FOR a while, I wondered if the Comelec commissioners knew what they were doing. I now apologize for my momentary loss of faith and publicly profess my trust in their infinite wisdom.

I lay no claim to the total absence of flaws in my character. But fickleness is not one of them. My affections are stable, my beliefs strong and I am not, I think, given to capriciousness. In short, I am just a regular guy.

So how explain my change of heart?

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Let me first explain why I lost faith. Don’t say it’s boring because you know a thousand and one reasons why you can’t trust referees whose calls are erratic, which is the most generous description you can give in the spirit of Christian charity.

My reason is personal and it cries to be heard. It occurred to me one evening while carousing with the tambays in the neighborhood. Looking at their sun-burnt faces and watching the unkempt children gamboling in the nearby vacant lot, I saw a calling. These people are my people, this land is our land. I have to be in Congress so we can be heard.

Non sequitur? But that is how visions go!

That same evening, I organized my fellow children of poor origins. Thus was MASPO born. We (mostly I) planned to join the party-list polls, counting on the support of millions of brothers and sisters, the process of whose creation did not start in comfy beds in air-conditioned rooms.

Then came the Comelec decision disqualifying the gay rights group Ang Ladlad. Our dreams were crushed. If Ladlad can’t, how can we? The commissioners insist on living in the dark.

That attitude changed last Friday. A newspaper reported that there is a women’s group that wants to put marriage on the same level as driving a passenger jeepney. And the group has been accredited by the Comelec. Holy cow: I couldn’t resist screaming. The commissioners are not beyond redemption after all.

The party-list group is called 1-Ako Babaeng Astig Aasenso (1-ABAA) and it is, according to its president, composed of “tough women who will fight for our right to be free from the bondage of marriage.”

How? Here’s the deal as reported by Philippine Star.

They will push for the passage of a law that will fix the period of effectivity of a marriage license at 10 years. If the couple doesn’t want to stay married, they don’t have to do anything but wait for 10 years and not renew their license.

“A marriage license should be like a passport or driver’s license,” the 1-ABAA president was quoted as saying. “If we’re not interested to renew it, then it expires.”

I think the better comparison is to a business permit. You apply for a permit to operate a marital partnership. If the business fails, you close shop. If it goes well, you renew your license. If you operate with expired license, you pay a fine or the mayor’s squad will padlock your conjugal residence. Neat, no?

The tough women’s president said she expects tough opposition to their proposal. I think so. In the first place, the proposed law discriminates men.

This early, according to the same news report, senatorial bet Ramon Mitra Jr. has given notice that he would support the creation of Bagong Alyansa ng mga Ginoong Sinisigawan at Inaapi ng Kababaihan (BAGSIK) to level the playing field for both battered husbands and battered wives.

Bagsik versus Astig, like my MASPO to their Ladlad. How interesting.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)