THREE THINGS ARE choking me up these days: the Bautista teleserye, the Customs fiasco, and the lamentable flaccidity of Alan Peter Cayetano.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
I don’t give a hoot about the lurid details of the Tish-Andy controversy. A lot goes on in a marriage that can’t be or shouldn’t have to be explained to onlookers. Let’s leave them to it. Her charges of unexplained wealth must be proven and should certainly be answered by him. The courts will see to that. What really matters is why Tish exploded this right now and why so sensationally after 10 months of private wrangling.
It’s very strange that she would go to Digong Duterte with this. He’s hardly the avuncular type. They’re not particularly close (it’s said), nor is he the primary go-to guy in cases of official impropriety. There’s the Ombudsman for that, or the DOJ, or the NBI. I’m surprised Duterte actually had time for her. Goodness, he’s missed so many vital meetings, what on earth prompted him to take this one? Whoever the person “very close to the president“ who mediated it must be a VERY IMPORTANT PUPPY.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Bongbong Marcos’s electoral protest is not faring too well. Apparently, Junior isn’t keeping to the agreements reached at the July 11 preliminary conference. No shock there. It’s challenging to be specific when the alleged cheating is imagined. What’s trickier is Junior’s assertion that the automated election system was flawed. He insists on it. But this is the thing: if the entire system is flawed then even his legitimate votes are in question. He stands to lose even more than the little he had. How does one work around that? With great difficulty. It’s so much easier to discredit the COMELEC chairman and cast doubt on the entire 2016 elections, not so?
A HUGE MESS
We’ve cancelled our cable service because I find the congressional hearings better than Game of Thrones. I’m especially hooked on the latest bicameral inquiry into the Bureau of Customs failed shabu haul. What a bungling mess! Scads of shenanigans have been revealed and more haosiao is unearthed at each session. My vocabulary is also expanding. Now I know what tara is and that it costs P27k-34k per container of general merchandise. I also learned the alternative definition of the “3 o’clock habit,” but I still have to grasp what personera means. Maybe next hearing.
Particularly entertaining is the performance of BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. His responses are gems of chicanery. For instance, Faeldon explained his hiring of athletes as a way to bring the BOC closer to the public. He placed some of them in the Intelligence Group because they are “valuable assets” who can efficiently gather intel as they mingle among an unsuspecting public. But now that their cover is blown, “they are no longer useful.”
Director for Intelligence Neil Estrella, on the other hand, almost singlehandedly botched the shabu raid by ignoring established procedures on the search and seizure of illegal drugs. He failed to call in the PDEA, he failed to get a search warrant, he failed to secure the chain of custody of the discovered contraband. He can’t take sole credit for this, however, because his boss Faeldon ordered the controlled delivery of only 1 of the 5 crates of shabu against the PDEA’s recommendation, on the advice of his lawyer fiancée, who is neither a government official nor a customs employee nor had any business being there at all. Amid the revelations of the intense graft within the bureau, both Faeldon and Estrella have come under its shadow and are being investigated for incompetence and/or corruption.
Estrella and Import Assessment Services director Milo Maestrocampo have recently resigned out of delicadeza. Commendable. Many are waiting for Faeldon to do the same.
Last week, Alan Peter Cayetano missed a major moment when he defended China’s claims of ceasing reclamation in the West Philippine Sea. “The framing during the Aquino administration I respect is Philippines vs. China. The situation on the ground called for that. The situation now is we’re talking, we’re gaining ground in the South China Sea. Can you not reflect that in your statements so that you get more ground?” he said. It’s possible, perhaps, if China were known for its palabra de honor. It would even be a real option if China had no history of clandestine ops in the region. But we all know better.
Thank goodness ASEAN listened to Vietnam’s brave lone voice and cited China’s reclamation activities in its final communiqué. Because this was revealed just a few hours ago:
I once admired Cayetano, I admit. Back in the days when he was hounding Binay like a wolf on the hunt. But he has lost all credibility in my book. He blindly supports Duterte and endorses his bloody policies while thumping his Bible without scruple or qualm. I can’t imagine ever regaining respect for him. What a shaim.
This administration and its friends have a penchant for gaslighting us. Daily we are subjected to alternative realities rendered by creative imaginations that mislead, not enlighten. They bend rules and take shortcuts that we would have howled at in another day and age. Today a few shout, some whimper, and most do nothing at all. The official line is “change,” the brainwashed cheer “yes yes yo!”, while the timid whisper: “don’t rock the boat.” Unbelievable. As for me, my only response to all that is a disgusted “Oh c’mon.”
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.