Home > Ronald Roy > Crime does not pay, Gloria

Crime does not pay, Gloria

 Crime does not pay, Gloria
Ronald Roy  — August 19, 2008

       A friend of mine for four decades, Pete Arce, 69, grew up in Manila with a solid background in Catholic schools.  After college, he worked his father’s farm in Northern Cotabato for 19 years, and came back toManila five years ago with a mastery of the Muslim language, facial expressions, mannerisms and all.  Outwardly, he could pass for a clandestine DVD dealer in the Greenhills area or a regular worshipper in the Quiapo mosque.  Friday last week, Pete and I went to a Quiapo coffee shop he had once chosen for an afternoon snack.  “Muslims go there, Ron, so I think I can get you an interview there.”

       The coffee shop was nondescript, but surprisingly almost full.  It didn’t take longer than 5 minutes after we placed our order for coffee and donuts when Pete, introducing himself as Josef Sahid, asked a man at an adjoining table to join us.  Carrying his cup, the fiftyish Muslim congenially extended his hand for the handshakes. Looking at me as he pulled a chair, the man said as he looked at my tape recorder on the table, “My name is Yumul Jaafad.  Thank you for asking me for an interview.  You may turn it on now.” I did. “And you are…“Ronald Roy, Mr. Jaafad.”  “Oh, you are the Tribune journalist who does not like us, right?”

       “As a rule, I do not dislike Muslims.  In fact, I have numerous Muslim friends.  I just am not comfortable with those of the extremist or fundamentalist sort.  Boy, can they scare the s _ _t of me at times.”  My obvious bravado made all three of us break out in unsuppressed laughter.  Pete said, “I trust this dialogue will be one of common interest, fruitful and positive, eh, Yumul?”  “Yes, if you remove distrust from your hearts. Muslims have to be trusted because they are not bad people.  We only want to get back what is ours.  Our quest for justice gives us the will to fight, and even kill for it.  This is a contest between strength and weakness.  Josef, you are not a Muslim but a weak man like all Christians are.  Well, Ronald, you too are weak.  By your own words, we scare the s_ _ t out of you, no? It is this very fear that is your weakness.”

       Jaafad continued, “Your President and her government are corrupt.  This is moral weakness which alienate the people.  So, what do Gloria and her ilk do?  They accelerate their fascist methods which anger the people more.  But the people in turn have themselves become weak.  They are now chaotic and wallowing in greed!  Leaderless!  Your priests should lead, but they too are greedy,  greedy since the friars set foot in Cebu centuries ago.  Do you expect them to change with Gloria keeping them in her secret payroll?”

       “And you have a new-found moralist in Jun Lozada, who says its alright to be greedy for as long as you moderate the greed. CBCP President Angel Lagdameo has announced his stand against the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity .  But wait til Gloria’s money gets to work.  Legislators are bribable.  Local Government politicos are bribable.  The Military and Police are bribable.  Magistrates, as the Court of Appeals fiasco indicates, are bribable.

       “Where oh where will you get your strength?  Alright, we kill.  But when we do, we do so in the name of Allah who immediately rewards us in heaven.  We kill those who do not believe in him.  Christians don’t kill for their God.  That’s the difference! They’d rather be munched like burgers in the mouths of voracious lions, while singing at that!  What stupidity!  What weakness!”

       Finally, I cut in: “You’re dead wrong, sir! When we were fed to the lions, we happily accepted our fate with an extraordinary courage that only our Faith could ignite. But I don’t suppose you’ll ever understand that, Mr. Jaafad.  You are the perfect reason why Muslims like you will never get along with the rest of the world, let alone Christians.  You see, it’s a war between good and evil, not strength and weakness. We did have warrior-Popes in the past who waged war to defend the Faith.  The (Christian) Crusaders, for instance, led by King Richard the Lion-hearted, valiantly repulsed the (Muslim) Saracen, losing countless lives in the process.  So tell your people not to mess with us.”

       He then started to resume his monologue, but I ignored him.  I turned off the recorder and, together with Pete, walked out as Jaafad said, holding up a greenback: “Hey, I’ll take the tab.”  I paused, turned around and retorted: “Thanks, but our sovereignty is not for sale, not for all the greenbacks in the world!” Before reaching the car, I asked Pete how Jaafad found him out as a non-Muslim. “Oh, at one point I think he heard me mumble, ‘Jesus Christ!’”

*                                   *                                   *

       The war escalated throughout last weekend.  At 10:30 pm last Sunday, #4587 texted me: “From Sr. Isa from Assumption, Srs. we just got a call from Sr. Mary Cecilia that MILF has started bombing Iligan, hitting two pension  houses and killing their occupants.  Pray for them and our Sisters in Kauswagan, an  hour away from Iligan. Please pass!”

*                                   *                                   *

       #5009 – “Mr. Roy, admit for once the President is doing the right thing for ordering the arrest and prosecution of all those errant MILF renegades who broke the Ceasefire Agreement!”  Oh, I have no quarrel with that.  Ultimately however, she’ll have to realize she must take the blame for all this mess inMindanao!  Ultimately she’ll have to openly admit Erap did the right thing when he crushed them, and she did the wrong thing by rehabilitating them! Ultimately, she’ll have to admit she ridiculed Erap to make him look bad and thus, justify her unconstitutional grab of the Presidency.  Ultimately she must realize her upset stomach, with more to come, was caused by all the angst and guilt feelings over all the arson, murder and looting that have broken loose inMindanao!  Ultimately, she must realize that crime does not pay!

*                                   *                                   *

       From #4785: “Mr. Roy, did you notice how Tessie Oreta and siblings Lupita and Paul buttered up to the tyrant at the NAIA 3 during the unveiling of Ninoy’s bust? Wasn’t it nauseating?!” Nauseating, yes, because they could have waited for a legitimate president to honor their brother.  Were they sure Ninoy didn’t turn in his grave?


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