Let the truth out

FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas () - February 28, 2012 - 12:00am

At this point, truth seems to be a victim at the Impeachment Trial. Why? Because the Defense panel is able to use every courtroom tactic and every verbal brawl at its command and also because the presiding officer of the Impeachment Court seems to have an unlimited power in choosing what should be presented evidence and what should not be.

The Prosecution, from Day One, has had a hard time getting out every piece of evidence. One small victory after the other was really hard won, but only after it wiggled its way out of the combined force of both Defense and presiding officer. For example, the presentation of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of the impeached Chief Justice was allowed by the Impeachment Court only after long and heated debates. It will also be noticed that the testimony of the vice president for sales of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) was not allowed. His testimony could have revealed to the Impeachment Court that PAL granted CJ Corona a Platinum Card which was used for his extensive “cost free” travels.

The presiding officer also downgraded the testimony of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima when the SC issued the TRO against Secretary de Lima’s order to stop the former President from flying.

As of this writing, a question hangs at the Impeachment Court. Should it allow Justice Sereno to testify? She must, some people believe, in order for the whole truth and nothing but the truth to be known by this country .

Should the Supreme Court allow Justice Sereno to be a witness to give us an inside track about the so-called flip flopping in the SC’s decisions? The rest of the SC Justices must show the nation that the Highest Tribunal is not hiding anything about so central and so crucial a matter.

Must Justice Sereno testify on her own, driven by her higher sense of justice and obedience to a higher law that the truth must be told? This nation will heave a sigh of relief, will thank the heavens, and will once again know that there are courageous and trustworthy government leaders when she will obey a higher order from the Divine.

Let the truth out.

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A Silliman University alumna, Carmen Sun Heceta, passed away Feb. 23. She was born on May 30, 1933 in Dumaguete City. She graduated with a degree in pharmacy, and it was at the university where she met a campus figure, Espiridion Ga. Heceta Jr., who became a lawyer. They were married on December 22, 1964 in Manila.

The Hecetas’ wedding was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the date of their wedding was also Dion’s birthday. Second, they were married twice. Dion, who hailed from Siquijor Island, was Protestant (Presbyterian) and Carmen, or Mameng, Roman Catholic. They had agreed that neither one would convert to the other’s denomination so they got married twice on the same day, once in a Protestant church and again in a Catholic church. Carmen gave birth to a son, Espiridion’s namesake, a year later.

Most of Mameng’s professional life was linked with her husband’s career in Great Pacific Life (Grepalife) and the former Pacific Plans, Inc. She discovered that she had a knack for sales, starting as a sales counselor and eventually becoming a group sales manager, winning a significant number of Marketing Excellence Awards along the way.

After Dion passed away from cancer on Feb. 20, 2003, Mameng continued to remain active in sales, with Pacific Plans and then with Caritas Health Shield. Sadly, health issues brought about complications from hypertension, diabetes, and worsening kidney problems, forced her to eventually cease her activities and remain at home.

In 2011, the last completed year of her life, her health deteriorated severely. None of her colleagues and closest friends knew of this, however. She deliberately kept it from them because she did not want them to worry or to feel sorry for her.

On January 13, last month, she was rushed to the ICU of Perpetual Medical Center in Las Pinas due to what was later determined as a stroke and severe renal failure. During her month-long stay in the hospital, she struggled with the decision of whether or not to have herself undergo dialysis. Doctors and relatives were giving her son informed, well-intentioned, but contradicting opinions on the subject. It was Mameng who settled the decision one afternoon when she regained consciousness, completely clear-headed and lucid: absolutely, categorically, no dialysis.

She was finally brought to her home on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. While in the hospital, she had been in almost constant pain, so much so that doctors needed to administer medication to help her sleep. Upon returning home, however, she was relaxed, almost serene, as everyone worked to make her as comfortable as possible.

Finally, at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Jun, a training consultant with Guthrie-Jensen Consultants, Inc., says: “We believe she was completely comfortable, pain-free and at peace when the end came. On a final note, she died three days after the death anniversary of my father. I believe he had sent for her at last, and they are now together.”

In addition to Jun, Mameng is survived by her three grandchildren: Kate, 18, a junior at UST majoring in political science; Deanna, 16, graduating from high school this year from OB Montessori, and Paolo, 12, Grade V, at OB Montessori. 

Mameng’s funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. today at the Manila Memorial Park crematorium in Sucat, Paranaque. Cremation follows immediately after. Her ashes will join those of her husband’s in the family columbarium, also at the Manila Memorial Park.

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Email: dominimt2000@yahoo.com

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