Well, I did not file an appeal when Comelec disqualified me for running as senator because I am an independent candidate. The three old men of the Second Division does not like me. As simple and as unequivocal as that. As for Ladlad, we filed a well-written and well-documented appeal with the Supreme Court, and had Ladlad reinstated in the list of party list candidates, pending final decision of the SC which I hopoe would be soon.
Am in Cebu not to eat lechon but to attend a writers' festival and to talk to the many many members of the LGBT community here, in the City of Queens in the South.
There's The Rub
A few good men
By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:33:00 02/10/2010
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT NICKY PERLAS, Danton Remoto and Danny Lim are running again. Or are being allowed to run again. They are the three people I wrote about last December, who had been dropped from the official roster by the Comelec on the grounds that they were nuisance candidates. Or specifically in the case of Perlas and Lim, on the ground that they had no chance to win.
It was worse in the case of Ladlad. The Comelec ruled that Ladlad, a gay group seeking a party-list seat, which Remoto represents, went against the grain of public morals. The Comelec cited Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, which forbids the glorification of criminals in movies, violence in shows, and obscene publications, and lustful or pornographic exhibitions. An astonishing judgment, lumping gayness with pornography and criminality, which reflected more on the judge than on the judged. The Supreme Court reversed the Comelec last month, saying its judgment had no place in a democracy, which forbade discrimination on the basis of race, creed, belief, and, while at that, sexual preference, and clamped a restraining order on the Comelec’s ruling. The restraining order allows Ladlad to run until such time as its case may be ruled upon with finality.
The Comelec revised its opinion about Perlas and Lim last month as well, brought on by no small amount of public protest and pressure. Perlas made a very good case about the voters being the judge of things—it ain’t over till the fat lady, or the 4’11” one, sings—who the hell was the Comelec to presume to think for them? And Lim’s supporters pitched tent, not completely metaphorically, at the Comelec grounds, refusing to budge till they got justice.
The good news is that all three may now run again. The bad news is that not too many people know about it. Because while the news of the three having been disqualified was big news, the news about them being re-qualified was small news. Except for Perlas, who has appeared in the presidential debates, thereby giving the voters to know he’s still very much alive and kicking, the other two have been buried in forgetfulness. For all practical purposes, Remoto and Lim may not be running at all.
Remoto is not powerless to do something about it. He is at large and at it, spreading the good news that gay is not sad, or at least that they have as much right to public office as anybody else. Ladlad has not ceased to unfold, and may yet contribute a thing or two to the unfolding of the history of electoral politics in this country. A pity though that “Milk,” which told the story of the first openly, or ladlad, gay man to win a seat in California, Harvey Milk, got to be shown well ahead of our elections. It might have scored a few more points for the group. I wish them well.
It’s Lim who is less well-positioned. The unfolding of his candidacy has been imperiled by the twin whammy of the literal prison GMA threw him into and the figurative one the lack of publicity about his being able to run again has hemmed him in. Antonio Trillanes suffered the fate only of the first when he ran, although he continued to suffer that fate well after he won. He himself will find his vindication when the fat lady, or the 4’11” one, sings, which won’t be very long now.
As things go, Lim’s bid for senator is far less problematic, legally and morally, than Trillanes’. That is so not just because while Trillanes led a mutiny—twice to boot, once at Oakwood and once at Pen—Lim merely called for a withdrawal of support by the military from the GMA government. It’s also, and far more so, because while Trillanes did so when GMA was still arguably a legitimate president, Lim did so when GMA had become a perfectly illegitimate one. I have no problems with Trillanes’ second mutiny, I have a problem with his first. When he carried out the Oakwood mutiny in 2003, GMA still carried the mandate of Edsa. When Lim called for his withdrawal of support in 2006, GMA merely carried the mandate of Garci. It was not that the cheating in the elections was never proven, it was simply that GMA’s allies in Congress prevented it from being proven—or even spoken about.
That Lim has been languishing in jail for it, well, government may call it the law but everybody else calls it the lie. They should be able to shout it with their votes.
I met Lim many years ago, and he’s one of the very few RAM members I respect. That is so because he is one of the very few RAM members I believe took up arms against the government for reasons other than the pursuit of power and self-aggrandizement. Indeed, he’s one of the very few members of RAM who truly meant it when he said, “Our dreams will never die.” If those dreams had to do with country rather than self, it died long ago with his comrades-in-arms who proved their dreams consisted only of advancing themselves. If those dreams had to do with ideals rather than expedience, then it died long ago with his comrades-in-arms who proved only that their dreams were for sale, at bargain prices.
Lim defies the typical image of the general, which he has been for many years now. That image being of one who is loud, abusive, and rich—the last no longer raising eyebrows, the public having been inured to the thought that a general deserves his take from jueteng. Lim is soft-spoken, principled, and poor, the last being almost a natural consequence of the first two. To say he is respected by the soldiers is to say GMA is not by the people, an understatement of epic proportions. Lim enjoys iconic status among the soldiers for reasons that have nothing to do with spreading the gravy. They have to do with embodying the gravitas of the true soldier.
These are a few good men, Remoto very much included. Spare them a thought.