Thank God for Raul Lambino

    I did not realize how much I missed Raul Lambino until I saw him resurrected as Gloria Arroyo’s spokesman. I thought he had died heartbroken after the Supreme Court called his “People’s Initiative” for charter change a “grand deception” and a “gigantic fraud” on the Filipino people. I’m glad I was wrong.

    Lambino picked himself off the ground, brushed off the dirt, and proved that you can’t put a good man down.

    Lambino’s appointment also confirmed my suspicion that Gloria Arroyo really knows how to pick the right people.

    In retrospect, I think we should have heeded Gloria’s granddaughter, the one who said, “I want lola to be president forever.”

    If Raul Lambino did not show up at the right time, I would have fallen for all those news reports tagging Gloria as an election cheat and an unscrupulous and totally immoral woman who used the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes funds to corrupt our bishops.

    Lambino saved me from becoming like all those stupid, gullible, judgmental know-it-alls who think they know everything but don’t really know anything.

    Lambino correctly pointed out that it is useless and a waste of time to go back to those Garci tapes.

    “It only proves one thing, one woman and a man talking with each other on the phone. It doesn’t prove there was election cheating. That’s only the probative value.”

    One can learn so many things from the guy!

    First of all, I learned that “probative” is an adjective that means “having the quality or function of proving or demonstrating something; affording proof or evidence” as in “it places the probative burden on the defendant.”

    But don’t worry, all the woman and the man have to say is, “It wasn’t us” or to quote Lambino, “Where is the master tape if you’re going to present this as evidence in court? With high technology, you can just splice every conversation recorded and put that into one tape or disc and you can just select the statements therein to suit your purpose.”

    (Frankly, I liked Mike Defensor’s explanation better, “It was her voice but she was not the one doing the talking.” Unfortunately, Mike Defensor is nowhere to be found. Lambino will have to pick up the slack. Anyway, the last I heard of Defensor was that he was going around asking doctors if sucking on a silicon tit could cause cancer.)

    But going back to the statement at hand, before I was rudely interrupted by memories of Defensor, of course a telephone conversation between one woman and a man talking to each other about “yun dagdag, yun dagdag” does not prove cheating.

    Neither does asking about the fate of an election whistle-blower prove that the woman on the phone was worried about certain things leaking out. The woman was not worried about leaks, she hates leaks. Ask her doctors at Asian Hospital if you don’t believe me.

    Now I’m aware that those Gloria-hating pilosopos are going to throw that “high technology” stuff back at Lambino’s face. “If high technology allows you to splice every conversation, then there’s also high technology that will detect high technology splices,” they will argue.

    But that argument is of no account. Because Lambino is quick enough not to go there, especially when he knows that it is more important to question the motives of inquiring minds.

    “Walang ibang patutunguhan ito kundi patuloy na pagdiin sa paninira kay dating Pangulong Arroyo. Matagal nang pinag-usapan iyan. Alam na may ganiyang tape, paulit-ulit yun napag-usapan na.” Brilliant!

    Lambino points out that all the noise about Gloria Arroyo is just an attempt to distract the people from President Aquino’s performance.

    “Issues, inumpisahan gawin iyan 2 or 3 buwan bago mag-SONA. Umiinit, dumarami habang papalapit SONA. Tawag ko sa SONA, ‘State of No Accomplishment’ kaya sasabihin nila sa kanilang SONA, irereport nila pinagagawa sa dating Pangulong Arroyo…90 to 95% ng laman patama kay dating Pangulong Arroyo.”

    So that explains why we keep reading all those reports that confirm what we always suspected Gloria of doing.

    And so Noynoy must have known all along that he was going to be a do nothing president someday so he made Gloria commit all those crimes so that he could talk about them when he became president. Remind me to thank Lambino for helping me see that.

    But why is Gloria silent? Why is she telling Lambino and everyone else to speak for her?

    Lambino explains. “With me as legal spokesman to give some response to all these accusations, we’re trying to air her side in the way we believe. As far as the political value of all these statements, we’re doing it so calculated so we do not to provide other party hints or free legal advice to them.”

    Okay, but that does not answer the question why does she need a legal spokesman when she can speak for herself?

    “We advised her not to talk. Silence is not guilt. That’s her constitutional right but it does not mean she has done any wrongdoing. Some lawyers have the view, considering so many accusations have been discussed in the media, it would not be sound to give further comments.”

    Ah so, she was advised to invoke her constitutional right against self-incrimination. Fair enough. That’s exactly what that girl from the PCSO, Rosario Uriarte, invoked at the blue ribbon committee hearing. And she was also well advised. By the way, her lawyer is … Raul Lambino. Also.

    “It’s logical for Gloria and Rosario to have the same lawyer so they don’t get their stories crossed,” dirty minds would say. But the truth is Gloria and Rosario do not have anything to worry about.

    “The former president only acted on this mandate which is allowed under the rules of the Commission on Audit. The plunder charges are baseless and unfounded. They just want to connect Mrs. Arroyo to the controversy when she has nothing to do with the disbursements of funds.”

    Whew! I was beginning to believe Gloria was involved with the disbursements because the requests of Rosario, for billions of pesos, had Gloria’s handwriiten “OK” and initials underneath. But I guess not.

    I guess Lambino will say that the “OK” and initials, “only proves one thing, there was an “OK” and a woman’s initials written on a piece of paper. It doesn’t prove there was illegal disbursement of funds. That’s only the probative value. The “OK” and the initials could have been written on a piece of paper BEFORE the request was typed out. Can anybody prove that Gloria was not only practicing her signature on a blank piece of paper? Or that Rosario typed the request? With high technology, you can do anything to any document.”

    Thank God for Raul Lambino. He’s the man who will set the record straight.

    I can’t wait for him to explain those used brand-new helicopters that the PNP bought not from the Arroyos who used them extensively but took care of them so well they can still be called brand new.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • UP nn grad

    Nailing GuLO, or at least formed-Ferst-Genelman with that helicopter-deal should be a slam-dunk for deLima and Malacanang. Tracking the hours of usage, ownership, flight destinations, etcetera… a slam-dunk.

    I wonder if the helicopter-deal is mentioned in SONA? Sana naman.

    • UP nn grad

      YES… PresiNoynoy took time to mention the helicopter-deal. YEY!!!! Now he has complained about it to the whole nation, I think it means that his intention is to use all the resources of NBI, PNP, AFP, Justice, Customs, Tourism, and Highways so that at least one court-case is filed by December 2011. Merry Christmas!!!!

  • This sounds unbelievably naive but one is allowed to have his own interpretations. The curious thing is, the great thief already acknowledged it was her on that tape and publicly apologized for this “lapse” in judgment. So then what is the point much later on to counter on this admission and say that what that tape contains does not necessarily prove that it was her voice on that tape? This is the root of all the mess that we have right now. She had to share the spoils in government for all those who she was beholden to in order for the cheating to take place.