Whiskered Turtle

by Juan L. Mercado

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.”

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

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