Deconstructing A Squid Tactician, Err… Lawyer-Spokesman (Updated)
Coming out from left field, it’s President Arroyo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal who’s ‘on the pitcher’s mound, to borrow a baseball term, facing off against critics in the news media who’ve left Malacanang’s regular media handlers in foul moods this past week.
And by all accounts as we enter this dinner news-filled week, Macalintal, the election lawyer, is getting high-fives in the Palace while being tagged as the newly unleashed attack dog versus presidential detractors.
But to be fair to Atty. Macalintal, with your everyday Juan Dela Cruz cringing at the reported steak and lobster dinners, squid tactics like denouncing premature election campaigning and the morality of media organizations is stock-in-trade for liars, uh, I mean lawyers.
So the good atorni will perhaps understand if this humble corner did some research and discovered (according to a glowing bio-sketch on him) that “he believes that nobody in the government in entitled to receive any other considerations (monetary or in kind), except his legitimate or lawful salary or compensation and allowances as provided by the law.”
The story says Macalintal “has also politely declined offers from the President to join or work in the government from Solicitor General, to Comelec Commissioner, or Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, and other important positions – for he believes he could do better as a private practitioner without compromising his profession.”
The report, written in connection with Macalintal’s 1991 citation as most outstanding alumnus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, concludes with this quote from the election lawyer-cum-Malacanang spokesman:
I believe that everyone should always strive hard to work with a clean slate and an unblemished reputation.
Good luck, sir.
You’ll need it as the questions about the million-peso presidential dinners and balloning presidential wealth continue looking for truthful answers rather than lies over lies.
Atty. Macalintal’s ongoing ‘task’ is also stirring up discussions over at FilipinoVoices.com :
Another food for thought comes from a commenter on this post over at my Facebook page:
A Heineken print ad says, “You are who you are, when nobody is looking”. their big problem was that they thought nobody was looking.
Keeping up its offensive (along with being offensive rather than giving enlightened perspective), it’s the turn of medical doctor Anthony Golez (who’s planning to run for Mayor of Bacolod) to call Arroyo critics names:
Whatever monies may have been spent for the appropriately ceremonious conduct of her official trip abroad are but a tiny fraction of the billions of pesos she has committed, and will continue to commit, to the alleviation of hunger and the amelioration of poverty in our country.
The character assassination being launched by tabloids passing themselves off as broadsheets and rumor-mongers masquerading as news broadcasters. The assassins will not be restrained. Now they are spreading new poison about other dinners the presidential party had, the nature of their accommodations and the manner of their transportation throughout the official trip.
Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez footed the bill at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in Washington. The President merely accommodated her generous host, and did not bother with the cost of the dinner out of respect. If you are an invited guest, normally, [you] don’t ask the host about the food that they will serve, or ask how much they paid for that.
The controversy does not center on propriety but whether the President’s critics will stop at anything in their endless campaign against a President who is no longer even in the running.
Will they respect the ceremonial importance of the office she occupies? Can they refrain from forcing the rest of us to imagine ourselves only as perpetual victims and objects of charity? Can they rise above the limitations of vindictive ideologies or personal ambition?