This afternoon, I had the chance to talk over the phone with Senator Jovito Salonga. I had faxed to his office at Kilosbayan and to his residence my appeal to the Philippine government to suspend the diggings at Monumento and give way to public consultation that will save the Monumento from further desecration.
Senator Salonga was kind enough to hear my small voice over the phone. He was in agreement with the call for consultation over the issue of protecting national dignity and honor at the Bonifacio Monument. I expect to hear a public pronouncement on Monumento from Sen. Jovito Salonga, easily one of the greatest living Filipinos.
Humility is a hallmark of this man's character.
Here's an excerpt from Senator Salonga's "A Letter to the Filipino Youth of Today" published in the maiden issue of Living News and Good Education, June 1, 2005 (the entire article is found in the The Jovito R. Salonga Journal).
"Later, Japanese troops landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan, and in several places in Luzon. Filipino-American troops in those places fought back but had to retreat to Bataan and Corregidor. On December 26, 1941, Manila was declared an open city, which means the Japanese could enter freely without armed resistance. On January 2, 1942, Japanese officers and soldiers were swarming around Manila and surrounding areas, such as Pasig and Marikina. Because of the abuses committed by the enemy, especially against Filipino women and children, I went underground and joined the fight against Japan. During the Holy Week of 1942, I was captured by the Japanese military police (kempeitai), was tortured, jailed in Pasig, then to Fort Santiago, transferred to the City Jail on San Marcelino, then to the Old Bilibid on Azcarraga, and eventually sentenced by the Japanese military tribunal to a prison term of 15 years of hard labor. By a stroke of good luck, I was released from Muntinglupa one year later (1941) on the occasion of kigen setsu the Foundation Day of Japan. In 1944, I was allowed by the Supreme Court to take the bar examination and I passed it with a good rating. I joined the guerrillas in Rizal. US forces landed in Leyte; in the second week of January 1945, they landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan and Manila was liberated by American GIs, guided by Filipino guerrillas, in February 1945. Other places were also liberated in quick succession. The atomic bomb was dropped by US Air Force on 2 Japanese cities: Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Japan surrendered to the US in August 1945."
How's that again? "Passed the bar with a good rating?"
Here's what another source say really happened:
"However, because of the advent of World War II, he postponed taking the Philippine Bar Examination until 1944—which he and José Diokno both topped with a grade point average of 95.3%, the 2nd highest score in Philippine Bar history (Florenz Regalado holds 1st place)."
For more on Senator Jovito Salonga, please see this Wikipedia article: Jovito Salonga.