Smarter than other human rights lawyers?
Remonstrating against the Inquirer editorial last Jan. 31, former Senators Joker Arroyo, Rene Saguisag and fellow Mabini lawyer Mariano “Dodo” Sarmiento II pontificated that it was a matter of duty and principle for them to come to the aid of Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay who was being subjected to what appeared to them like a “tyrannical whimsicality” of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee. They implied it was martial law all over again! It wasn’t about “earning their keep,” they said, adding that the Inquirer got it all wrong (Opinion, 2/6/15).
The Senate blue ribbon committee has been investigating the multifaceted, multilayered shenanigans allegedly perpetrated by the Binays, whose dynasty has ruled Makati since then President Cory Aquino appointed then “human rights” lawyer Jejomar Binay (now vice president) as “officer-in-charge” in 1986. We all know he never let go of that Ayala-driven gold mine of a regime.
Vice President Binay has adamantly refused to shed light on the charges that he and his family have been looting the Makati City coffers and that they have acquired pricey assets left and right with ill-gotten wealth. A legitimate concern, given the family’s threat to lord it over the entire archipelago come 2016! But because of interdepartmental courtesy, he cannot be compelled by subpoena to appear before the Senate panel. One has got to be wondering why he declined all invites from that panel to give his side: If he has nothing to hide, why on earth would he continue hiding behind paid hacks mouthing nothing but drivel on his behalf?
Thankfully, his son, the mayor, and the subordinate officials of Makati were not immune; hence, the “arrest warrants.” We waited with bated breath as the drama unfolded, ever eager to know how they were going to explain away the alleged massive plunder. Then came the disgusting denouement.
Saguisag, in particular, could not resist reminding Sen. Koko Pimentel, chair of that Senate panel supposedly tormenting the younger Binay, about the time he and his fellow Mabini lawyers rendered free legal services to his father, former Sen. Nene Pimentel, who was “detained by Marcos more than once,” and how they embraced and defended “the Oakwood mutineers that Sonny (now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a vocal member of that subcommittee) led” (Opinion, 2/5/15).
So it was payback time?! No wonder Senator Koko became putty in their hands and Senator Sonny, for the first time, bit his tongue during that Jan. 31 aborted Senate hearing! Well, what, for crying out loud, could we expect? They got hit where it hurt the most—below the belt! We never in our wildest dreams saw Saguisag stooping that low!
It is time those three stooges stopped strutting and parading themselves as the defenders of the underdog! They have become nothing but closet fans of their fellow “human rights” chum who has turned out to be (in the language and kleptocratic sense that former First Lady Imelda Marcos used the phrase) “smarter than others”—like Joker, Rene, Dodo and their ilk?
—GEORGE DEL MAR, [email protected]
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