In the renewed controversy over the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, are we looking for , as the Thai Buddhist proverb aptly puts it, “ a turtle with bigote (mustache)?”
President Joseph Estrada sports a bigote, scoffs his son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada. But that doesn’t mean Erap is the whiskered character linked to the murders in the affidavit executed by former Police Superintendent Cesar Mancao.
Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez stashed that document in a bank vault. The contents will be revealed in the “appropriate forum,” he says. But he has indulged, meanwhile, in strip-tease revelations of what it contains. That includes someone with a “Bloody Mary mustache”. These leave Erap and Mancao’s former suprerior, Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a frenzy of self-absolution .
“Mancao executed this affidavit in the US, as your column, ‘Unique Distinctions’ ( PDI/ March 10 ) pointed out,” writes former United Nations forester Napoleon Vergara. “Don’t be surprised if several “versions” turn up. They’ll implicate some, clear others, depending on what version you get…. All citizens like me want is overdue justice for the victims”.
From Saudi Arabia, Dave Paragados wrote:. I read “Unique Distinction” on Inquirer’s webpage here. It gave a profound picture of how despicable our ‘political leaders’ are. Murder is abominable and calls for justice.
“The system, in our country right now, is so inept in providing its citizens, like us, with adequate information.
I would welcome a ”copy of the 90-page decision, by Judge William Walls of the US Federal Court in New Jersey, that mentioned the Dacer-Corbito case.
From Iligan, Rosten Anoyab emailed: Regarding the possible involvement of Malacanang, under then President Estrada, in the Dacer and Corbito murders:..I’ve read all accounts: that preceded the murders, during the murders, and after them. The obviousness of Palace linkage is like the obviousness of the sun shining behind clouds.
“If there was a trial, and I were the judge, I’d have no trouble convicting, even if Mancao and Aquino shut their mouths. “I hope Panfilo Lacson, could straighten out our corrupt society. But I can not accept, in my heart, that he had nothing to do with Dacer and Corbito.
“Sin is committed “in thoughts, words or deeds – and by omission. Erap and Ping could have prevented this murder. I am, therefore, watching this Mancao affidavit. If lawyers, as officers of the court, did their duty by ferreting out the truth instead of defending an evil deed, conviction is certain.
”Reacting to the column “Strange Virus” ( PDI/ March 12 ), Francis Sarmiento blames journalists for today’s corruption. “This man-made virus started with editors and columnists exposing corruption… Society developed “tolerance from continuous bombardment of the same stories.
“Your kind… thinks that writing pontifically (pompously?) about current ills already serves your purpose in life. Public’s ( sic) apathy set in. Those infected by the virus learned to accept it as normal… You are paid
handsomely by your publishers just to write …Get out of your air-conditioned offices and march in the streets to walk your talk, not just talk.
“The problem is your kind writes all about shenanigans by our crocodile politicians. Yet, you leave it to poor
masses to march and face truncheons of those protecting the corrupt…Your kind thinks all it takes is to dazzle readers with your great command of English and they will rise in disgust…Where are the likes of Chino Roces? The current breed is not worth the paper they write on..You’re part of the disease, not the cure.”
(Reply: I liked the question: “Where are the likes of Chino Roces? In 1962, I signed up with Chino and worked with him; first in Philippine News Service, Manila Times, Philippine Press Institute, then Press Foundation of Asia — and later martial law detention. Chino taught that the “purpose in life”, for “our kind”,is to witness to truth, not to scream: ‘Ibagsak..).
From Tacloban, Brenda Mhea emailed: “I hate to admit it, but all of what you wrote in ‘Strange Virus” is true. This makes me feel bad. The dirty reality is the reason why I hate reading the daily papers. Whenever I skip the daily news, it somehow allows me to forget what is happening to my beloved Philippines.
“I want to help my country. But I don’t know where, when, and how to start. Parang naiisip ko minsan sarap pagbabarilin ng mga taong to. (Sometimes, I think it’d be great just mow down these crooks.) At least by that, ma-save pa naman kahit papano ang Pinas. ( We can save that way this country.)
“Thank you for “ Strange Virus”, former GI Joseph de Pompa emailed from New Jersey. “I pray that you’re safe after telling the truth. All the country should hear these truths, over and over, until they get so sick of the lady in charge and all who, like vultures, feed off the poor.
“I will be moving to your country soon, as I am to wed the most wonderful woman ever. And we will live there for her sake. We will only take short vacations in the US.
“I’ve have been to the Philippines so many times but only for short stays. When I first visited as a very young US Marine, I fell in love with the people and the country as a whole. But never did I enjoy the politicians who only desire to to loot and rob.”