Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Malilong: Open the blotters, sirs

The Other Side

MANDAUE City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing’s response to his grandfather’s tirade was a very good one. He remained respectful even as he firmly declared that no one should be above the law, an obvious reference to his grandfather’s gripe that he has been corrupted by power as shown by his closure of his cousin’s bar.

Let’s see if his conciliatory approach will work and if we have heard the last of the family squabble that has spilled over to the political arena after the Quisumbing patriarch took a full-page newspaper ad announcing his preference for Luigi’s rival, former Mayor Jonas Cortes in the Mandaue City mayoralty race.

A family quarrel is particularly attractive to those who love (to hear about) scandals and media, alas, tend to cater to this perverse desire. The Quisumbings should be wise enough not to give fodder to the gossips by observing a moratorium. Whatever their differences, family is still family.

I remember riding in the same boat with the late Eugene Labella and one of his sons (Emmanuel?) from Manila to Cebu back in the seventies. There were only two beds in our cabin and since I have taken one of them, Manong Gene and Emmanuel had to decide who would get the remaining one.

They both wanted the other to take the bed and neither was giving in until the father told his son, “go, get the bed, I’ll take the floor. I am the son of a fisherman, your father is a government official.” Nong Gene at that time was a regional director of the National Media Production Center.

In the end, the other bed remained unoccupied throughout the voyage. I do not even know if either one slept at all; I saw them gazing at the sea when I woke up.

The display of family love was very touching and it left an indelible imprint on me. I wished others had my fortune of witnessing it and appreciate the lesson in humility and paternal care shown by the father and the respect and adoration by the son. No wonder, Vice Mayor Edgar Labella is who he is today. He has been raised well in a loving and nurturing environment.


The report that the Talamban police have denied the Commission on Human Rights access to their blotter does not reflect well on the police. The blotter is a public document and its availability should be observed, consistent with the constitutional policy on transparency.

If the police have nothing to hide, they should open their blotter to the CHR which is, by the way, also a government agency. Stonewalling can give rise to the suspicion that Eddie Basillote and two others were indeed mauled when they were arrested on April 18 in Carreta and there is something in the blotter that would destroy the police denial that any such mauling took place.

Besides, if the mauling issue is not settled, it will push to the background the very important issue of whether or not Basillote and company were indeed caught selling drugs.


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