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Where Biases End

October 15, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Where Biases End
Ronald Roy  — October 15, 2008

       When one murders another at the height of a jealous rage, we can probably view the deed with mitigation or compassion.  The reason for this is our natural tendency to sympathize with anybody who takes the law in his own hands in vindication of his honor.  We tend to reassure ourselves he cannot be all that bad and probably even look forward to his fruitful rehabilitation during and after his encarceration.

       There are instances, however, where a murder is so unspeakably savage that we will only be appeased in our imaginary execution of the assailant by more unspeakably savage means.  And nothing less will satisfy us.  We are taught vengeance is not ours.  Sadly, however, vengeance is among the more despicably gratifying of human lusts.  Dirty Harry started it all, and now even Batman whacks ‘em dead.  But you don’t have to take the excessive Machiavellian way.  All you need is a very special kind of anger, an outrage more seething than avengement that should insure the triumph of justice but which, freakishly, appears wanting in the Claudio Teehankee Jr. release imbroglio.

       I am concerned neither with the word war between the Hultmans and the functionaries defending Teehankee’s release, nor with the breaches, if any, which were reportedly committed in the legal process prescribed for the release.  I am only concerned whether Teehankee should have been given his freedom in the first place.  Will this release allow him to live a productive life in society, completely cured or freed of all the mental and emotional bugs that brought him in the past to shoot up houses, attempt a bank robbery at one time – if necessary, I shall present the witness, then the bank’s foreign currency unit manager — and, totally unprovoked, shoot to death in cold blood the Hultman’s pleading 14-year-old daughter, Maureen, and her friend, and seriously wound another friend in his demented rampage?

       Today, the crime is as blood-curdling as when it happened close to 2 decades ago.  So, now I demand to know if the menace Teehankee was in the past has been quelled with his 17 years of confinement in Muntinlupa, if at all confinement without psychiatric treatment would suffice in this most dangerous sort of psychosis.  What makes anyone think he is now a harmless and stable person?  As culled from my memory of newspaper accounts, Teehankee was a loner often given to petrifying deprivations of reason.  Will a psychiatrist’s certification please be produced to assure all and sundry this man will not kill again?  Why is there not a law requiring automatic psychiatric treatment for disturbed minds like Teehankee’s?

       It hurts me in a personal way to inquire into Teehankee’s mental health.  His father, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, was a principal sponsor at my son’s wedding.  It was through my father, an associate of his in the Knights of Rizal, that we met.  I was once honored with an invitation to simple rites of the Knights of Rizal where I donated, in behalf of the family, the rare three volumes of Retana on the life of the national hero.  The Chief Justice was not only a brilliant jurist.  He was quite a wit who often made me laugh at the expense of our good friends Francis Garchitorena and Raul Goco.  His wife Pilaring was my late mother’s cousin, and I consider their children Gonza and Priscilla as warm friends.  Given the mysterious anomaly that Teehankee has disappeared into thin air, I can only say that my biases end where justice begins.

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       The vice of political patronage, more popularly known as the padrino system that has perverted much of Philippine politics, will soon be legislated out of our lives if Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s plans do not miscarry.  In particular, Sen. Santiago’s bill envisions the illegalization of the practice of recommending appointees in government.  I hope you succeed, Madam.  The practice is an insufferable cause of sub-standard public service, not to mention graft and corruption. 

       But expect some stiff opposition, Senator, in light of current ominous signs of Gloria’s perpetuation of executive power, such as through martial law or charter change.  After all, isn’t it true that the insatiable Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not settle for anything less than the power to make wealthy recommenders beholden to her? Why don’t you get her clearance first?

*                                *                              *

       As a political commentator, I normally do not deal with unverified information.  However, compelling reasons may change my mind as they occasionally do, as where a comment on the information becomes imperative to avert a possible national disaster.  Accordingly, I now bare the following text message sent to me by #4208 last Saturday: “The Palace is now thinking of ways to make the public accept Mikey Arroyo as Speaker of the Lower House.  They are prepared to pay 10 million pesos to each representative, in addition to the pork barrel.  God help our country!”

       As ever, only prayers can prevent such an evil scheme from taking root in the hearts and minds of our corrupt legislators.  A grant of these prayers is what one may call a miracle.  Hey, wait!  There is a heavenly reason for the miracle’s denial, and that is: to bury these avaricious solons in their own shame, courtesy of a revolutionary takeover! Hmm, why not?!

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              Gloria’s Congress will amend the Bible after they are done with the Constitution.  They intend to abolish hell before their terms expire here on earth. (Courtesy of Leslie Bocobo of Syerap Files).

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