Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.  This article was published in Business Mirror, March 8, 2006 edition, p. A10.

Mrs. Arroyo’s attack on Mrs. Niñez Cacho-Olivares, publisher of the Daily Tribune, reminded me of Richard Nixon’s attack on Mrs. Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post.

Nixon was incensed at Mrs. Graham because Washington Post pursued the Watergate break-in, wiretaps, and subsequent cover-up.  He told his aides he was going to do everything in his power to muzzle the Washington Post. His Attorney General-turned- campaign manager, John Mitchell, said ” Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s ever published.”

The equally small-minded Mrs. Arroyo tried to do the same thing to Mrs. Niñez Cacho-Olivarez but she failed. The Daily Tribune’s lady, like Mrs. Graham before her, is no pushover.

That whole sorry episode brings to mind the story of a lady who was shafted by a department store. The lady’s story is certainly not the tale of Mrs. Cacho-Oliveros’ response to Mrs. Arroyo’s botched attempt at closing her newspaper down. It’s more like Congressman Edcel Lagman’s reaction to Proclamation 1017, the State of Emergency proclamation.

Congressman Edcel Lagman, the doctor who used a rusty wire hanger called “prejudicial questions” to abort the impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo, delivered a privilege speech in defense of Proclamation 1017. His pompous opening line was, “Let me preface this privilege speech with the following cardinal statements and restatements.” He ended his circumlocution with “Fortunately, Proclamation 1017 does not re-impose a martial law regime. But we must not sanction or tolerate any wayward, illegal and improvident implementation of Proclamation 1017.”

I looked up the meaning of “cardinal” and, among its many definitions, I found that the most appropriate for Congressman Lagman’s “cardinal” is,  ” a woman’s short cloak, originally red and usually hooded.”

Anyway, back to the lady in the department store.

A lady went to a department store customer service counter and told the clerk she wanted a refund for the toaster she bought. She said, “The toaster you sold me does not work.”  The clerk told her that he couldn’t give her a refund because she bought the toaster on special.

Suddenly, the lady threw her head back and started screaming, “PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES!!!”

The befuddled clerk ran to get the store manager.  The store manager went rushing to the  lady and asked, “Ma’am what’s wrong?”

The lady repeated her desire to get a refund for the inoperable toaster. The store manager reiterated the company line that she couldn’t get a refund because she bought the toaster on special.

Once again, the lady threw her head back and, with eyes closed and arms flailing, screamed even louder, “PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES!!!”

The completely befuddled store manager asked,   “Ma’am, why are you screaming that?”


Over cocktails at a Singapore watering hole favored by private bankers, I asked an ardent supporter of GMA, “How can you stay in bed with Mrs. Arroyo when her idea of pleasure is to put the entire country’s tit on a wringer?” I added, “What’s in it for you anyway?”

He said he sincerely believed Mrs. Arroyo was the best person to lead the Philippines in this time of transition. He tried to tell me why but I stopped him before he could begin to recite the Arroyo Litany. I said, “But I always thought you were only in it for the money.”

My friend took offense at my remark. He said, “Do you think laundering money is all that matters to me? Can’t I have principles as well? ”

“Gee, I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t know one could be corrupt and principled at the same time.”

Our lovely Chinese bartender must have been listening in on our conversation because she butted in and said, “No lah, that’s not corrupt and principled at the same time. That’s what you call corruption complexed with stupidity.”

At least she pinched my friend’s nipples when she said that.

Incidentally, some friends told me I was too harsh when I described as “maggots feasting on Leyte’s cadavers” those Arroyo defenders who were using the Leyte tragedy as a means to denigrate the demonstrators commemorating EDSA.

Maybe I should have called them necrophiliacs, perverts who like to screw and molest the dead. At least those perverts never have to worry about pinching nipples.