A do-not les­son for Tril­lanes

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION - Jun LEDESMA

From the com­fort of his air-con­di­tioned Se­nate safe­house the out-of-tune Sen­a­tor 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 worth of in­fra­struc­ture 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 parceled 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 coun­ter­strike 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 Dabawenyos 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 are 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.

“I con­grat­u­late our ath­letes and their coaches for their ef­forts in bring­ing honor and recog­ni­tion to the Philippines in the field of sports. We Filipinos have al­ways been known for our com­pet­i­tive spirit, and this year, we did not fall short of show­ing our trait to our neigh­bors.” Pres­i­dent RODRIGO R. DUTERTE dur­ing award­ing of in­cen­tives to Asian Games gold medal­ists

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