I Invoke My Right Against Self-Incrimination

I came home today before noontime struck to prepare for my 1pm class. On TV screen was the pork scam hearing involving the accused Janet Lim-Napoles at last appeared in front of the public to somehow break the silence. Well, I’m not a political savvy person so I cannot give you any political views nor opinions about the on-going trial.

Look at DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima’s priceless glare.

Best part. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, despite feeling ill, still graced the courtroom to quiz the allegedly (mmmm, I think not?) pork barrel scam queen none other than the woman I mentioned above. Before she proceeded to interrogating Napoles, she discussed first the reservations about incriminating one’s self which suddenly brought back the days when I was then taking up the Philippine Constitution and Government subject in my sophomore year in La Salle. In social media, a lot of netizens were scorching hot, extremely disappointed, and felt terrible anger towards the accused every time she says, “Hindi ko po alam,” or “Hindi po totoo yan,” in response to the questions thrown by the interrogators. Benhur Luy, together with the other star witnesses,  gave everything in detail. Please take note, IN DETAIL; but we got nothing good answers from her but sheer denial. Based on the Facebook posts and tweets I’ve seen, people are stirred to well-boiled anger, and much intense hatred was obviously the main emotion the public feels as of this writing. Who wouldn’t get mad? I am a taxpayer and I know so well the difficulty of shedding blood and sweat to earn money for our family. We do not deserve to get betrayed by some culprits who are currently savoring the convenience from our hard-earned moolah.

There you go. What made me excite was the entrance of the feisty senator. Every remark, every statement, every word she’s said was like what the viewing public waited for to hear. One couldn’t just take the stupid politeness of the former interrogators who received nothing but irritating answers from Napoles; so at the back of my mind, I was already wondering if she’s gonna come to take part in this anticipated hearing. Well, it did happen to my surprise; to my mother and younger brother’s surprise. Every question that the brilliant senator would ask, she should say “I invoke my right to self-incrimination,” if she doesn’t want to state her answer directly. Throughout the hearing, you would almost hear from her those phrases and sentences. And it’s ridiculously frustrating for us, the public, to know and get the truth from her. Her revelations were very evident (pun intended).

Sen. Miriam’s last words to her were: “Tell the truth before you have yourself assassinated.”

You can relive the 6-hour hearing here.


As interesting as the hearing was, I shrugged off the fact that I might be late for my Total Quality Management class at 1pm to begin the second semester. I patiently finished Sen. Miriam’s interpellation, and before I knew it, it’s almost 10 minutes before 1:30pm. Class in CIH208. Much nearer to the gate 1. In my mind, I’ve been saying that it’s okay to be late in class. After all, it’s just the first meeting. I have a new set of classmates which I consider (and many would absolutely agree) as one of the perks of being an irregular student. You get to meet a lot of people and eventually make friends that can broaden your network.

Anyhow, I saw the room. I entered and headed to the lone seat located at the back. The professor asked for my Certificate of Registration. When she saw the document, lines started to become visible on her face. Then she called my name with a puzzled look. She asked what does my major stand for. I responded. She questioned me again if I did shift. I answered no, of course. After she said the magical word, it occurred to me that I was placed in a very funny, erroneous, awkward situation. The class was intended ONLY for Hotel and Restaurant Management students. I was sitting in a Culinary Arts-something class!

I walked towards the attending professor, with all the shocked eyes beaming at me. I know in my hindsight they were smiling; preventing their selves to burst out. But no, you guys are wrong. I didn’t hear any laughter from anyone in that room. When I verified the room’s number, I greatly realized I was really, really in the wrong place. I do not know how the hell did I let my eyesight fool me. With enough poise and confidence, I apologized to everyone for disturbing their class and found my way out of the situation. Never, as in never in my entire college life that I entered the wrong room on the very first day of class.

Ironically, I did not feel any embarrassment right after. I just laughed when I got outside and entered to the right and correct classroom. A first. Ever.


As I headed out of the building to find my next class, a SWAFO (Discipline Officer) in his, I think, mid-30’s approached and called my attention. He got beard and big, round eyes; brown-complexioned; and appears like a gangster if not for his decent uniform. He asked where my ID was. It’s clipped in one of the belt supporters of my pants (I don’t know what’s it called) so I slightly hiked up the layer of my polo barong and showed him where it was.

At that time, I suddenly felt red hot upon hearing his permission to ‘borrow‘ my ever-important ID. I knew where it will lead to. He was questioning why is it not pinned in the middle portion of my body. I explained. He’s not convinced. That almost 5 minutes of my life could have been the longest I ever since have. My voice seemed to hit one octave higher while debating with him. Good thing I stayed calm, composed, and firm not to allow him get my ID. I’d want to slap the truth in his face their leniency to other students sometimes. I see, and sure thing they see a lot of students who put their ID’s in that part but do not corner them to issue a violation.

In due fairness, when I asked him where the hell in the Student’s handbook can be found that provision to always place your ID in the right place, he stated the article and the verse… but before he could finish his sentence, I took my necklace out of my purse and used it instead as a lace for my ID. He was speechless, and I told him ‘thank you‘ with sarcasm and dragged myself out of the building without even turning my head to see his face once more.

No wonder why a lot of students sarcastically tag them as our ‘best friends’. I know they are tapped to perform their job but sometimes it’s like they’re power tripping. To those who have already read the Kampusapusapan page of Heraldo Filipino’s broadsheet, one of the complaints one would often get to read is the incident involving the very infamous authorities lurking around the campus who haplessly catch students in a very compromising, difficult situation.

Well, that SWAFO did not win against me.

**Video Courtesy of GMA News Online; Photo Courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer


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