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The War Between Two Devouring Crocodiles

The War Between Two Devouring Crocodiles
Ronald Roy  – May 14, 2008 

Here are excerpts from a recent chat. “I’m one of your avid readers, sir, but I’d like to suggest you be nice to GMA once in a while.  But I admire your candor and laugh at your jokes.”  “But, Gladys, how can I be nice to someone who’s not nice? Anyway, thanks for being a reader and for these Otaps from Cebu.”  “Otaps are Gloria’s favorite biscuits, sir.” “No wonder she waddles like a duck.”  “Huh?” “Well, for your information, shortening is an ingredient of these biscuits, and Otap reads PATO in reverse.  Hey, I gotta go, Gladys! Pleased to have met you. Happy Mother’s Day!”

*                                   *                                   *

Now, for some unfinished business. My comment last week on Missuari’s bail bond raised the hackles of a number of presumably Muslim texters, who denounced me as a warmonger ignorant of the Koran.  I was also told I was courting decapitation, which I was advised to avoid with an apologetic retraction of anti-Muslim barbs.  Well, I am not doing anything of the sort because I hurled no barbs. Instead, with the following story, I will attempt at further enlightenment.

Mary Jane (MJ) de Santos (not her real name), single, 28 and a devout Catholic, was the happy owner of a furniture store that thrived in the outskirts of Zamboanga City.  Her business was located in her two-storey residence where she lived with two orphaned cousins, Dexter, 17, and his sister Sybil, 14, whom she had committed to care for and see through school.  Business was brisk the last quarter of 1973, and now was the following February when MJ was expecting a hefty payment of over P170,000 representing finished products already delivered to a Muslim group.  But the buyers simply said they would pay whenever they could.  Her patience having run out, MJ pursued legal remedies three months later.  This was when her world crumbled.

In the last week of May, 1974, over six fully-armed masked men barged into her house, ransacked her cabinets for cash and valuables, gang-raped her and Sybil (Dexter was in Laguna at the time), and totally wrecked the family altar consisting of a Holy Bible, a two-foot crucifix studded with semi-precious stones, candelabras and other religious items.  It was the men’s audible invectives accompanying the physical violence they heaped upon the Catholic sacramentals that identified the marauders as Muslim fundamentalists.

Dexter, now a dentist and Sybil, a nurse, are both gainfully employed. Mary Jane, a baptismal godchild of mine, is now 52.  She has chosen to live the reclusive life of a religious within the restrictive confines of a convent somewhere in the Calabarzon area, where she is able to receive the graces she needs to discharge charitable chores and to forgive those who had wronged her and her cousin, and had desecrated their altar.

Now, if you Muslim texters who have threatened me have any ounce of decency left in your veins, please come so I can show you a cartographic sketch of one of the rapist-desecrators who bears a black mole shaped like a thumb print located on the right side of his adam’s apple.  This s.o.b. is lucky because Sister Mary Jane has long forgiven him and his cohorts.  Hopefully, somehow, karma will catch up with them.

I did not say last week what everybody already knows.  In the Muslim faith, infidels are those who do not believe in Allah, and the Muslim prophet Mohammed commands the slaying of infidels as their passport to heaven. Can we, Christians and other non-Muslims, then be blamed for thinking Mohammed was a madman, nay, a terrorist in his time?  Incidentally, if anything happens to me, over twenty-six photos of the cartographic sketch will be disseminated to the authorities. Besides, I’m keeping six cellphone numbers of those who have harassed me.  Oh, for all the wonderful things I’ve heard about Allah, I do respect him.  He’s pretty much like the Christians’ Jehovah.  In fact, they could be one and the same Creator of the Universe – for all we know.

*                                   *                                   *

Well, #9008, there’s nothing much I can say about an alleged provocation initiated by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago when she reportedly said, “Meralco should be bombed for being an infamous haven of thieves!” If Santiago did make such a statement, I would tend to believe Christian Monsod’s reported reaction that he was in no position to take her seriously because he could not remember her carrying out any of the mind-blowing threats she had made in the past. But levity aside, my familiarity with these two personalities makes it easy to conjure a repartee, as follows. Santiago: “Christian, this is no joking matter! Just to underscore the seriousness of the situation, I am prepared to blow my brains out before your very eyes!” Monsod: “Miriam, be my guest!”

*                                   *                                   *

“Before 2010, the power industry will definitely be under the complete control of the Macapagal-Arroyo family.”  This was the text of #7171, someone who, based on numerous texts over the past months, appears to know me personally and to be knowledgeable about political events predating even the Marcos years.  Once a high-ranking internal revenue official who could be in his 80s now, he appears to have an objective and clear grasp of past and current events.  But the issue he raises is not outwardly the raging principal issue here, subordinate as it is to the popular demand for the immediate lowering of power rates. Inwardly, it is to both greedy combatants.

We note GMA has surely studied her options in light of this clamor.  If she somehow manages to cause either the removal of the 12% e-vat from our Meralco billings, or a dramatic and substantial reduction of these oppressively crippling electricity charges, she MAY just become – in her mind, at least — an instant heroine, perhaps even an instantly forgiven cheat, liar and thief.  This could happen in light of the people’s outrage and desperate need for instant relief. Under these circumstances, she surely reckons who would care if her family got to own and control Meralco and its allied business opportunities?  Wouldn’t she have everything to gain and nothing to lose in this takeover attempt?

For, nobody can prove unlawful acquisition of Meralco stocks anyway.  They couldn’t prove it in the time of Marcos; neither in the time of Cory, nor in the time of any other president for that matter, persistent rumors notwithstanding.  Just think: the exogenous price of US$150 per barrel of crude oil will be hitting us in a few more months!  But more to the point – and here’s the catch – if Gloria does as herein hypothesized, foreign lenders will turn away when she knocks on their doors! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, eh, Gloria?!  At the end of the day, you still might not be forgiven all your crimes! Your call, runt!

*                                   *                                   *

I sent out a query to 18 readers, thus: “Who do you think will win the war between Meralco and Gloria, considering that she’s fighting for the rights of power consumers?”  Their bottom line reply was that it’s a no-win scenario between two devouring crocodiles.  I have heard and read Meralco’s glib arguments couched in their usual technical argot.

But with what I know of the law and corporate practices, their arguments are, on closer scrutiny, specious and gratuitous, especially if appreciated within a MORAL framework where average consumers cannot see that in a humungous public utility, a tiny fraction of one percent is a million pesos, and where they feel they should not be coerced to pay that fraction which came about through no fault of theirs.  At the same time, it is within this same MORAL framework where all of us must be reminded that now fighting for our rights is the same runt who has ruled us with arbitrary injustice, unbridled greed and inveterate dishonesty. Yes, both sides are insufferable predators whose days are numbered by a righteous Jehovah.


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