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The Magnificent Atty. Perez: the Evolution June 7, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Armchair Politics, I, Lawyer, Seriously now….

I am sure some people are surprised why I have suddenly turned into an armchair political analyst.

Views of both my blog in Multiply and WordPress reveal that I have grown a penchant for writing commentary and personal analysis on the political situation here in the Philippines. Perusing my Multiply blog, I’m amused with the trend of my choice of topics. I went through an emo phase where I made my blog into a online diary, then I went through a psycho-analysis phase where my blog entries were test results of various personality exams I took online (proving that indeed, I do have a personality!), and now, I’m going through my armchair politics phase.

But the thing is, I’ve never been an apolitical creature, it’s just that it’s only now that I’m making my political views known to the whole universe. I come from a family that is very much involved in politics, usually through indirect means, and sometimes, it crosses over to having uncles who run for office. Back in the day, it was typical dinner-table conversation to discuss the merits of Lito Osmena over Sonny, to trace the history of corruption beginning from the Marcos era, and to look back and lament the loss of good statesmen such as Jovito Salonga, Ramon Magsaysay and Serging Osmena. You would hear my grandfather, the late Judge Rafael Ybanez, going over points with my father, my mother, Tito Babbitt, and any other person in attendance, who cared to join in the conversation.
And, as I would like to highlight over and over to friends with pride, my grandfather holds the distinction of having repeatedly sworn in Sergio Osmena II to office, from mayor, to Congressman, and finally to Senator. In each and every election, my family served as one of the political machineries that brought Serging to power.

My family has mostly been conservative in outlook, but liberal in implementation. We advocate tried-and-tested political platforms and look back to the day when the Philippines was under a two-party system instead of the miasma of coalitions sprouting up every other day. We are against traditional politicians, however. We’ve rallied under the banners of visionaries such as Lito Osmena and his uncle Serging. My dad was among one of the people body-flanking Cory Aquino when she held her post-martial law rally in Cebu. When an impeachment was lodged against Chief Justice Hilario Davide, I was with my mother and father in the procession around Fuente Osmena crying upon the walls of Jericho to fall and uphold a just and decent man.

Thus, I have grown up aware of political issues and molded under the hands of conservatism. That is why I lean towards being pro-administration. I advocate parties that do the least amount of harm to both the economy and the Filipino populace. It scares me that Ping Lacson, Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes are all in the current line-up of Senators, with Trillanes already sounding off his ignorance of the political process by pushing for the immediate impeachment of the President, who also happens to be the Commander-in-chief that he swore to serve and protect as a member of our Philippine Armed Forces. His stance is ignorant in the fact that he clearly doesn’t know that the impeachment process is initiated with the Lower House, and not with the Senate. (Which begs the question, why the hell did he ever run for Senate when he does not have any clue as to what he’s doing???)

I enjoy this new side of me however. It’s like bringing out an old friend to play new games. To my credit, my blog entries have been referred to by no less than Manuel L. Quezon III, who is himself a noted political analyst in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and who runs his own blog with political commentaries. And I was referred three times. (MLQ3, if you’re reading this, the truth can finally be said. I’m just pretending to know what I’m talking about!!)

This new development in my writing is reflective of the change that I am going through, both as a professional and as a person. My world used to be the academe. I lived, breathed, and experienced the student’s life. My focus was on comic books, tabletop RPG, and stalking pretty women. My dad thought I was immature and juvenile, in a concerned paternal way (I tell you, I have very conservative parents).

The older I got, the more changes came my way. After graduating from Accounting and earning my CPA license, I started having my quarter-life crisis. I questioned what I was doing and started wondering if there was ever any hope for me considering the dark outcome of the future ahead. Fortunately it was stalled and pre-empted by immediately preceding to law school the year after. Then I finished law and became a liar, errr, I mean, a lawyer.

Law school was another haven for me which allowed me to enjoy yet another aspect of student life. You see, back in my elementary and high school years, I was never the popular kid. I was the kind of student that the teacher adored (although honestly, I was never a teacher’s pet), but whom the rest of my classmates looked down on, more so considering that I went to an exclusive boys school that was known for having either the most demonic misfits ever known to have walked the history of man, or the swishiest of all junior drag-queens-in-the-making. I was one of those people who fell in the cracks in between and thus never did really quite belong anywhere else.

I was pretty much apathetic during my Accountancy days and just breezed through life as an invisible aspect of campus. The only organizations I ever signed up for was the ROTC, the Campus Ministry Volunteers, and the Accountancy school paper editorial board.

Then law school came and suddenly, I was thrust in the limelight of popularity. I became the guy everybody knew on campus, from the upper classmen down to the freshest of fresh meat, errr, I mean freshmen. From being the geek/nerd of my younger days, I was surprised to find that I was suddenly one of the guys, and despite my absolute lack of any appreciable basketball skills whatsoever, I was picked to be a member of the basketball team. I was also in the swimming team (one of the star athletes, natch), a veteran team leader of third Sunday Bar Operations, an active Vice-president of the College of Law student council, and the biggest teacher’s pest, err, I mean, pet that you’ve ever seen on this side of the planet (Although arguably, some say that distinction rightfully belongs to my classmate Jess dela Pena, the official sound system boy and microphone roadie).

My real birthing pangs as an “adult” came after law school.

This was the time that I started questioning who I was and what I want to become. I was being molded in the fires of litigation and thrust straight into the heart of problem bosses and even more problematic clients. Numerous job offers were thrown my way, but somehow, I always found myself sticking to Palma Ybanez and Teleron. The real epiphany came a few weeks ago as I served as lead counsel for Sen. Joker Arroyo, and was able to fly over to Manila and meet the man himself. From then on, I’ve understood. I am where I should be.

I’m one year into the practice now and I’m slowly beginning to understand who I am and who I’m meant to be. And onward into the future, I find myself coming full circle to my past. Like my father and my grandfather before me, I’m meant to be involved in the community. I’m meant to analyze its ills, and realize its opportunities. I’m being called to lead, whether it is on the sidelines through a blog about legal and political commentaries, or hopefully, in an active capacity by running my own business and by getting involved through public advocacy.

My family elders tell me that I’m turning into my grandfather, which I think, is not a bad thing to be.

So here I am hitting hard on the sidelines and pointing out the trends and movement of law, politics, business, and life.

My name is Janjan, and yes folks, I am the Magnificent Atty. Perez. Tremble at the sight of my rapist wit.


1. nicx l. - June 7, 2007

rapist wit? oh attorney, you never mince words do you? i shall enjoy reading your blog.

2. philippinesfreepress - June 7, 2007

you’re only pretending to be clueless because what you have so say is interesting and potentially quite challenging. It’s about time a voice emerged from cebu to speak up and debate the rest of us in the blogosphere. may you write many many more thought-provoking entries to come.

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