Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Aftermath

The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona brought about the reconciliation of the Basas and the Coronas.  Out of the 23 senators, twenty voted guilty, convicting and removing the Chief Justice out of office.  One might conclude that all's well that end well.  But neither the Supreme Court nor the former Chief Justice are over the hump.

Replacing Corona as Chief Justice is Maria Lourdes Sereno.  Her appointment by President Noynoy Aquino has raised some controversy.  She has been criticized in her first speech at the Supreme Court for invoking that it was God's will that made her Chief Justice. There are also concerns that she will not get the cooperation of the other Associate Justices as well as questions obout her psychological tests.

The former Chief Justice, on the other hand, is in more beating.  The BIR and the Department of Justice are filing tax evasion charges against Renato Corona, his daughter Carla and son-in-law Constantino.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out of the Woodwork

Coming out of the woodwork, Ana Basa and Sister Flory add to the woes of Chief Justice Renato Corona.  What has been a family squabble for three decades is turning into a sensational story that adds to serious misgivings on the character of the Chief Justice. 

Out  of the woodwork, Ana Basa talks about the family corporation Basa-Guidote Enerprises Inc. (BGEI) and how the Coronas deprived them of their participation in the company.  A follow thru by her Aunt, Sister Flory a ninety year old nun of the Franciscan order and now the darling of the press, roused staunch Corona sympathizer Mon Tulfo to withdraw his support of the beleaguered chief justice.

Questions have been asked by the Corona camp:   Why only now? 

Out of the woodwork is meant to criticize people who suddenly appear in public revealing their opinions when previously they did not make themselves known.  Does this hold with the family of Mrs. Corona coming out this late?  Perhaps the better idiom is “the cat is out of the bag.”

Or “throw in the towel?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Bankers and Corona

The Corona Impeachment Trial fever creeps on the population as bankers are summoned to testify to the court, much to the objections of the defense panel.  Opinions are divided.  

The prosecution has Conrado de Quiros rooting for the prosecution although he shows displeasure everytime his favored team commits a blunder.  Randy David takes on  the impeachment court and the court of public opinion and lately, young Patricia Evangelista's discourse on "the hero who waves from balconies and pumps his fist with the balloon-carrying crowds in the manner of a television evangelist."

A client wearing a "Corona SALN" shirt does business with this branch of the Bank of the Philippine Island.

On the side of Corona, Bel Cunanan tackles the prosecution with her blog Political Tidbits while Ninez Cacho Olivares seconds the motion of the Chief Justice for the president "to bare his psychological report for the public to be informed on his mental health."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In This Corner

"P'reng Mar, baka hindi natin kaya iyan.  Malaking mama pala at bata pa.  Akala ko mga justice ay matatanda na."

"Kaya mo iyan.  Apakan mo kaya sa paa gaya ng ginawa ni Marquez"

"Hindi ba bading iyun?"

"Hindi si Jose Midas, si Juan Manuel, yung kalaban ni Pacquiao."

"P'reng Mar, Batangueno iyan, delicado.  Baka maglabas ng balisong."

"Pambihira ka naman Noy.  E di gamitin mo rin yung brass knuckles na binigay ko sa iyo.  Gusto mo payari na lang natin sa mga bata natin."

"Baka hindi makisama ang mga iyun, lalo na yung Batangueno. Maasahan kaya natin?"

"Kung ayaw niyang upakan, e di pasensyahan tayo.  Marami pa namang maaasahan sa mga bata natin."

Monday, December 5, 2011


Perhaps we have not seen the last of this conflict; better than the Pacquiao-Mayweather Showdown, if that ever happens. 

This is a 10 round fight.  Each round is three minutes, when the bell rings, the round is over and both of you go to your corner for a one minute rest.  My job is to keep this fight fair - or as fair as we can.  

So, No hitting below the belt, no gouging, no head butting, no hair pulling, no biting.  When I say break, break clean and step back.  Now, shake hands and go back to your corners.  When the bell rings, come out of your corners and start fighting.  May the better man win.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pen Pen De Sarapen

Because little has been written regarding the etymology of Filipino nursery rhymes, let us, hypothesize about their origin.   Well known to Filipino children, “Pen pen de Sarapen” makes a good case study and many writers comment that the verses do not make much sense.  Perhaps so, for the present generation, but isn’t it possible the message it was trying to articulate has been lost in time?

Pen pen de sarapen
De cuchillo de almacen
Haw, haw de carabao batuten.

Ang saya kong pula tatlong pera
Ang saya kong puti tatlong salapi.
Sipit namimilipit
Ginto't pilak namumulaklak
Sa tabi ng dagat.

As a point of comparison, the English Nursery Rhyme “Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row”  is said to be an implication to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s only daughter, Mary Tudor nicknamed Bloody Mary, because in her desire to restore Catholic faith in England, some 275 martyrs who refused to denounce their protestant faith were burned at the stake. 

Silver bells and cockle shells were metaphors for instruments of torture.  The growing  garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards for those who suffered during her reign as Mary I, Queen of England. 

“Pen pen” like “Mary, Mary” does not make much sense to the present generation.  But unlike its English counterpart, there has been no speculations about its beginnings.  Isn’t it possible that the relevance of “Pen pen” has been lost in time?

Could the “cuchillo de almacen” be a referral to the “Almacen De Polvora” at San Juan del Monte?   On August 30, 1896, Andres Bonifacio captured San Juan’s powder magazine and water reservoir (which supplied Manila) while simultaneous attacks occurred in different places in Manila.  The next line could be some sort of ridicule to the American fascination with the carabao.
After revolting against Spain, the Filipino patriots were not happy to find “friend” America taking the place of their former colonizers.  It just might be that “Pen pen de sarapen” is really a call to arms, an ode to continue the struggle that began with the attack on the “Almacen de Polvora” at San Juan del Monte. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Old Swiss Inn

The President visited the Swiss Inn early this year.  "My parents used to bring me here," he said.  That must have been before martial law before Ninoy was arrested. The owner of the place then was Emil Landert, a Swiss national who made good in the Philippines.

President Benigno Aquino III poses with Swiss Inn staff Marlo and Jerome.