Diary of Augusto Caesar Espiritu

Friday, September 8, 1972

Ikeng Corpuz was delivering a “bomba.” He said that it was wrong to ban Marcos and his spouse. He argued that this is a question of civil liberties, and civil liberties have to do with individual rights rather than conjugal rights.

Ikeng Corpuz is a curious man. He is a former congressman and is much older than many of us in our bloc. He is unpredictable, in many ways. In the early days of the Convention, and in fact, even before the Convention, he had somehow found his way into the Manglapus camp. I think he had voted for me during my “primary” fight with Tito Guingona because of the fact that we were at Harvard Law School together. I remember him most as having been shocked that our Harvard exams were held during Holy Week. “Ano ba ang mga tao dito, Hudyo? he had uttered. Now he has been going around with and seeking the support of the Marcos people for his bid for the chairmanship of the Sponsorship Council. He has somehow drifted towards the camp of the politicians. He is really an old politician with a politician’s heart, generally of good intentions even if the strength of his convictions might be suspect.

Nevertheless, unpredictable as Ikeng might be, he is nothing compared to the enigmatic Oka Leviste, who is just about the most unpredictable man in the Convention. Romy Capulong said that Oka has been eased out of Manglapus’ Christian Social Movement for having voted “No” to the ban-dynasty resolution, as well as for many other reasons. Ramoning Diaz jokingly added that Oka’s credibility is sometimes below sea level.

Sed Ordoñez commented that between the two Levistes, Jose (Joey) seems to have more credibility. “Except that according to Raul Roco, during the election for committee chairman, Joey Leviste and Sonny Alvarez had run against each other, and it would seem that Joey then dropped all his independent feathers and sought to get the support of the Marcos bloc who were the majority. In fact, for quite a while, he really seemed to have played politics and voted with the pro-Marcos people,” Sed continued.

“But lately, he has been showing some independence again. He voted ‘Yes’ on the ban-dynasty proposal. The real problem is you just don’t really know how his mind works, because while I grant that he strikes me as being a sincere man, the way he has been voting lately makes one wonder,” I rejoined.

My conjectures with Sed were interrupted. My brother, Rebeck Espiritu, gave a speech which was well-delivered. He had explained that his “Yes” vote was really to redeem the parliamentary system and protect it from “that man” in Malacañang.

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