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Letters from Davao: ‘A do-not lesson for Trillanes’ by Jun Ledesma

FROM THE COMFORT of his air-conditioned Senate safe house, the out-of-tune Sen. Antonio Trillanes indulged himself to a fishing expedition. First he thought he had a bite and went about the small confines of his sanctuary declaring that the father of President Rodrigo R. Duterte “fixed” his scores to pass the bar exams. We from the boondocks of Mindanao (just want to make Jim Paredes happy) knew that the venerable governor of the undivided Davao province, Gov. Vicente Duterte, had passed away years before Digong became a lawyer.

President Duterte returned the mockery of Trillanes by citing vaguely his parents alleged shady activities and he cried foul. Later the senator went out fishing anew, this time he thought he hooked SAP Bong Go claiming that the latter and his kin are cornering billions of pesos worth of infra projects in Region 11 and that he wanted it investigated in the Senate.  Bong, known for his brief, but crisp response, answered back “see you in the senate hall”.

Bong’s parents actually had been in the business for soooo long ago and that includes construction. This even before Bong was born or was an infant.  They are non-politicians unlike Trillanes so they have to eke a living somewhere. Contrary to the so-called investigative reports, the big ticket projects in Davao cannot simply be parcelled out in favor of any contractor. I should know because as a publisher of a community paper, projects are bid out. Since the time the pork barrel was scrapped, the practice of congressmen assigning projects to preferred contractors have become a thing of the past.

One cannot just come out and create a story to be used later as fodder to strike an enemy. That is not investigative journalism. That is plain ‘envelopmental journalism’.  Often the counter strike can be hurting. Such is the case of Senator Trillanes. He defiled the memory of the late Governor Duterte who is known to have an unblemished record in the annals of Davao political history. So honest was the governor that early in the Presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, he appointed him in the sensitive position of Secretary of General Services.

For professional mutineer to debase the late governor is out of decorum. We Davaowenyos are mad at this childish display of arrogance but we cannot do anything for he is shielded from suit and he is virtually hiding in the soutane of grandstanding priests and habits of impressionable nuns.

But President Duterte cannot be a docile punching bag of Trillanes. A one liner attributed to the business of his father and mother elicited a repartee characteristic of a bully from the senator. “Do not drag my mother here” to which the President counseled “do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you”.

That is what we have heard in so far as the remarks of Duterte and Bong Go is concerned. On Facebook this Thursday morning, somebody who has been probably watching Trillanes chicanery from his hole in the Senate revealed a litany of what Trillanes’ parents were into. His name is Commodore Vicente Cejaco, AFP, PMA Class 82-2003. I cannot fathom what prodded this Outstanding Filipino Soldier Awardee to come out in the open against his fellow PMAyers. It can be out of consternation or to defend the Philippine Military Academy from further degradation, or maybe to define what a true soldier of the Philippine Republic be. I will not go into the details for the revealing story is out on Facebook.

Lesson is absorbed in this episode: “Do not throw stones at your neighbor if you are living in a house of glass”.  Your neighbor might throw the rock of Gibraltar at you. (Jun Ledesma)


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