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Kiss of Death

Kiss Of Death

Ronald Roy

Jovy Balmori wishes to know what chances Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro would have if he pursued a presidential bid in next year’s elections. I see a No-El scenario, Jovy, as I expounded in last week’s article. But assuming elections did take place, Sec. Teodoro would need a miracle to win.

I have never concealed a bias for Gilby Teodoro, whose parents were for some time in the 70’s the gracious hosts of friendly Saturday poker sessions at their residence on Manga Ave, Q.C. The quorum consisted of six-year-old Gilby’s dad, super-honest SSS Administrator Gilbert Teodoro, Sr., Labor Secretary and SSS Chairman Adrian Cristobal, CIR judge Arsenio Martinez and Camarines Gov. Roy Padilla and myself. All these poker friends of mine are gone as you may well know.

On one occasion, I sat Gilby on my lap and started to wonder of Lady Luck had a role in giving me a winning hand whenever he touched my cards. We were all amused at the sight of the little boy reaching out to help scoop the chips into my rack after each coincidental win. But Bert was not at all amused by what he superstitiously sensed as “spooky”. After the doting father told his obedient son to bid everybody goodnight, take a shower and tuck himself in bed, I began to run a losing streak! Ha ha ha!

But how we shape the nation’s political life is no laughing matter, Jovy, and all candidates for public office are main participants in this shaping process. Defense Sec. Teodoro would be one such presidential aspirant whose electoral bid is dictated by hard cold facts, nothing else, staring him in the face with the message he will not win. Yes, his academic and professional credentials are “impeccable and exciting” in the words of Ed Ermita, but what did a recent survey say? Only 25% of Filipinos—not 70% which is the empirical measure for a winning chance—are aware of him.

The main reason for his weakness, it seems, is Gloria Arroyo’s kiss of death. Will someone pray tell me what else can an electoral blessing from the despised usurper be but a kiss of death? Yes, Defense Sec. Ramon Magsaysay dramatically ( literally with a .45 caliber in hand) quelled the raging Hukbalahap rebellion over five decades ago, and that’s how he got to be elected President of the Republic.

Today, our insurgency problems are such a threat to world peace that no less than Tony Blair and the European Union have expressed deep concern with the faltering peace process between Muslim separatists and Communist rebels on the one hand, and the Philippine government on the other. What can Sec. Teodoro do to help solve, for instance, the MILF-related conundrum?

The Abu Sayyaf are irrational savages, and some political gentry from Europe headed by Mr. Blair are here to show us how to negotiate with them? Huh?! We need foreigners to help us solve indigenous problems? I say: Perhaps crushing the decapitating brigands with bullets and mortar will win peace, which incidentally is the ultimate goal in any armed conflict. Yes, we go to war to win peace or, in a less euphemistic vein, kill the bad to save the good. Sad but true.

Gilby, you are a good man who craves peace for your country. But your time has not yet come, son.

* * *

The Philippine Star recently carried a story about how an outraged Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros raised her hackles over the derogatory reference to our country as a “nation of servants” made by an obscure columnist writing for a Hong Kong magazine. Ms. Hontiveros was at her shining best when she reminded journalist Chip Tsao that distaff is an honorable household enterprise all over the world, and that he also insulted his own mother when he mocked the dignity of domestic labor of Filipinas.

Tsao probably has a chip on the shoulder (pun not intended) that made him affront an entire nation in a way that has however made him a pariah among journalists outside the former British protectorate. And I will not be surprised if this bloke’s proclivity for defamation will bring him to celebrate a new notoriety as a feather to his cap. Well, that’s how it is with disturbed minds.

His apologetic publishers and editor should have avoided mitigating his felonious conduct when they defended his piece by calling it a satire. Huh?! What’s so satirical about “you are a nation of servants and we are your masters”, given the entire text of his column? That was a simple-worded declarative in the indicative mood born out of fair-skinned and chinky-eyed arrogance—a direct assault on our sensibilities.

But I wish to thank them for their unwitting reminder that Gloria Arroyo’s dismal governance continues to drive out school teachers and medical doctors to foreign places where they can earn a decent living as a domestic helpers and nurses. Ahh, even our poor migrants are blown the kiss of death whenever Gloria Arroyo bids them “Adieu and good luck, my heroes!”

(arnydolor@yahoo.com; Tel # 7106701, Cel # 09186449517)

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