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Enduring friendship

Dominador Awiten .

PERFECT fried green tomatoes are crunchy, spicy and dippable – according to an internet recipe magazine.   The combination of the ingredients (eggs, water, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sea salt and pepper to add to the desired taste) renders the fries delectable. The fries are pleasurable for holding up well and for their crunchy coating with a sour flavor.

An enduring friendship can be like that – to hold well through the end, delicious all the way.

The story in the 1991 movie, Fried Green Tomatoes (based on the 1987 novel by actress and author Fannie Flagg) carries the parallel narratives of two friendships: that of Evelyn Couch and Ninny Threadgoode, and the other of Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison.

Evelyn is an unhappy wife who meets the elderly Ninny at the nursing home where her husband’s aunt is cared for.  As their friendship flourishes, Ninny tells of the story of Idgie’s and Ruth’s affinity that has developed gradually.

Idgie is sad because of the recent death of her brother, and the family invites Ruth (the brother’s girlfriend) to help Idgie get over the loss. Their friendship is established when Idgie demonstrates her intrepid mastery of the bees when she dips into a large beehive without harm to herself. As their friendship blooms, Ruth has to leave their place to marry Frank Bennett. 

When Idgie visits the married couple, she finds Ruth pregnant and realizes Frank to be a violent and abusive husband. Both women return to their native place. Ruth gives birth to her child who is named Buddy Jr. after Idgie’s deceased brother and Ruth’s former boyfriend.

The two friends open the Whistle Stop Café, employing the family cook Sipsy and her son, Big George, who acquires local fame for his delicious barbecue dish.

Frank arrives later to abduct their son, but he is overcome and rendered unconscious by someone he does not recognize. He is considered a missing person.

When Frank’s truck is found later at the bottom of the river (but without his body). Idgie becomes the immediate suspect. The sheriff suggests for Idgie to pin the blame on Big George but she demurs.

The case turns around when the local minister testifies to provide the accused a credible alibi. The case is dismissed by the judge on account of Frank’s notoriety as a drunkard.

Later, Ruth dies of cancer. The café closes. 

In the end, Ninny concludes her narration by a revelation that Frank may have been killed as he is trying to kidnap the child and his body is cooked for barbecue. The investigator from Frank’s place has been served with the barbecue that he likes a lot and which he considers to be the best pork barbecue he has ever tasted.

Evelyn invites Ninny to live with her.  As they pass Ruth’s grave, they can see it is being inlaid with a jar of honey, a honeycomb, and a card which reads, “I’ll always love you, the Bee Charmer.”

No body means no evidence of the crime having been committed. Criminal law requires the corpus delicti, which consists of the facts and circumstances constituting an offense. It may be the corpse as a concrete evidence of the crime of murder.

In a not so recent ponencia, Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen reiterated the principle on physical evidence: “Physical evidence is evidence of the highest order. It speaks more eloquently than a hundred witnesses. They are that mute but eloquent manifestations of truth which rate high in our hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.”

Of alibi as a defense in a criminal prosecution, the oft-repeated ruling is that while it may be considered a weak defense, the claim of the accused that they were elsewhere at the time of the crime incident is entitled to be given credence if the prosecution is not able to overcome the burden of proof of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The dismissal of the case has basis on the notion that the prosecution is not allowed to rely on the seeming weakness of the defense but must prove its case on the strength of its own evidence.

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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