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Go For Broke

Go For Broke
Ronald Roy

Cecil is a sixty-year-old widow who has been an avid reader of my articles the past six years. She says she’s “torn between presidential candidates Erap Estrada and Gibo Teodoro,” and now seeks my counsel, stressing they’re both handsome but that Teodoro would have an edge in articulation. She said, “I have Gibo’s question-and-answer performance on tape, so I was able to measure his talking speed at an incredible clip of 25 words per 4 seconds. I’ve always been an Erap fan, but Gibo just makes me swoon like a bobby-soxer!”
Well, Cecil, perhaps Gibo has those exciting attributes apart from his A-1 academic credentials. However, you must set aside your school-girl impulses and seriously ask who between the two can be a better president. On the basis of his track record alone, Erap would be way ahead not only of Gibo but all other presidential contenders as well. Besides, some slow, deliberate speakers are known to have reached the pinnacles of their careers. Take the case of former Prime Minister Cesar Virata who up to now is among the most sought-after business and industrial chairmen and consultants. Also, don’t forget that the stuttering Benjamin Harrison became the 23rd President of the US (1889-1893). * * *
Texter 0220, I think I have found a provision that can best apply to your query. I find extraneous and ambiguous the clause “xx when the public safety requires it xx” appearing in Article 7, Sec. 18 of the Philippine Constitution, to wit: “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, (the president) may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law xx.”
Clearly, the provision is an annoying superfluity because it suggests that invasion or rebellion can exist without the public security being placed in jeopardy. The framers of the Constitution, perhaps in their desire to give the cited provision a holistic character, crafted a discordant clause that only creates confusion for interpreters, and revives the old distasteful joke that badly written laws are designed to insure work for lawmakers, magistrates and practitioners.

* * *
I know you’re reading this, Ibrahim (full name withheld). You’ve got me thinking real hard since we last met on November 25, or two days after the infamous carnage. Generally, I don’t trust Muslims. However, in your case you cannot be possibly pulling my leg because what you confided to me about caches of high-powered arms and munitions being buried around 200 meters away from Andal Ampatuan’s mansion, as well as four huge vaults inside just one room, were actually confirmed on their subsequent discovery by police and military units. And because you are a Muslim speaking to me, a Christian, on matters incriminating to your fellow Muslims, you could be telling the truth.
I am therefore disturbed by your texted revelation that “GMA and co., esp. Team Unity bets, gave money and guns to both Ampatuan and Jalosjos for Mindanao votes in 2007,” and that “Chavit, Angara, Magsaysay, Defensor, Zubiri, Joker and Oreta gave money to both Jalosjos and Ampatuan. C,M,A and Z gave guns to Amp and C gave 15 hi-powered long arms.” I am now divulging this matter for no other reason than to give truth a chance in an impartial investigation. I fully realize that all information from Ibrahim is hearsay, but a sense of civic duty compels me to bare these hearsay accounts for whatever they may be worth. * * *
Some distinctions between rebellion and murder must be noted, texter 8484. In the political offense of rebellion, the law deems the malefactors to be participants in an armed uprising against an unjust and perfidious government. In a way, the law therefore sees them as idealistic defenders of cherished freedoms the restoration of which they’re prepared to give their lives for, hence, the law’s imposition of the relatively lenient penalty of reclusion perpetua in its maximum period– notwithstanding the number and savagery of the criminal acts constituting the rebellion– as against the maximum penalty of death for the non-political crime of murder in its maximum period. Another executive concession to rebels is that they can apply for the state’s magnanimous grant of amnesty.
Incidentally, I do not think it was compassion of Gloria Arroyo’s cruel and stony heart, but discreet pressure from Washington or the Supreme Court, or both, that prodded her to lift martial law. And I don’t see her withdrawing the rebellion charges—an immoral gift she owes her cheating electoral confreres from Maguindanao. There is no turning back for her now, not where her survival is in the balance more critically than ever before. With arms folded, either we continue to act the fools she’s made of us, or go for broke. (Email: arnydolor@yahoo.com, cell # 09186449517, landline # (02)7106701)

Ms. Ninez Cacho-Olivarez
Publisher and editor-in-chief
Dear Ninez,
For your consideration, please.
Yours, Ronnie (Roy)

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