“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” John F. Kennedy
By Alex P. Vidal
During moments of euphoria, sadness, tragedy, defeat and victory, we remember not only events but names.
We remember three names that are currently synonymous to heroism, destruction and stubbornness: Mario, Glenda, and Benigno.
Mario is now the toast of the soccer community when he sank that lone goal for Germany’s fourth FIFA World Cup in the recent championship match against Argentina at the Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last July 14.
Because of that come-from-behind date with fame in Rio, a mere mention of Mario Gotze’s name evokes sweet moments of heroism and victory.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup produced not only a soccer hero, but also a new inspiration for Filipinos who are pinning their football hopes only on the overfed and over fancied Azkals XI, a team not even rated among the top 100 in the world and can never represent the Philippines in the next FIFA World Cup in 2018.
If he were a Filipino, Mario would be a shoo-in for senator under the pork barrel’s Liberal Party.
Filipinos love sports superstars like they love their childhood super heroes. And they won’t hesitate to elect them into public office like what they did to former senators Ambrosio Padilla, Freddie Webb, and Robert Jaworski. Two years from now, a boxing champion will also be called as “Senator Manny Pacquiao.”
Glenda, the name of a mysterious college student who borrowed from me P3,000 cash and disappeared like a comet several years ago, is now remembered as a storm that terrorized Luzon last July 15 and 16.
Glenda’s murderous rampage left scores of deaths and sent some 200,000 families packing to evacuation centers.
Glenda lashed at Metro Manila and flooded the main highways and avenues. She brought only monsoon rains in Iloilo, but most parts of the region were also affected in one way or the other.
Hell hath no fury like a typhoon named after a woman. Glenda came, saw and conquered.
Like Yolanda, Glenda represented sadness, mayhem and death. Weather forecasters coined the names of incoming typhoons based on alphabetical order, so let’s not feel bad if Glenda happens to be the name of our mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, or debtor.
Benigno is the leader of the 90 million Filipinos now up in arms against the “pork barrel” fund deodorized as Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The Supreme Court has declared DAP as unconstitutional and asked Benigno’s lawmaker allies who have availed of the controversial appropriations, to return the taxpayers money worth P137.3 billion to the national treasury.
But the funds are reportedly nowhere to be found now. All of a sudden, no one has come forward to defend Bengino except himself. No one has volunteered to make a gallant sacrifice for the king. When the going gets tough, it’s only Benigno now by his lonesome self defending the port in the attic.
Lawmakers and their local government partners claimed they spent the money “wisely” to finance infrastructure and public works projects in their respective cities and provinces.
But people were suspicious that a bulk of the funds may have gone to the pockets of corrupt politicians allied with Benigno in the form of kickbacks via fake nongovernment organizations, the same trick that sent P10-billion pork barrel scam accused Janet Lim-Napoles to the calaboose.
Benigno’s popularity suffered a sharp decline since 2010 according to the recent Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys.
The negative impact on Benigno’s popularity must have something to do with his refusal to let go of Harvard-educated budget secretary Butch Abad, DAP’s chief collaborator, and for defending the DAP and engaging the Supreme Court in a power play that could provoke a constitutional crisis.
Because of this, the once supremely popular president and son of the late former President Cory and the late brave Marcos opposition leader Ninoy, has earned the reputation as a “stubborn” president.