Close to five years ago, I had a chance to meet former Secretary Angelo T. Reyes when he was the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. It was on one of our Regional Peace and Order Council meeting held at the Diamond Hotel in Roxas Boulevard, Manila. He was the guest of honor, being the Chairman of the National Police Commission. From what I remember, he was an excellent speaker. He commands attention, that I think came from his military background. But he sounded more like a politician. That, I didn’t care for. After his short talk, he excused himself and said he had to attend to other pressing matters and pardons his early exit. Led by four aide–de–camps, most of the participants gathered to his path to the exit to say hello and shake his hand. By the time he reached our table, I stood up in respect but was not eager to shake his hand. As I stood there, he noticed that I wasn’t coming to him. He called me out and said, “Kid, come over here and shake my hand.” I obliged. Like what I said, he commands.
But his command has its limits. Just like Frank “Frankie Five Angels” Pentangeli from the Godfather Part II. Only to his family. When Tom Hagen came to him in prison they chatted:
Tom: “When a plot against the Emperor failed…the plotters were always given a chance to let their families keep their fortunes. Right?”
Frank: “Yeah, but only the rich guys, Tom. The little guys got knocked off and all their estates went to the Emperors. Unless they went home and killed themselves, then nothing happened. And the families…the families were taken care of…”
Tom: “That was a good break. A nice deal.”
Frank: “Yeah…They went home…and sat in a hot bath…opened up their veins…and bled to death…and sometimes they had a little party before they did it.”
Frank: “Those were the great old days, you know…And we was like the Roman Empire…The Corleone family was like the Roman Empire…”
Angelo T. Reyes was a soldier. A soldier to the end. RIP.
Question is…who’s Michael?
8:45pm, 8 February 2011.
10am — Assembly time at my friend, Councilor Allan’s place. Arrived there ahead of time, everybody was still having their breakfast. Already had mine, five pandesals, two sunny-side-up eggs and a cup of hot Milo. A bit early, maybe I’m excited since it’s my first time to meet a presidentiable and vice-presidentiable up-close.
1047am — All set. Everybody’s ready. Blue and yellow balloons are tied to two SUVs and a car, our part of the convoy. Soon after, we’re off to the motorcade meeting point.
1109am — At San Pedro exit, the meeting point.
1121am — Got news that the motorcade was scrapped off the itinerary. Bummer! Entered SLEX and proceeded to the venue at the University of Perpetual Help in Biñan, Laguna. Lost all the balloons in the process.
1137am — At the university. Crowd already built up. A couple of senatoriables and a number of local candidates are on the stage firing up the Yellow Army.
1209pm — Still no sign of the guests of honor. We’re famished 😦
113pm — Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas arrives! Noynoy first, then Mar.
118pm — Mar spoke first. Talked about the attacks on Noynoy’s character. Praised his partner’s integrity and class. Ends his speech with his famous line.
133pm — Halftime Show: A skit from Aling Palengke, portraying the situation of the common Pinay. Some lines reminiscent of an angry Mar Roxas which was very funny because we can see his immediate reaction.
145pm — Noynoy’s turn. Clarified the issue of appointment of a new Chief Justice during this time of election, how much he admired the grace and humility of their party’s VP candidate, how others attack him through the wrong of his parents and even through his grandparents, and how some people are just too thick-skinned and inconsiderate as they continue to pursue their personal goals in lieu of the country.
202pm — Short rally closes. Thunderous applause from the Yellow Army!
8:11pm, 16 January 2010.