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From puzzling to ridiculous

Today, Feb. 14, is doubly significant. It is both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. They have one thing in common—love.

Today is the season for lovers, who give presents to each other.

Ash Wednesday reminds us Catholics of the start of the Lenten Season. It is the season when Jesus died on the cross, and resurrected on Easter Sunday.

As for me, I always give my wife flowers, something I have always done since we got married. She always says it’s a waste of money, but I don’t think men should believe their wives or loved ones when they object.

***

Last week, I wrote about how tragic it is that Atio Castillo’s death from hazing has been diverted to another issue —that is, the call for the disbarment of UST Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina. By the way, I do not know him personally. Is this because his is a prominent name among those implicated in the case?

The Castillo family has been urged to take their grievances to the Vatican, because UST is a Catholic university. Is this a joke?

The idea was first proposed by Senator Migz Zubiri, and supported by the Castillos’ lawyer, Lorna Kapunan.

Will someone please provide sensible advice to Atio’s parents? They have suffered enough!

The move to disbar some of those who have been implicated was odd. Kapunan seems to be doing everything in her power to disbar Divina.

Still, the idea of going to the Vatican is gaining support. I am sure the Vatican can pressure the UST...but to what end?

Any distraction is a disservice to Castillo.

***

Now they are talking. According to Supreme Court Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Diosdado Peralta, the Judicial and Bar Council executive committed “grave injustice” for deeming Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno qualified for her post. Sereno did not submit all her yearly statement of assets, liabilities and net worth even if this was the requirement.

Santa Banana, she got special treatment from the JBC!

To think that the late Chief Justice Renato Corona was convicted and ousted when he failed to include his dollar account in his SALN.

I can agree with the observation that in effect, Sereno’s appointment by former President Aquino should be declared null and void. She became chief justice even though many other justices were more senior than she was—just because she was Aquino’s favorite.

The submission requirements are clear, and especially in Sereno’s case because she is the head of the judiciary.

Coming right down to it, Sereno committed a betrayal of public trust as provided for by the 1987 Constitution. No ifs, no buts.

If Corona was ousted, how can anybody justify what Sereno has done?

***

A friend asked me: What is the greater sin of former President Aquino to the people? Mamasapano, or Dengvaxia?

I thought for a while. Three years ago, I thought that the death of the SAF44 was so serious that Mr. Aquino should be charged with treason. He was, after all, commander in chief of the Armed Forces which could have saved the men.

But now with the Dengvaxia controversy, where hundreds of thousands of school children were given a vaccine that had not been certified, I believe that Aquino and his Secretaries Janette Garin and Florencio Abad should be charged with homicide and plunder.

In both cases, Mr. Aquino was responsible and culpable. He should answer to the Filipino people. There is no doubt about his culpability.

***

Charlie “Atong” Ang stated the obvious when he told the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement that the Small-Town Lottery operated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that operates similar to jueteng is doomed.

Why? The PCSO is controlled by well-known gambling lords nationwide. Ang told the Senate that the government was losing at least P4 billion a month to gambling lords. Atong also said he could guarantee the PCSO at least P60 billion if the agency took full control of STL operations.

No doubt, gambling lords are lording it over when it comes to the PCSO’s operations.

In Central Luzon alone, a well-known jueteng lord is also an STL operator.

What Ang was proposing, actually, was for him to operate the PCSO’s STL.

Yes, he can raise revenues. But at what price, and under what conditions?

***

In my column yesterday I asked whose fault it was that Boracay has degenerated to its current state.

I was told that while the local government has installed a drainage and sewage system to which establishment owners can connect, most of them do not.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, as well as the Department of Tourism, must do some damage control.

Topics: From puzzling to ridiculous

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