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Senate inquiries in aid of legislation

Senate inquiries in aid of legislation
Ronald Roy  -March 12, 2008

       #9366 texted me: “Mr. Roy, I am Irene Cortes, a lawyer. Isn’t it clear that the senate majority are wasting the people’s money conducting hearings in aid of grandstanding…blah…blah…?” No. What is clear to me and close to 92% of Filipinos is that these dogged senate inquiries are in aid of legislation. Legislation is the principal function of lawmakers, and their power to investigate is a constitutional prerogative ancillary to that principal function.  I agree with you that your “beloved president” cannot be indicted for treason because there exists no war between the Philippines and a foreign country.  But I think the evil bitch can be held accountable for a kind of “economic treason”, a far more reprehensible and heinous act of treachery to the nation that she pretends to serve.  And this is why I believe a senate investigation into the Spratlys’ imbroglio – the case which you specifically cite – should take a second look at treason, as defined under Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3015, as amended).

       Just look at this way, #9366: If a lowly Filipino balut vendor can be sent to the gallows, or to the slammer for life, for the crime of treason, shouldn’t the country’s chief executive, no less, be held for the harshest fate, if found to have committed an act similar to that committed by the balut vendor?  Don’t you think our failure to legislate a more heinous kind of treason all this time is the result of our failure to foresee that, one day, a despotic evil bitch would come along to rule us without a mandate?

*                                   *                                   *

       Ten days ago, #0219 rang me up to find out if I, like other Catholics, pray to some saints for intercession.  The gist of her discourse was that Catholics waste their time listening to evil spirits disguise themselves as saints we seek intercession from because, in the first place, “they are too dead to hear you, and even Mary is too dead to hear you, Mr. Roy. I was once a devout Catholic, praying daily the rosary with my husband, but two years ago the big C claimed him shortly after my two soldier-sons were killed by enemy fire in Sulu.  Where was Mary when I needed her most?  Well, let me tell you that Mary lies six feet under the ground, so dead she cannot hear anyone!”  Which takes us now to a little story. 

       It was a humid Thursday before Palm Sunday, when I experienced something most unusual.  I was very tired as I drove home after a hard day’s work at the Jose J. Roy and Associates Law Offices on Roxas Blvd.  My family was then vacationing abroad, so there would only be a German Shepherd  and two maids to greet me at my bungalow in Greenhills East Subdivision. I waved at Mike Arroyo’s first cousin, Tonichi Tuason, my next-door neighbor who was then practicing short pitches with his wedge in his grassy yard.  Waving back, he replied, “Don’t forget tonight at 8, our stag with the birthday boy!” If memory serves, I think the celebrant was Mario Benitez, whose wife Nenuca was then abroad.  Anyway, I entered my house followed by Linda, one of the maids, who pushed my bedroom door wide enough for me to pass. I froze on the threshold, seized by the unmistakable fragrance of roses that filled the air.

       We quizzically stared at each other. No, roses had not been delivered, according to Linda.  I shut the door and walked the full length of the hallway, checked the den, the study and the three other bedrooms and bathrooms, and found no trace of the scent.  Why, yes! My window jalousies were open, so that’s how the aroma of Tonichi’s roses must have been drifted by gentle breezes into my room!  I walked halfway ‘round the house and stopped outside my window which was 2 ½ meters away from the low fence that separated our bungalows.  I leaned over it and started asking. Tonichi answered, “Roses? You must be kidding. You know how (my wife) Betsy and I hate roses!”  I turned around and walked toward my window, the fragrance becoming more pronounced until my nose touched the grille.

       I then headed straight to my bathroom for a quick cold shower, still wondering about the mystifying aroma.  When I stepped out into the dressing area donned in a bathrobe, I noticed Linda had already turned on the aircon and left standing beside my waterbed a tray carrying a bucket full of ice. I also noticed a familiar-looking brown pamphlet she must have placed over my pillow before stepping out.  I was about to open my bedroom fridge for a pale pilsen when the cover of the pamphlet this time caught my undivided attention.  It displayed a portrait of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

       “Oh my God, St. Therese, I am so sorry!”  I had become lax as an office manager.  I had forgotten to do the little things that the Lord finds most pleasing among workers, be they garbage collectors or presidents!  I then slowly dropped to my knees, and prayed her novena consisting of twenty-four Glory be’s, which took ten minutes of ecstasy, that state of being that no words can  describe.  At the termination of the novena, St. Therese’s rose fragrance had completely disappeared.  Let’s now go back in time.

       In October of the previous year, my sister-in-law Angie Suarez-Roy gifted me that pamphlet.  She purposely chose October because that is the feast month of the saint which, coincidentally, is my birth month.  Angie told me, “St. Therese urges all to perfect their lives by doing little things well.  She also promises to answer anyone who comes for help, by showing a sign in the form of a rose scent, a shower of roses or petals, and the like.  It’s all in this pamphlet, Ron.  I know it will bring people closer to perfection.”  Closer-to-perfection-through-little-things was the line that would occasionally ring in my ears through the ensuing years.  It then made me wonder when Angie would herself become a fortunate grantee of Jesus’ favor through St. Therese’s intercession.  Then came Angie’s turn on October 1, 2002, the saint’s feast day.

       We arrived at the Carmelite Convent on Gilmore, Quezon City a bit too late. St. Therese was a Carmelite, and it was in this particular convent where she had once  been witnessed sweeping the grounds with a broomstick.  Having missed another special mass celebrating her feast day, Angie, visibly dejected, asked me to drive to Mega Mall where we caught the regular 6 pm mass.  After the mass, we headed toward the escalator which would take us down to where my car was parked.  When we reached the escalator, she suddenly stopped and, misty-eyed, muttered, “Sayang naman.  If only I had known that nobody would remember bringing roses to the chapel, I would have done so myself.”  No sooner had she said this than she grabbed my right arm, exclaiming, “Ron, I smell roses, don’t you?!” 

       I looked around, but, inexplicably, there was not a single soul within six meters of us.  “No, I don’t.” “Maybe she’s wrapped around me.”  Angie was flushed, and her eyes were transfixed.  Was she imagining things?  When I got to within five inches of her hair, shoulder and back, yes, I savored the familiar sweet fragrance of roses.  I whispered to her, “St. Therese is all over you,” to which she replied, “Yes, I think St. Therese is embracing me. She’s gratefully telling me not to worry about the roses I didn’t bring, and she is also reassuring me of her love.”

       So, there’s my story, #0219. I’ve had two encounters with the spirit of a saint, first as a principal party, then as a witness. If you don’t believe me, that’s okay.  If you believe that we Catholics foolishly deal with demons masquerading as saints, again that’s okay.  Just answer this one: Don’t you think these demons are doing a great job bringing us closer to Jesus?  I rest my case.


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