Mr. Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.

Alex Magno of the Philippine Star wrote, “As the world rushes aid to the victims of the Leyte landslide, why are the political players of Manila more engrossed with power grabs?”

I asked a political analyst what he thought about Magno’s line. He dismissed it: “Magno echoes the palace propaganda line.”

I thought it was more than just propaganda. I saw Magno’s line as a shameless act of enlisting the dead of Leyte as soldiers to protect his self-elected patroness, Gloria Arroyo.

The great American journalist, Jimmy Breslin, once wrote a column about politicians using the dead for political gain. He wrote:

“In his first campaign commercial, George Bush reached down and molested the dead….George Bush came up with the badge of a Port Authority cop, George Howard, who died. He was from Hicksville. His mother gave Bush the son’s badge. When Bush came back to the trade center a year later, he reached into his pocket and whipped out that badge and he had a tear in his eye. What makes it worse is that this George W. Bush acts like he’s entitled to treat the remains of a dead man like a souvenir. Now he shows a commercial with dead bodies, or body parts, covered with an American flag being taken through the smoke and flames of the world trade center attack. It caused people who had lost family members in the attack to complain about using the dead or parts thereof being used for a politician’s gain.”

That is exactly what Magno and the rest of what Breslin calls the Pekinese Press are guilty of, molesting the dead.

Magno said the politicians who went to Fort Bonifacio during last Sunday’s Marine stand-off “were like flies buzzing around excrement or vultures hovering around a carcass.” By the same token, Magno is nothing but a maggot feasting on Leyte’s cadavers.

But he is more than just a maggot.

Magno, like his patroness in Malacañang, does not hesitate to ride on the backs of Filipinos toiling abroad. He boasts, like a remora on a shark, “Since the start of the year, the peso has strengthened dramatically”. Tell us, Remora, how your shark can claim credit for the sweat and blood of millions of OFWs who remit money to their families?

“The economy is beginning to roar. Large-scale investments are being negotiated,” he adds, as innocent villagers of Rapu-Rapu are poisoned by toxic mine spills from those large scale investments.

Magno, why are you applauding the sight of truncheons bashing the heads of peaceful marchers while people are dying in Rapu-Rapu?

Do something for the living instead of feasting on the dead, you maggot.