Two Modern Parables

by Juan L. Mercado

Ex- president  Joseph Estrada  limped in   an hour and a half  late for his meeting with Sun-Star journalists. But when Erap  sat down in the paper’s  conference room,  he didn’t recycle the old “we wuz robbed  in Cebu” syndrome.

Fernando Poe Jr. campaign  failed to   muster candidates  or watchers down to barangay precincts, he candidly admitted  Today, the fractured opposition  is distilling lessons from the one-million vote trouncing it got.

“The opposition is cobbling a complete local ticket for 2010.“ There’ s  still a  50-50 chance  the opposition will unite. If that fails, then I will run.”

Watch the body language. Gauge the adrenalin and  punishing schedule. If you were not born yesterday, you can see: The  man is running.  He doesn’t  give  a fig,  whatever  “presidential”    Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Chiz Escusdero. Loren Legarda, even Jamby Madrigal;  will whip up between now and filing of candidacy. .He’s off  the running blocks to the future…

But his checkered past simply won’t let go, as the conference questions showed. “What lessons did you learn from your ouster?” There was dead silence.  It  referred to his notorious midnight cabinet and scandals  like the BW Resources stock scam

In two and a half-years,  the soaring aspirations of his “Now Power Is With the People” had tuned into the  5-K government:: kaibigan, kumapdre, kaklase, kasama – at kabit.

“I was overconfident,” he admitted. “And perhaps, I  shoud have been more selective with friends.”  He didn’t say who.  Most had skipped town  like Jaime Dichavez, Dante Tan to  Lucio Cao Co..  Nobody pressed.

“How can you ask the youth to vote for you given your record?.” Estrada bristled. “What record,” he snapped.  ” My record is unblemished.” .  Denial  unsupported  by  deeds  doesn’t hold water..

His chief  of  staff,  Professor  Aprodicio Laquian,  wrote: Erap failed to deliver  on  his pro-poor  programs”   “At  four in the morning, I’d  be the only one sober “ among Erap’s midnight cabinet members. Erap snapped :    “I fired  Laquian,”

In  this press  conference, denial   also  blanketed   his answer on “command responsibility over the 22 Presidential Anti-Organized  Crime personnel involved in the Dacer-Corbito murder”,“I have nothing to do with that case..”  Was I in Singapore then?, he tried to recall.

“There was no investigation.  then.”  Panfilo Lacson, being PNP chief, would know more.

Estrada  declined to  answer the  question: “What can you say about the P1-million Le Cirque dinner of President Arroyo since in you time you partied like crazy?”

That was wise of  him, a Sun Star reporter muttered. After all, Erap and barkadas would swill Chateau Petrus at $1,000 a bottle supplied by Jaime Dichavez

The legacy of his  truncated term could not be compared to Cory Aquino’s legacy,  Erap insisted. Cory served a full term and  is seen like  the faithful servant of the parable  who used entrusted talent  wisely.

“I  was ousted unconstitutionally, “ he insisted. Thus, comparing  him  to  the servant who buried his talents and came to  the  Master empty handed, doesn’t hold water.. Only a full term will show that, Estrada  said. But will a people badly burned agree?. Only   2010 will tell.


“That’s  odd,” the two nuns  murmured.   Pedestrians ahead, on a road in Talisay, Cebu, would  stare at something, then .cross  to other side of the road. .

The sisters from a home for old women, came up to  the reason why. Crumpled on the roadside was an aged, dirt-caked, scrawny  and half-conscious man.

No one  helped or call  the emergency hotline. The nuns  tried to determine his name, home, relatives. “Our sisters loaded him on a vehicle, then brought  him to our home. recalls  Sister Sini Barbara, OSMP We house only women. But this was an emergency.”

They  bathed the man, treated his bruises, cut his hair.  “We had no men’s clothes  in our house,” explained  Sister Sini who is the superior.“In the end, we burned his foul smelling clothes and put a woman’s duster on him.  But it was clean at least.”

Wasn’t this  a 21st century retelling of  Luke’s parable? A man, left for dead on the wayside, is  by passed by people – until  someone “took pity and   went up to  him, bound up his wounds…set him on his own beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him.”

“We know nothing of him,” said  the priest  called by the sisters. .So, I’ll   administer  conditional baptism. What name shall we give him?”

The sisters, who caught snatches of  the telecast on Cory  Aquino’s funeral, suggested: .“Call him Ninoy,” they agreed. The priest turned to the dying man and  began:  “If you have not been baptized, I baptize thee Ninoy in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit….”

He   traced the oil of  extreme unction  on “Ninoy’s” eyes, ears, lip, hands – organs of the senses. With other   nuns, Sister Sini began the ancient  prayer of farewell which the Church  pronounces over her dying children:

“Depart O Christian soul  out of this sinful  world in the name of God…Let  peace come to  thee this  day and let thy abode be in holy Sion….”

The  man  passed away peacefully later that day. The sisters got a coffin for  him Among a pile  of donated clothes, they sisters found an old coat, shirt, etc. “Was the coat yellow?” I asked. “No,” Sister Sini replied. “It was dark blue.  But  ‘Lolo  Ninoy’ looked good in it.”

“The one who showed mercy” proved to be neighbor, the lawyer admitted to the Master , in the “Good Samaritan” parable. Blue coats, like yellow ribbons can sometimes denote mercy.

( E-mail: juanlmercado@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

You may also like

Leave a Comment