiting expansionist ambitions in Asia. The United States has invaded Iraq. P-Noy’s reference to China’s leaders being a Hitler may be a humongous hyperbole. This is one case where the tail will wag the dog. it needs to behave like a G8 country. Russia is threatening to invade a neighboring country.” What can one say? What the —-?! The least of what’s wrong with it is this: The problem with our agreements with the United States has never been the agreement. Victor Yanukovych’s. of which Homeland Security remains an obdurate reminder. that country is Ukraine. That should dispel fears about infringement on sovereignty. the Filipino commander will not be authoritative. what makes US President Barack Obama’s and Kerry’s remonstrations equally out-of-this-world is that it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black. then it is at least a throwback to the 20th. being within Philippine military bases. why in hell do we need to give the United States de facto bases here all over again? The MDT not quite incidentally should already show us how utterly inutile our military arrangements with the United States are. the agreement does not allow the United States to put up bases in this country. though more bloodily. but not so the more critical sector of the public. Feb. if it goes challenged. Washington supported the uprising against Marcos (after supporting Marcos for a long time) while the Kremlin condemns the uprising against Yanukovych. Not to worry. the American official will. he will be deferential. in the 21st century. Over the last few weeks however. Last February. found the comment overboard. It has nothing to do with the communist ideology. That is to say. is Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine. Yanukovych is pro-Moscow while the interim government that succeeded him. It may be deviant when looked at from the point of view of rationality but it is not deviant when looked at from the point of view of reality.

and freedom. she knows it only for an assumption. Gigi Reyes.” “The loving was easy. it’s the living that’s hard”? Or the song from “Chorus Line. brandished newly sharpened ones. Or that China has only a self-serving unilateral assertion of ownership to. extends in coverage to the South China Sea. he unfurled as well his recollection of his life and times for all the world to cringe. His unraveling was as swift as his raveling. she has in fact put him in a bind. “She was rather clear in the part about Sen. the one is obliged to come to the defense of the other. Even when he went on a downhill slide soon after launching his book—he was accused of giving his favorite senators millions in taxpayer money in the form of Christmas bonuses. he was accused of turning the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport into a smuggler’s paradise. and the senators he had pissed off during his heyday were determined to see him bite the dust. well. who passed it as president. “Till kingdom come” is no exaggeration as we’ve seen from the fact that except for the brief period when the only general to become president of this country was in charge. Armed with that triumph. a partnership he cemented with his aforesaid ambush at Wack Wack. who was Fidel Ramos. not conscience. and two of them in particular. Or he can bail her out and. has managed to survive pretty much every adversity. and none comes more sublime than the fall of Juan Ponce Enrile. she spoke only about things she knew. never mind Tuason’s own credibility. as Trillanes and Santiago bid her do in front of them. was the truth. apart from the most lethal weapon—Enrile can always say he had nothing to do with Reyes’ doings. Legally—and Enrile. It won’t do to just try to discredit Tuason by calling her a liar to her face. this time. She does not know it for a fact. Post Valentines. By all means let us call the Chinese leaders Hitler. he can always say what Reyes did is her own lookout. The Pacific.those lying in the Pacific Ocean. the “Enhanced Defense Agreement” won’t end with P Noy. the whole truth. malay ko bang permanent. and nothing but the truth. of sorts This country is home to sublime ironies. what’s it going to be? Will he be playing a role in the movie. that will be taken as perjury. Their complaint drew from the fact that Tuason had testified only about dealing with the keeper of Enrile’s house and heart. “Hanggang Dito Na Lamang at Maraming Salamat. unfurling his lawyerly skills for all the world to see. “It’s Over. The VFA did not end with Erap.” or “Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan”? Will he be singing the line from Frank Sinatra’s song. his son lost in the elections after WikiLeaks reminded the world of his murder case—he seemed battered but unbowed. Tuason said no. By all means let us protest China’s claim to the whole of the South China Sea and bring the world to vituperate against it. not scruples. we will still be reeling under that presence. so help him God. But at the very least. But—and here’s the part that makes this a sublime irony. Except. but rising back again to recover fame and fortune. A year and a half later. He had no known vulnerabilities. now about to embark on his 10th decade on earth. Tuason has given him a loophole. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima asked? In fact.” to which Rains replies: “That is my least vulnerable spot. They had their knives unsheathed last Thursday. This one is worse. which triggered martial law. much worse. not least Chinese gunships patrolling the area. with whom we share a fitful history. notwithstanding that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is clear that countries have sovereign rights to waters up to 200 nautical miles off their shores.” “What I Did For Love”? . The natural assumption that Reyes was merely Enrile’s alter ego. if not of America—does the MDT really give? Two is that this spits on the blood. Cory herself trying to people-power her way into keeping them? The Visiting Forces Agreement was bad enough and was already a stab in the back of it—Erap. we’ve had US military presence in one form or another. at risk of his own wellbeing. It will commit the nation to harboring US military enclaves in our bases till kingdom come. Contrary to Trillanes’ and Santiago’s interpretation that Tuason has spared Enrile. that was what made Tuason’s testimony rock-solid. “Kala ko kasi visiting lang. It will commit the next governments to honoring that agreement till kingdom come. I remember again that scene in “Casablanca” where Humphrey Bogart tells Claude Rains. not being there. But bring US servicemen and equipment to roost here all over again? That’s just madness. “But when it came to the part about Senator E nrile. Arguably. He had just presided over the impeachment trial of Renato Corona and had done so masterfully.” lamented Trillanes. not compunction. admit freely that all Reyes has done she has done for him. Antonio Trillanes and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. ironically having been one of the “Magnificent 12” that stopped the bases. He was one of three senators charged with conspiring with Janet Napoles to defraud the public big-time. sweat and tears we expended just to rid ourselves of US military presence in this country. but it was not in a court of law. In a court of law. and not with Enrile himself. might be acceptable in the court of public opinion. They were unhappy with the way Ruby Tuason had dealt with him. That left Trillanes and Santiago instead unsatisfied and demanding she say more. he was at the height of his powers and popularity. It was as if she wasn’t interested. God did not. She hasn’t named him directly as a party to the transactions. he had lost his commanding heights and was looking at the world from the bottom of the abyss. says it is not taking sides or a position on who owns the islands. in his twilight years that is his most.” Santiago echoed the sentiment suggesting that Tuason knew more than what she told about Enrile. Where is the American automatic military response to it as the MDT bids? Where is the American warship or two to confront the Chinese gunships there and protect the Filipino fishermen? What defense—at least of the Philippines. Of course she knows how to add two and two together. Legally. he can always hang her out to dry.” but some jokes hurt agonizingly when you laugh.” As it turns out with Enrile. Legally. He would joke later on. Much. Insisting among others that his waylaying at Wack-Wack. “This gun is pointed right at your heart. constitutes an attack on territory the Philippines has a very strong claim to. to say the least. like Marcos. When they asked whether she knew if Enrile gave her his blessings and profited from the transactions. he looked headed to shrug it off all over again. Among them his (junior) partnership with Marcos. Pure madness. Can we have forgotten already how hard it took to kick out the US bases. Indeed. has always found in the legal the most formidable protection. springing back from them with the ease of a jackin-the-box. that will not be taken as proof. the islands where China’s provocations are taking place are disputed territory. the monumental atrocity here is that the agreement won’t just end with one government. But why on earth should she. particularly after his autobiography. What a legacy to bequeath. even after being tagged as one of the senators in cahoots with Napoles. Jinggoy Estrada. The guy looked invincible. heart. Among them as well his thwarted attempts to oust Cory by various coups. to lead the condemnation of it. surely the act of driving Filipinos away from the disputed islands by water cannons and various threats. I don’t know that she hasn’t in fact twisted the knife after plunging it into his. Ruby Tuason has given direct evidence not about him but about Gigi Reyes. She left it to the senators to draw their own conclusions. Ruby Tuason has unfurled the specter of jail not on him but on Gigi Reyes. but the law forbids her from doing so. De Lima went on. all American officials have reaffirmed. Look at the wonder of it: Here is a man who. his capacity to call anyone a liar. And for what? Because of our problem with China in the Spratly Islands? That is believing that the best cure for a headache is to shoot yourself in the head. and a post-Valentine story of sorts—I don’t know that Tuason has really done Enrile a world of favor by pinning down only Reyes with her testimony. The United States itself. like Jinggoy’s. for one thing. she suddenly became forgetful. Only a year and a half ago. Long after P-Noy is gone. True enough. So. however its own role in invading Iraq without UN sanction pulls the moral rug from under it. while condemning China’s belligerence. By all means let us bring America itself. whose authenticity he has always been of two minds about. As the VFA showed. seeing his comrades jailed for their pains and for his ambitions (he himself escaped the fate).