Lacking rectitude

Senator Manny Pacquiao has been called an ingrate for dumping his longtime trainor, Freddie Roach. They trained together for 16 years.

Worse, Pacquiao did not personally inform Roach of his decision.

We Filipinos are known to hold sacred what we call “utang na loob” or debt of gratitude.

Thus, it could be said that Pacquiao committed the greatest sin of all—ingratitude for the many years Roach trained him. He should have at least talked to his coach on why he was dumping him.

I can attest to how sad ingratitude can be. I was a victim of it many times over, when I helped relatives who all of a sudden now no longer remember me.

For example, I sought the help of then-President Fidel Ramos to have a distant relative appointed to the Supreme Court despite the fact that there were some unfavorable accusations hurled against him.

When the appointment came, my relative attributed it to a senator. When the justice retired, he did not even invite me to the occasion. That is gratitude for you!

I do not expect them to repay me in kind. The fact that helped others was good enough for me.


The camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno cavalierly claims that the Sereno case cannot compare with the impeachment case against the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was convicted by the Senate and ousted from his post for not including his dollar and peso accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, and for amassing ill-gotten wealth. The Sereno camp insists that she is not accused of graft and corruption.

But they get it wrong.

What Sereno is being accused of in the impeachment complaint at the House and the quo warranto proceedings at the Supreme Court is not her failure to file the correct SALN. It was the fact that while she was a professor at the UP College of Law, she failed to submit all her SALN!

As such, the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida said that she was not qualified to be appointed chief justice, and thus the Supreme Court must oust her since she is a usurper. The quo warranto case is totally different from the impeachment case since the former questions Sereno’s right to become chief justice in the first place.

Whether or not the Sereno and Corona cases are comparable is not the point. The point is whether or not Sereno committed betrayal of public trust, of the grounds of impeachment.

Sereno should be aware of the constitutional provision on the accountability of public officers. “A public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

The Constitution also says that “a public officer shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities and net worth.

However way you look at it, Sereno lacks the rectitude or moral integrity to become chief justice.


President Duterte described Boracay as a cesspool. If the secretaries of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, and Tourism really knew their jobs, they should also look at other tourist destinations—and other cesspools like the Pasig River and Manila Bay.

Alas, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo thinks they should only attend to Boracay. This shows how narrow-minded some government officials are.

My gulay, when San Miguel top honcho Ramon Ang suggested the building of a bridge that should connect Boracay to Aklan, it was an example of thinking out of the box. I wish Cabinet members could have that.


What makes GMA-7 different from the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN is not only ratings, even as the former outranks the latter in the latest Nielsen survey.

GMA-7 recently brought home medals and certificates from the New York festival’s “World’s Best TV and Films” competition.

I congratulate GMA-7 chairman and chief executive officer Felipe Gozon and his staff.


I cannot end this column without commiserating with the family of my good friend, veteran journalist Nestor Mata.

He was ahead of me at the Philippines Herald, but Nestor gave me tips on how to cover the president and the foreign affairs office.

He was the lone survivor of the Magsaysay plane crash. Good night, Nestor. May angels sing you to your rest!

Topics: Manny Pacquiao , Nestor Mata , Fidel Ramos , Ramon Ang , Jose Calida , Departments of Environment and Natural Resources , Maria Lourdes Sereno , Felipe Gozon
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