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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Justices made a mockery of People Power

04:00 AM July 24, 2020

Allow us to react to the July 22 editorial (“Koko Pimentel, VIP”) which quoted Ateneo de Manila’s former president, Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, to drive home its point in decrying Sen. Koko Pimentel’s “palusot” in his counteraffidavit to the complaint filed against him for violating COVID-19 protocols.

Pimentel was said to have unwittingly exposed other people to infection at the Makati Medical Center where he brought his wife who was about to give birth. But truth to tell, no report ever came out that the infections got worse because of that “recklessness.”

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Villarin was then pontificating to the school’s new law graduates: “You are not just a lawyer”… “You are a human being first”… “Magpakatao bago magpaka-abogado.” Pimentel was an Atenean. Did Villarin, or any other Jesuit priest for that matter, ever call out more prominent Atenean lawyers who made it to the Supreme Court and voted to give the most despicable president this country ever had a “hero’s burial”? Already immortalized in infamy are now-retired associate justices Arturo Brion and Mariano del Castillo, along with Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe who will retire in May 2022.

At the time when the main Ateneo campus on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, had the huge signage “Hindi Bayani si Marcos” displayed for days on end to remind everyone that President Duterte got it all wrong about his “hero,” those Ateneo-schooled magistrates went along with the latter’s lackeys in the Supreme Court in making a mockery of “People Power”—in recent memory, the Filipinos’ “finest hour”!

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Indeed, Villarin’s words rang too hollow to merit any mention. “Magpaka-totoo at magpaka-ginoo” should be more apropos. Pimentel’s sin (what husband would not do the same for a wife in distress?) is not as grave as the above-named Ateneans’ hypocrisy and insult to the entire Filipino people who may now have misgivings about their own sanity for having kicked a “bayani” out of the country. With a stroke of the pen, they have made the Filipinos the laughingstock of the world! Had they conscientiously voted no, the carcass of that dictator would have remained in limbo. And Ateneo has given them honors, awards, recognition, or what-have-you for “excellence”?

Grace Po-Quicho,

[email protected]

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TAGS: coronavirus philippines, covid-19 philippines, health crisis, health protocol, Koko Pimentel, pandemic, protocol, Quarantine
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