Sunday, February 24, 2008


Jun, some things you've said I believe, with no If's or But's. These mostly center around your abduction (I will not hew to gender-controlled definitions here).

Even before the Senate team unearthed that airport logbook showing the presence of men from the Presidential Security Group, I believed you.

The fact that your story was so fantastic and weird capped the deal.

There is something about this administration's mindset that brings many of their damage control efforts into the realm of the bizarre. That's not because it's particularly stupid, though it can be that, too. It's mostly that monstrous sense of entitlement that says we'll do it any which way because we can.

By the way, have you thanked Sen. Rodolfo Biazon?. Better than other self-serving, grandstanding, twittering opposition senators, he hammered away, using all the military insider knowledge he has, at the already ridiculous tale peddled by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It actually hurts to say ridiculous because Sonny Razon has been among the few cops I've admired unequivocally; it is hard not to sympathize with him, knowing he was merely dragged into the fray by other more unscrupulous members of Mrs. Arroyo's official and unofficial hatchet men. But that is Sonny's battle; if he likes his current reincarnation as a doormat -- and, increasingly as hatchet man -- he's welcome to all the dirt and slime that sticks to him.

Now, let's get to the harder parts. Do yourself and the nation a favor, Jun. Stop acting to the gallery. Stick to your core story. Do not, for the sake of a good tale, be tempted to censor the more inconvenient parts nor embellish an already riveting narrative with platitudes and coy remarks. The cause your purport to serve is too big, too serious to be cheapened by such antics.

For one thing, there was some intellectual dishonesty in heckling the fashion taste of your opponents in that Harapan episode. It's okay for you to wear camisa chino; it is not okay for you to imply that you are so poor you can't afford a barong tagalog. Everyone knows you racked up huge credit card bills in Hongkong; only the upper middle class and the rich enjoy that kind of credit limit. And you should have been more upfront about the shopping spree instead of waiting for a team of Reuters investigative reporters to confront you about it.

You should have also relayed the P500,000 cash gift from Undersecretary Manuel Gaite early on, when you faced him at the Senate hearing. I know lawyers and other political advisers sometimes pace things for dramatic effect but, Jun, you and I and the rest of the Filipinos who watch you are supposed to be ordinary folk so don't lead us in a song and dance. We have too much of that already from the pols, including the opposition solons that now cosset you.

Don't whine. Don't whine. Don't whine.

We know you face a mob, that's why we're behind you. Do not insult our intelligence by caterwauling about the obvious.

And please, please, enough already about Rizal.

If you are going to quote him, then tell us, too, how a lover of Rizal came to rationalize his position in the power structure where, as you note, kickbacks are as regular a phenomenon as the rising sun.

That said, I salute your courage. But if we are going to treat you with respect, show that you respect us, too.

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