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What a lady!

I chanced upon the latter part of a TV interview of Rep. Leni Robredo by broadcast journalist Karen Davila the other day.

She limited the ken of her political ascendancy to a possible seat in the Senate, but admitted that her daughters would prefer her to remain in the lower House, after just one term as representative of Naga City.  Asked about the possibility of a vice-presidential candidacy in tandem with Mar Roxas, she said it was such an awesome responsibility that she may not be prepared to undertake.  This, coming from a lawyer who was wife to an outstanding long-time mayor and a DILG secretary for almost three years.  Such humility.

In a recent late-night TV interview where she could respond only by a “yes or no,” Robredo was asked whether she would consider Grace Poe qualified to be president if the latter had renounced her Philippine citizenship in the past, and she said “No.” But last Monday at Headstart, she explained why.

Robredo said that it was not just the legal aspect of Poe’s citizenship or residency qualifications that bothered her.  That was for the electoral tribunal, and perhaps eventually, the Supreme Court to judge upon, claiming that although she was a lawyer herself, she had not pored over the documents to come up with a proper opinion.  “It’s just that I don’t believe that someone who renounced her being a Filipino should seek the highest office in the land,” she claimed.

And she said it without any trace of partisanship, bias or what not.  What a lady!

If she runs for the Senate in 2016, assuming the party to which she and her deceased husband have been very loyal to,  support her financially, I believe she will land in the top three.  Perhaps, like Grace Poe, even top it.

* * *

Speaking of the LP “hunt” for a vice-presidential candidate to team up with their Mar, now that Leni has twice publicly stated she is not available, the focus of attention was, for about two weeks, Leila de Lima.  But I am reliably told that she too has turned it down.

Now some birdie in the palace beside the dirty river told me over the weekend that a high-ranking cabinet official, one of the pillars of the “Hyatt 10”, suggested BIR Commissioner Kim Henares for VP.  Pwede!

* * *

On the Binay camp, another birdie said they are seriously considering, and their principal agreed, to draft Ping Lacson for the Veep’s veep candidate in the coming elections. 

I haven’t asked Ping about it, but I can bet he won’t bite.

* * *

Now media and the politicians are discombobulated about a certain “alternative truth” about Mamasapano, where 44 of our finest young officers and men of the Special Action Forces, as well as 17 civilians were killed.

Coming as it did from the ruminations of President Aquino, mismo, before the editors and reporters of a broadsheet, everybody and his mother has begun to speculate, trotting out alleged witnesses, searching for incriminating photos and logs.  Meanwhile, the grieving widows and families of the SAF 44, who have yet to move on because justice eludes them, are grieving even more because the heroism of their fallen is even being put to doubt.

Whatever the “truth” is, and the justice that should be rendered on its basis, will come out only after June 30, 2016.

* * *

I hope this advice does not come too late.  I watched the bio-pic “Heneral Luna,” a brilliant cinematic unraveling of the bravery and principled life of Antonio Luna, commanding general of the revolutionary forces of the short-lived Philippine First Republic.

While the producers admitted that they had to be a little creative about the historical facts behind Luna’s life and death, it hews faithful to the written narratives about that bloody and treacherous period in the life of our nation.

Catch it in the cinema, or watch the DVDs you can buy.  Try identifying the forebears of some of the political and economic “ilustrados” who up until now inflict their self-interest over the national interest, over societal good.  They hijacked our true independence, compromising with the Spaniards, and later with the Americans, in the process profiting handsomely, their “herencias,” pedigree and entitlements still enjoyed, and abused, by their successors.

The lesson of Heneral Luna, the film, is clear:  “We Filipinos are our own worst enemies”.

And kudos to John Arcilla of Baler, who played the title role, as always, a truly outstanding and great artist.

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