Nora Soriño .
ILIGAN City — There’s a creature in our midst which is called “technicality.” Or “technically.” What does this mean? Well, it could mean this, it could mean that. It depends.
I remember a reporter in a class in economics who reported on the impact of supply on demand.
When asked about what the word “impact” meant, Edgar, the reporter answered: “Just listen to the word ‘impact!’ and you will know the meaning.” With the exclamation point after the word, how can we the audience not know?
I guess I’d do an Edgar too. Just listen to the word “technically” or “technicality” and you will know the meaning — minus the exclamation, though.
The word has allies or relatives as in technical, technician, technique, technology, technocrat and maybe you there can still name one or two.
So we then ask: Is Mayor Celso Regencia suspended?
My answer: Technically, yes.
My answer is also: Technically, no.
Why “yes”? Because he has accepted the matter, in speeches and in actions. He even has directed Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz to take over as acting mayor. And he said he is ready for the suspension. And when you say you are ready, then you are ready. His acceptance is subtle. As in the song “Killing Me Softly.” I don’t know though if there’s a song involved here. “Strumming my pain with his fingers…” so goes some lyrics of that song.
I think with the subtle acceptance, his “pain” is being strung by the fingers of former vice mayor Ruderic Marzo, former congressman Vicente Belmonte Jr. and the other, ah… “yellowhans.” So, there is therefore that perception of being really suspended. And I heard from at least one expert in information technology that “perception is reality.” If not, then why do we spend hours in the gadgets and seeing not real people but people perceived only in them gadgets.
A few days ago, the mayor expressed his pain when he said of “them.” Where were you when the lights went out? Aww. No, he said, “Where were you when the war in Marawi broke out?” Meaning, if “they” were the officials when the war in Marawi broke out, could they do the same? That is, maintain the peace here even if this city is only some breaths away from the war zone in Marawi then? “They” naturally mean Marzo et al..
Let’s go to the other answer. Which is, technically, “no.” Because, the papers for his suspension has not been served by the DILG.
Technically, it has to be served. If we have to be “technical” about it. Technically, perception is not reality. We even say “that is only a perception.” Meaning that. Only a perception. Which is not necessarily reality.
To recall, a 90-day suspension was slapped on Regencia by the Sandiganbayan. This is for doing duties as mayor while he was on detention. This was in connection with the ambush of the convoy of Belmonte near the Laguindingan airport on Dec. 11, 2014. Three of the aides of the congressman then died. Belmonte himself was unscathed. Later, the cases were dismissed and the mayor was released from prison.
Yet, to this day, the past still spooks Regencia. Technically, he’s not yet done with that case. For one thing, our laws are fraught with technicalities.
Take the case of municipal mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao Norte Rommel Arnado. A few elections ago, he was slapped with a disqualification by a court for “being an American citizen.” The decision was “final and executory.” So per the tenor of said decision he was no longer mayor then. And since elections then was approaching, he was disqualified in running as mayor of said town.
Later though, I heard Arnado saying, “My disqualification is only because of a technicality.”
It bugs me. How can a “final and executory” decision be a decision based “only on a technicality?”
I remember now Romie, a friend who was renting a house in Cebu City who received a letter from the lawyer of the house he was renting to “immediately vacate the house.” This is for the reason that the orig tenant was no longer there, as he had transferred to another province. But orig tenant could still be seen from time to time in the house where Romie is staying. Because he still had some unfinished business in Cebu.
Romie played hardball and refused to vacate. He even told some neighbors that the lawyer might be in danger of losing to someone who has taken only three units of “Obligations and Contracts” in law.
Romie was banking on some “technicality.” I suppose this “technicality” is very technical. And very powerful. If one knows how to use it. That is speaking of it technically. Because the lawyer did not follow through the demand to Romie to vacate the house.
I suppose, he was concerned of some “technicality.” So, Romie lived in peace in that house in Cebu City until he transferred to another city.
And, technically speaking, we’re through with the matter as we might get too technical for comfort!