Desperate move, says Dong-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
SOMETIME in 1999, Dr. Emmanuel Angeles received a brown envelope that contained a rusting Garand rifle bullet. The bullet of World War II vintage was unearthed by construction workers at the Mimosa Estate inside Clark.
"What is happening, Ram?" Dr. Angeles confronted me. I was the editor of his weekly, "The Angeles Observer," the leading tabloid in that era.
As publisher of the paper, Dr. Angeles called the shots. My responsibility as editor was to choose news materials, edit articles and to put out the publication on time.
Why did some people send the lone bullet to my publisher when they could have delivered it to me in the office?
My theory was that by intimidating the publisher, he would ask his editor and staff to go slow on a raging issue at that time. I had been publishing a series of write-ups on the beleaguered Mimosa Estate, subject of scandalous litigation for failure to settle its multi-million arrears to the Clark Development Corp.
True enough, Dr. Angeles directed me to fire our best columnist whose passion in life was to take out Mimosa Estate and Holiday Inn Clark, too, from the hands of the delinquent locator, a friend of my publisher.
When I refused to drop the esteemed columnist who did not relent in exposing anomalies at Mimosa, I was given my walking paper.
I learned later that the bullet senders acted by themselves. Their principal had no knowledge of their misdeed.
The five Armalite bullets sent to Rep. Dong Gonzales last week were meant to intimidate the congressman's leaders and supporters who are effectively carrying his campaign for reelection. The terrorizing job has no imprimatur by their boss.
Even if Dong received a dozen or a whole clip of bullets of whatever caliber, he would not back out from or scuttle his campaign.
Gonzales, said to be the front runner in the contest, is determined to keep his lead. Surely, only death can stop a man who believes in his dream. If he gets killed in the process, his blood will be a dark ugly spot in President Aquino's administration.
Assassinating a Congressman will cause an indelible stigma to the next presidential elections. Ninoy's assassination inflamed a whole nation.
A hit job on Gonzales -- God forbid -- will fuel Kapampangan indignation. Pampangos sympathized with and would feel greatly for a murder victim like Ninoy or Lingad or any leader of the province, as the case may be. It would cause the vengeful rejection, too, of the Team P-Noy in vote-rich Pampanga.
The people will not believe that this act of intimidation came from Dong's rival camp. He cannot be faulted, however, for raising an alarm on anonymous parties who might have desperate plans, he told a presscon.
His rival City Mayor Rodriguez has won his terms in Congress in the most peaceful and honorable means ever. He lives an exemplary life in nobility and patriotism. His campaigns for the mayoralty were marked by his high ethical standards, without violence. If he works harder enough, Oca can match -- and even beat -- Dong on even terms.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 27, 2013.