No dearth of honorable men
Commenting on the arrest of former Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Gloria Arroyo, through her spokesman Ignacio Bunye, said “No one can make a mockery of the law… and get away with it.”
She should tell that to herself. She has been making a mockery of the law, beginning with her power grab in February 2001, to her cheating in the 2004 elections, to her EO 464 destroying the government’s check and balance mechanism; to her Calibrated Pre-emptive Response, to her Proclamation 1017 which was martial law in disguise. We are just mentioning a few because the list is long.
She also said Honasan’s arrest “brings to a close a broad conspiracy to destabilize the government and is a harbinger of growing political stability underlying steady economic growth.”
She is dreaming. She should have been there at Department of Justice during the preliminary investigation of 49 persons charged with rebellion last Monday.
In our conversation of some of the officers there, we sensed that months of detention have not extinguished the fire of idealism in them. None of them regretted having done what they did, which was to manifest their abhorrence to being used as cheating operators in an election as what happened in the 2004 election.
The gathering of those honorable men in one room was an inspiring sight. It was a reminder that there is no dearth of people who are willing to sacrifice for truth and justice in this country.
Those in the military and police officers in active service: Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda; Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim; Col. Ariel Querubin; Col. Orlando de Leon; Col. Januario Caringal; Lt. Col. Armando Bañez; Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon; Lt. Col. Achilles Segumalian; Lt. Col. Nestor Flordeliza; Lt. Col. Edmundo Malabanjot;
Maj. Jason Laureano Aquino; Maj. Jose Leomar Doctolero; Maj. Oriel Pangcog; Capt. James Sabahan; Capt. Danilo Langkit;
1Lt. Englebert Gay; 1Lt. Nathaniel Rabonza; 1Lt. Sonny Sarmiento; 1Lt. Lawrence San Juan; 1Lt. Patricio Bumidang; 2Lt. Aldrin Baldonado;
PNP Chief Supt. Marcelino Franco; SSupt. Supt. Benjamin Magalong.
Retired military and police officers:
Lt. Col. Reynaldo Cabautan; Navy Capt. Felix Turingan; Col. Jake Malajacan; Col. Rafael Galvez; Col. Mel Acosta; CSupt. Victor Batac;
Former Sen. Gregorio Honasan; Francisco Nemenzo; Renato Constantino Jr.; Rafael Pulido; Christopher Belmonte; Pastor Saycon; former Ambassador Roy Señeres; Pepe Araneta; Jaime Regalario; Michel Yangson;
Jess Fernandez; Allan Paje; Jay Malajacan; Mauie Constantino; Cristina Antonio; Bettina Balderama; Prudencio Calubid; Leo Velasco; Edelberto Silva; Tirso Alcantara.
Not all of the 49 were present last Monday but with so many lawyers and reporters in one room, State Prosecutor Dina Perez had a hard time maintaining order.
It was not without light moments. There was laughter when the name Prudencio “Dodong” Nemenzo was called and former UP President Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo stood up to denounce the “sloppy job” of those who are charging him with the crime rebellion.(Click here for his full statement.)
“They did such a sloppy job that they could not even get my name right. In the subpoena I am listed as ‘Prudencio Dodong Nemenzo.’ Everyone in UP knows my real name. A call to Diliman or a visit to UP Manila (the NBI’s next door neighbor) would have spared them from this embarrassing error,” Nemenzo said.
The government lawyers were at a loss to respond to Nemenzo’s complaint about his name. One of them asked me, “What’s his correct name?” I told him “Francisco Nemenzo.”
I added, “You merged UP and PUP.” His facial expression showed that he didn’t get it. So I explained, “The former president of PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) is Nemesio Prudente. He (as I pointed to Nemenzo) is Francisco Nemenzo, former president of UP, University of the Philippines.”
That’s when he understood their mistake. He tried to justify it by explaining to me, “We just take down the narration of the witness. That was probably the name that he mentioned so that was the one printed in the complaint. Like, if somebody identifies you as Nora Aunor…”
Immediately I reacted, “I don’t like Nora Aunor. But I would not mind being mistaken as Angelina Jolie.”
It was a fun morning.