A bumper crop
of plunder cases
The parents of the little boy who was made to perform a “macho dance” that earned a lot of indignation from viewers, turned the tables on the psychologist who denounced the show, and are filing child abuse charges against her. Now, the family had reportedly been eager to have their child do the act even if he was crying as he did it, because they received P10,000 for it. Now they are accusing Dr. Lourdes Carandang and have a lawyer handling the case. Who is paying the lawyer’s fees? I give you one guess.
The incident of the boy’s performance at the show of Willie Revillame had aroused so much negative reactions from viewers as well as public officials that Revillame had to suspend his program. As it is, however, it is obvious that some professional hands, experts at damage control, are working on cleansing his image and trying to get him back on television again soon. Maybe the boy’s parents will also charge Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, and all those columnists who have written criticisms about the incident? For sure the P10,000 Willie gave them will not even be enough for one court session when the trial comes up. So who is paying, again?
Meanwhile, women should be proud of two female officials who have topped the survey of cabinet members held recently. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Social Welfare secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman were the topnotchers and, indeed, the two are not only highly visible, but are also very committed to their work. Let us not forget that Ms. Soliman is from Negros Occidental, and we can talk with her in Ilonggo, even if she shifts to Tagalog terms now and then.
Plunder here and plunder there. Everywhere you turn, you hear about officials or officers charged with plunder. The crime involves the theft or malversation of at least P50 million, and several are now facing such charges in the top hierarchy of the military, especially the retired ones, and in the executive branch, starting with the former president. Another former president, Joseph “Erap” Estrada, knows how it is to be charged with the crime – he got convicted and jailed, but is now free after being pardoned. Asked what he thought about the same charges being faced by the one who caused his ouster from office, Erap replied that he has forgiven those who wronged him, but added, “Hindi natutulog ang Diyos (God is not sleeping)”. He also stressed that the fact that he almost made it in the last presidential election shows that the Filipino people still believe in him. Erap really sounds now like a man at peace.
It is not so for his successor, Gloria Arroyo, who, only the other day was formally charged by former Solicitor General Frank Chavez with a plunder case involving some P550 million. But the lady seems unperturbed, we see her on TV smiling prettily with her new hairdo and slimmer figure, and waving at everybody. Malicious minds would think she is that confident because the Ombudsman and almost all of the Justices are her appointees. But here come Senator Ping Lacson, declaring that he has scads of plunderous evidences against her locked in his “baul (trunk),” that he will bring out in the next session.
It is always so inspiring to attend parties honoring people who have attained the ripe age of 90 because we see how clean and healthful living can preserve them. Of course some do take care of their health but God has other plans for them and calls them at earlier ages. Last Tuesday, it was Cleto Marcelino Cang Uy whose family celebrated his 90th year. But on Holy Wednesday, we also attended a luncheon party in Talisay for former teacher Josie Tumbagahan, nee Gonzales. Josie, who is still unbelievably spry and good-looking, bloomed as her former co-teachers and educators gathered to greet her and honor her on her big day, while her very successful entrepreneur daughters, Evelyn and Josette, welcomed and made everybody feel at home. The two are really a credit to their mother.
Josie’s colleagues from the Negros Occidental high school, Ester Tabujara, Adelina Sampiano, Juliet Tabino, Edna Pahilanga and Terry Perocho rendered a well-executed Hawaiian dance while those from the Bacolod City High School, Fe Saison, Jasmin Saravia and Pat Aro also presented songs, dance numbers, and while others recited poems or gave speeches. Among those who made it a point to be present was her sister-in-law, Violeta “Tita” Gonzales, who only recently recovered from a stroke and who was accompanied by her son Ian. The gathering lasted well into the afternoon, with the honoree reminiscing and enjoying the company of her relatives and friends. Happy birthday and may you have many more, Josie!*
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