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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 8, 2016
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with Rolly Espina

Going around town

Rolly EspinaI missed my column over the weekend since we attended the funeral of my brother-in-law, Victorio Llavore, Sr., older brother of my late wife, Nene, who passed away at 84 years old after a massive stroke.

Manong Berting, as we call him, has been suffering from chronic asthma but it was stroke that felled him.

The priest gave a very nice homily about a passing of an elderly and how we should rejoice, instead of mourn, that the deceased is now free from sufferings and one with the Lord.

Manong Berting had lived a full life, longer than most and for that, we ought to be thankful. As the priest reminded all of us, it is always better to show our loved ones we care for them while they are still alive particularly if they are already elderly and immobile.

In fact, the priest said every time he is called to pray over a sick elderly, he does not anymore pray for longer life, but to free them from sufferings and lift them up for the Lord to take care of.

Manong Berting is survived by his children Salvador ‘Buddy', Nene Fe Tabujara and Victorio Jr. and countless of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

On the way to the Sacred Heart Memorial Park in Brgy. Sum-ag, we passed through the circumferential road and I must say travel was easy because the roads were well paved. If not for the tricycles that ply that route all the way to Cegasco, we would have reached the place in 20 minutes from our home.

It's a wonder how those tricycles manage to avoid all those big trucks that normally traverse that road, not to mention the shanties that sprouted along the route with some children making the streets their playground.

On the way back, we passed the other route via Araneta since we needed to drop off a relative in the downtown area. And perhaps because BacoLaodiat has started, we met traffic in every corner. So instead of our earlier plan to proceed to Felicia's at 6 th street, we just decided to go home.

As usual, whether you pass by through Lopue's East or in the corner of CL Montelibano going in to Homesite, there is always waiting time there despite the presence of enforcers.

Anyway, I meant to acknowledge the response of Councilor Carl Lopez to my column last Thursday for Saturday's paper but failed to do so because of the funeral.

As proper, I will give Carl his space in response to that write-up where I quoted Justice Hernandez's statement on his constant presence in the Sandiganbayan with or without a hearing of Mayor Monico's case.

As Carl said in his letter, the Justice's statement “should not be taken literally because it is merely a play of words.”

Of course, that is coming from him and may or may not actually be what Hernandez meant when he mentioned the peculiar interest of Carl in the case.

I took that line from Hernandez's resolution as it was – that he himself was baffled by Carl's presence in their court, for why else would he imply in his statement that he himself was wondering what Carl was doing there even when there is no hearing. But that something may probably be answered better by Mayor Monico as Hernandez said.

In other words, while Carl's presence had nothing to do with their resolution to inhibit from further hearing the mayor's case he did imply something else for why even bother mentioning Carl in the resolution that has nothing to do with the case, except perhaps with regard to that strong allegation against the Sandiganbayan that the media got hold of a decision from someone even before the accused got his copy.

Carl also made mention that he has not been remiss of his duty as a Councilor even while he frequents the Sandiganbayan and at his own expense. I know he is awash with money and I have never alluded that he spends the people's money in this sorties because of his interest in the mayor. I remember I did ask one time whether these are all official travels and allowed and if not, then kudos to him for using his own resources to pursue this.

As he stressed, “I have learned that the best way to deal with legal cases is to be personally involved in them and not to merely trust lawyers,” and as such brings his own “legal teams” to the various courts and offices where he has filed cases against people and firms.

He does not really trust lawyers but has a coterie of lawyers in his team? So I don't know what he really means by it unless he is implying that he does not trust public prosecutors trying this slew of cases he has filed and get justice the way he wants it to turnout.

Now that I have to see. Who are these lawyers who tag along with Carl in these sorties and what their roles are in trying these cases.

Bottomline, Carl has been on this mission on his own aided by his legal teams who are also lawyers that he does not fully trust. And what were the other councilors doing? Perhaps, they're not like Carl who has vowed to “see the proper dispensation of justice and report the truth to the people.”

If Carl can do that, why can't the other councilors do the same, particularly those who are lawyers, unless of course, you ought not to be trusted as well.

Carl's passion and rhetoric may just be an asset in Congress if he wins the congressional post and may shake up the otherwise dull halls of the House.*

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