Mongrel or councilor?-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
NORTH district Councilor Augustus “Jun’ Pe aches all over. Brickbats slammed him since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) scrubbed, for “lack of residency, his candidacy--in the south district.
A person cannot have two or more legal residences at the same time,” Comelec asserted. "We find it hard to comprehend how (Pe) claims to be ‘immersed with problems, aspirations…of the south district. (He insists) that, up to the present, he serves constituents in the (north) district…Absurd.”
Excuse us. The right word is “shameless.” The Tagalog phrase is walang hiya. Cebuanos say walay uwaw.
“Oh, East is East and West is West,” Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1889. “And never the twain shall meet.” Has Pe read this Nobel Laureate author? No? Is that why he confuses north with south?
Substantive arguments on the constitutional and legal basis have been presented. “Pe’s bid has been shot down for the wrong reason,” wrote Sun.Star’s Public Affairs and Standards editor Pachico Seares. The Constitution and LocalGovernment Code bar local officials from serving three consecutive terms in the same post.
“(Comelec’s) ruling is injurious to the Constitution,” added columnist and talk show host Frank Malilong. “(It) encourages politicians to do indirectly what the Constitution says they cannot do directly.”
Pe’s political guru needed no encouragement. Rep. Tomas Osmeña said that the BOPK would fight disqualification up to the Supreme Court. That’d buy time for Pe, whose name is already in the ballot. A fiat accompli ensures justice?
For now, allow this column to ask: Does a mongrel differ from a councilor?
Yes. How? In the capacity to feel shame. An ape or ass doesn’t blush. They lack what the Creator infused into man: a capacity to differentiate right from wrong. Thus, man can feel guilt or shame.
“I sinned in betraying innocent blood,” Judas wailed. A guilty conscience can spur despair. After murdering Duncan, Lady Macbeth kept washing her hands. “My hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine/ Making the green one red."
In October last year, Pe denied trying to bribe 42-year-old housewife Marietta de los Santos, at a Gorordo Ave. hotel, to run for office. That would sabotage the candidacy of opposition’s towering Mary Ann de los Santos. Marietta went public with details of the bribe offer on Oct. 2 before Team Rama candidates. “Wala ko mosugot, she declared.
There was no stack of bibles available, but Pe swears he didn’t participate in interviewing Marietta with Jun Cugay, Rep. Tomas Osmeña’s aide, and dangling P200,000. If he had that cash, why, he’d blow it the south district, where he’s now running until Comelec brought him up short.
An kapasikat permi nasusundan hin kaawod, a Waray proverb says. “Shame follows pretense.” But the cutting edge of shame can be dulled, resulting in caricatures of councilors or mayors.
On June 9, 1954, Joseph Nye Welch gave the concluding statement at the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for Communist activities. It shattered Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s shameless red baiting.
Pe and BOKP soulmates, listen. This applies to you all. “If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so,” the US Army head counsel said. “I like to think I am a gentle man. But your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me….
You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 17, 2013.