WHILE we were watching TV Tuesday evening, our patience was put to severe test by the antics of our politicians and governmentfactotums in the legal department featuring Sen. Antonio Trillanes on the one hand, assisted by Sen. Franklin Drilon, etc, and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Solicitor General Jose Calida, et al on the other side in their uncalled-for debates, and aired on TV yet!
We earlier wanted to entitle this item ‘The Trillanes Factor.’ But we changed our mind because of the not-so-funny role of lawyers these days.
During her checkered presidency, GMA was invited guest speaker of the Manila Overseas Press Club to celebrate Law Day.
As editor in chief of the National Press Club newspaper, we were invited to the event. We were seated beside an officer of the Beijing Law Association.
To beat our boredom (GMA was reading her speech), we asked the Chinese lawyer if lawyers in China share the reputation of Philippine lawyers as liars.
Our Chinese friend nodded approvingly and with a naughty smile yet!
Careful not to catch the attention of the president, we whispered to him a well-kept anecdote about the late Clarence Darrow, reputedly the foremost American barrister.
We said: “Did you know that the American Bar Association held a contest on what to write on the epitaph of Clarence Darrow?”
He was titillated, his singkit eyes brightened, and said, “yah, what happened?”
I slowly told him almost in a whisper, you know the one who suggested ‘He lies still…’ won.”
We regretted our audacity because the Chinese suddenly sprang from his seat and burst into a loud guffaw, even raising his hands as if to celebrate a newly discovered gold mine. Probably, he realized that lying among lawyers was not a Chinese monopoly.
At this point, GMA looked infuriated and motioned Raul Roco, an adviser of the club, to proceed to our table.
Being neighbors at Loyola Heights, Raul and us knew each other. His wife, the former Sonia Malasarte, was a member of our Manila Bay Breakfast Club of which we have been the sitting president till now.
Raul asked us why up to that time the Chinese lawyer could not stop laughing.
We told Raul the Clarence Darrow joke as blandly as could be.
The next scene was Raul Roco was also laughing uncontrollably.
The scene attracted the attention of many including our friends Atty. Ramon Maronilla, Bar topnotches’ Vic Millora, Demetrio Demetria and former Gov. Oscar Orbos who joined the laughing crowd.
Raul went up the stage to make a report to the lady president who also couldn’t help control herself!!
When everyone learned about the story, the sergeant at arms of the hotel had to be called to quell the laughing crowd!
SAD NOTES: The destructive floods that rendered Dagupan City helpless and almost hopeless due to the unthinkable havoc for weeks raise the question on the city planning and engineering offices!
Did the city have no provision for natural calamities particularly on how infras should be built and constructed?
In that case, they should be made to account for the damage.