Home > Ronald Roy > Outsmarted And Pummeled, But Unbowed

Outsmarted And Pummeled, But Unbowed

Outsmarted And Pummeled, But Unbowed
Ronald Roy  -May 06, 2008

       It’s extremely annoying that the general public including tri-media are not unanimous on what the official nomenclature of a bill is, a much-talked-about one, at that.  Is it called the Cheap Medicine Bill, the Cheap Medicines Bill, the Cheaper Medicine Bill, or the Cheaper Medicines Bill?  Should the word “medicine” be in the plural form or not? In criminal law, the Dead Man’s Act could have been named the Dead Men’s Act, but U.S. legislative records show the brief debate on how to call the intended statute ended with the consensus that it didn’t matter either way. So, by the same token, whether it’s medicine or medicines is a non-issue.

       However, the choice between the words “cheap” and “cheaper”, having to do as it does with the rationale of the bill, assumes a significance far greater than one thinks since it puts to sharp focus the enterprise of legislation, namely, the crafting of laws with WORDS.  And it is here where we can measure the quality of our lawmakers. I recently told two administration solons that “cheaper” seemed inappropriate because it presupposes the falsehood that we’ve always had cheap medicines in the country.  Looking embarrassed, they said it really didn’t matter because the poor would greatly benefit from it either way.

       Then the bimbos suddenly changed the subject, but not after I got them to virtually admit a billion bucks had flowed like honey from multinational pharmaceutical firms, a fact that protracted the legislative process to three very long years, and that the removal of the regulatory board was a very dubious feature that only gave unwarranted power to the President to fix the pricing levels acceptable to poor families.  Hey thieves, how much did you guys each make?!  Apart from that, with your kind of lingual deficiency for making laws, aren’t you guys already a little overpaid in pork barrel, cash inside Palace paper bags and other perks? 

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       You’re asking what I can say about Nur Missuari’s being out on bail?  #0108, Missuari’s grant of bail is the runt’s strategic way of biding time ‘til the next leader solves the pesky Mindanao problems after she steps down in 2010. This fellow slew hundreds of Christian civilians and soldiers in 1974 and 2001, in a rebellion to dismember the state by establishing an independent Bangsa Moro Republic. Rebellion is a non-bailable offense, but she granted him bail in what could yet be a miscalculation of her survival agenda. Missuari’s subversive mania, since even before the Marcos years, has seized the troubled psyches of a growing number of Muslims.

       And what is abominable is their proclivity for kidnapping for ransom, pillaging, raping and beheading, with Christians always being their chosen victims, in a regime of terror waged in the name of a hateful Mohammed, as opposed to the peaceful ways of a loving Christ.  But I hasten to say, for the record, that I have numerous Muslim friends who are more decent than some Christians I know. 

       Perhaps the most naïve attitude is to accept that it would be next to impossible to forge a peaceful modus vivendi within the foreseeable future, not between two repugnant socio-political cultures, with clashing religions to boot.  And we can also learn a little from the wounds inflicted by internecine distrust between Ireland and England – a paradox of sorts considering that the warring sides worship the same deity.  If it has not worked for them, why should it work for us with a grant of bail to Missuari?

       But then it is argued that this fellow is on a peace mission, that even if he has slain hundreds of Christians, he has repented by saying he was sorry, and he is now a law-abiding citizen because when he ran for Governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and won, he took his oath of office to defend the Constitution. My reaction to that is: let us then free all imprisoned criminals provided they do similar things.  Besides, what about the Magdalo and other soldiers who still languish in their detention cells, who also took an oath to defend the same Constitution, the Filipino people and the Republic against dismemberment, and have not taken a single innocent human life? Don’t look far, because here is the answer: these valorous soldiers have dared to ask the runt to resign.  THAT, #0108, is what their commander-in-chief considers unforgivable.

       How do you think I feel about the fact that Missuari has been living in a posh private house right here in my own neighborhood in New Manila, Quezon City, surrounded by armed supporters?  How do you think I feel when I sometimes see them on motorcycles riding in tandem, helmeted and masked?  How do you think I feel when one of my maids almost lost her life fighting for her cellphone outside my outer gate with a piercing scream that caused one such tandem to panic and to scoot off into the night?

       How do you think I feel when, in a neighborhood restaurant where I often breakfast, I occasionally see them at adjoining tables staring me down while softly mumbling, “media, media”, as if in a threatening tone behind deep-set eyes and thick beards?  You ask what I can propose.  Well, this guy should be labeled as public enemy number one and treated as such, and this will make 85 million Filipinos happy.  And I think we should not cower in fear even if he is supported by all the Muslims in the world.  This only Christian country in Asia is all we’ve got.

       Let’s not forget that Missuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is the grandmother organization that gave birth to the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which, in turn, became the mother of the family’s monstrous baby called Abu Sayyaf.  Finally, we should always remember that the Muslim-Christian conundrum abated when then President Estrada ordered the demolition of the MILF military camp of Abubakkar, the construction of which ARMM Gov. Nur Missuari financed with close to 2 billion pesos worth of Christian taxpayers money, courtesy of then President Ramos. This is the camp the runt urged the MILF to rehabilitate after she unconstitutionally booted out Estrada and called him a war freak.

       Only last Friday, countless civilians fled their houses after MILF guerillas took over their village in Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato and declared it their new rebel camp.  This they did in blatant disregard to an existing ceasefire agreement with government. How do I feel about all this?  Like a Christian short-changed and outsmarted by non-Christians in my own country.

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       The indefatigable opposition senator, Ping Lacson, minced no words when he asked how much Malacañang or Mrs. Arroyo was paid by bribers to approve the construction by the South Korean Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. (Hanjin) of a shipyard in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao.  Supposedly, Tagaloan Mayor Paulin Emano was offered P400 million worth of supply contracts and/or cash in exchange for an environmental permit.  The offer was reported by Emano to the President who, however, unexpectedly berated him for rocking the boat.  Do I believe Emano’s account?  Absolutely.  I’d be a fool to ignore persistent déjà vu of the anomalous ZTE deal — something which is more like a modus operandi than a psychic phenomenon that makes me feel like a flyweight helplessly pummeled by a heavyweight.

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       The smoldering showdown between the Government Service Insurance System and Meralco for once makes the runt stand tall when she ordered, albeit belatedly, a lowering of electricity rates.  She is opposed by Joker Arroyo, Christian Monsod and other Coristas who find themselves thrust onto a battlefield without steeds, shields and swords.  Comes now Juan Ponce-Enrile in an unfamiliar shining armor atop a white horse, promising that a scuttling or overhaul of the  EPIRA Law will bring new hope. It’s difficult to predict how the smoke will clear here, but let me say JPE gives me reason to feel unbowed.

 

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