Thursday, November 27, 2008

By Jesus!

A priest could not contain himself. In a letter, he sent me yesterday, right after he read the news online, Father Daniel said, “Why does (Pablo) Garcia compare our Lord Jesus Christ with the lying and cheating GMA? Nakakapangilabot na pati ang pangalan ng Diyos ay gamitin niya sa pagtanggol ng kabuktutan ng rehimeng Arroyo.”

“Could you please tell Garcia that he is already old, and he should not blaspheme and use the Holy Name of the Lord in his vain efforts to defend his crooked masters?”

I myself couldn’t comprehend why the octogenarian father of Gwen and Winston, the “king” regent of the Cebu political kingdom they have stolen from the Osmenas, had the effrontery to compare Christ with his president. (Wa ka kuyapi, Mano Pabling? Modagan pa gani si Winston para alcalde sa Cebu? Unsa na’y buhaton sa Senyor Santo Nino? Basin gaba-an mo, hala!) “Our Lord Jesus Christ lost in the survey and he was crucified and that’s how we’re going to judge (the) president?”, Garcia said adverting to how Pontius Pilate asked the mob to choose between Barabbas and The Christ.

But then, Father Daniel, do you recall what Garcia’s president said in a Time magazine interview, that “the Lord put me here”. Everyone shouted blasphemy too, but By Jesus, she’s still there! And Dureza, her press secretary has made a public incantation recently about staying “even beyond”. By Jesus!

I keep asking --- what sin has our race committed in the past that the Lord has deigned it worthy of such cruel and unusual punishment and inflicted this woman upon us? There she is, after being snubbed by the lame duck Dubya in the APEC leaders’ photo session in Lima, now sashaying in Colombia, the cocaine capital of the world, with Alvaro Uribe, Dubya’s fair-haired boy in Sud America. And poor esposo Mike is back home, taking care of her muchachos, los diputados en Congreso, and missed las bellas chicas de Bogota, que lastima!

* * *
Which brings me to how a friend of mine suspected the diarrhea drama in the skies above the Pacific as a Ludlumesque caper.

Here are his “facts”:

“In every presidential trip, whether foreign or local, there is always a doctor on board. In Erap’s case, it was the late Dr. Larry Jhocson. I don’t know what witch doctor accompanies the couple (tu eres muy salvaje, tu!), but certainly there is one. Surely that doctor knows the symptoms of diarrhea. Why even a comadrona would know that you don’t check the heart, you check the toilet.

“The chartered PAL plane (courtesy of Dr. Lucio or the taxpayers?) was four hours away from LAX (Los Angeles Airport) when the plane was ordered to land in Japan. (The plane landed in Osaka between 11 and midnight, Manila time, about seven hours after it left NAIA. PAL’s intrepid pilots fly Manila to California direct in 11 hours.) PAL executives say it took them two hours to backtrack to Osaka, whose Kansai airport is half-an-hour away from a hospital. Could not the doctor on board have kept a diarrhea patient stable enough for another two hours, and landed at LAX, thereby, not disrupting GMA’s flight schedule?”, my friend asked.

“Or was it a case of the presidential party being alerted by phone that someone among them was going to be picked up by FBI authorities upon landing at LAX, for money laundering activities? Remember that in the wake of Lehman, Merrill Lynch, AIG and so many other Wall Street corpses, the federal anti-money laundering task forces may have found the smoking gun documents about the financial capers of someone in the presidential party,” he suspects.

“That would have been a terrible embarrassment, and because no one else in the party aboard PAL Flight No. 001 was important enough to merit a reason to retreat and fly back except either the president or her husband, the latter had to feign illness.” (Talagang parang Robert Ludlum novel, salvaje tu eres.)

I asked, “would he do this for Rey David, or Vivian Yuchengco or Winston de Cebu, or whoever else have been rumoured to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongly-placed investments in those “noble” houses of finance?”

My friend shot back quickly through the net --- “But whose millions did they invest?”, and continues with his fantastic, imagined novelette: “How come his doctors, including Juliet Cervantes’ escort, Jose Ledesma, who is not a doctor, were ready to fly as soon as possible, and Ramon Ang was so quick on the draw in the wee hours with a San Miguel plane to fly the doctors, including Mike Arroyo’s yaya, Juris Soliman, to Japan? They took off at about 2 a.m., landed in Osaka at about 6 a.m., got Mike out of the hospital because he was in no danger at all, and could easily fly another four hours without any mortal danger. Why, they landed in Manila at about 2 or 3 pm the same day, which means that the fetching party just had three hours in Osaka, enough time to have breakfast with Mike, and bundle him off back to Kansai airport, right?”

“If he was really sick, why not a night more in Osaka for observation? Why the immediate flight home? Huwag mong sabihing nagtitipid sila. (Oo nga naman, pwede rin ngang nagpa-diagnose muna sa heh, heh, heh … Osaka Iridology Clinic.) And then, he continues, “pagpasok sa St. Luke’s, labas kaagad. Diarrhea lang daw.”

“Hindi ba parang komedya, moro-moro lang lahat?” And then he segues once more to his money-laundering hypothesis. Like I said, he read everything from Ludlum to Trevanian to Grisham to Sheldon during the martial law years and beyond.

* * *

Cha-cha-cha fears have been stoked, and the undying embers have become a prairie fire. The day Jocjoc’s lies were unmasked in the Senate by his regional directors at the DA, mismo, Harry Roque and Neri Colmenares were in Congress. Harry looked tenaciously at the administration’s apologists --- Defensor, Lagman, Garcia, and that guy Barzaga who defeated pobrecito Gilbert Remulla of Cavite, as they perorated for their beloved Dona.

Neri (no not Romy, but) Colmenares, who happens to be the uncle of the adorable Angel Locsin (eat your hearts out, guys), cool as a cucumber, feigning respect for the dolts he faced in Congress, brought out his surprise --- HR 550, a resolution authored by Dodo Mandanas, the celibate (still?) from Batangas and Opus Dei, which calls for the extension of terms of congressmen and local officials by one year, from 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2011. Mirabile et merveilleuse! And therefore, sub-rosa, the hold-over of La Gloria y su Noli, ha, ha, ha…un ano mas de mas!

Constitutional Amendments chair Victor Ortega, of La Union, de origenes Castellano como los Arroyos, flatly declared that “term extension is merely talks (sic), rumours, chismis”, but was red-faced when cool Colmenares read to him the Rules Committee referral of Dodo’s monkey wrench upon 2010. And some lady assistant showed him the documents attesting so, with Colmenares adding that initial deliberations on August 12 had already been done by Ortega’s committee.

“It’s already on the agenda. That means they can already vote on it, even today or perhaps tomorrow. This proves that all previous assurances that there are no proposals for term extension being considered were misleading”, Neri warned.

Like I said last Tuesday, “le chat is out of le sac”. The cat is out of the bag. Will it be a ferocious tiger, or would we be able to tame it to Siamese cat proportions? Would it roar, or would it mew?

* * *

Meanwhile, the AFP warns that per intelligence reports, terrorists might sow mayhem in the urban capitals of the country, Metro Manila especially. Now is that “intelligence” report from Romeo Prestoza’s ISAFP, or was it cleared with sober CSAFP Alexander Yano?

Is that laying the predicate for something, or is that legitimate warning? In this country where intelligence is often unintelligent, where the intelligence community is used for political rather than national security interests, one never knows.

Why did the NICA director General Garcia resign abruptly months before? Is it true that he told intimates when asked that “my responsibility is to keep GMA in office until her term expires in 2010, not beyond that”. Garcia is well respected, even if he has an in-law who is not.

Bueno, vamos a ver. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer. It is that season of our lives.