02 July 2007

Overestimating one's strengths

THE LIVE stories on primetime TV news that broke Koko Pimentel's failure to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) last Thursday only offered a glimpse of that debacle.

I only started to appreciate its depth and breadth when I read Ricky Carandang's post the day after and this morning's disappointed Inquirer editorial.

Ironically, what may have prodded Koko to make this monumental gamble is his father's nemesis when the latter was still Cagayan de Oro city mayor and a leading opposition figure in the early '80s: the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

After topping the 1938 Bar exams, the 23-year old Marcos successfully argued his case before the Laurel Supreme Court, which acquitted him of the murder of Julio Nalundasan in its decision issued on October 22, 1940. As everyone knows, Marcos went on to become president of the Philippines.

There's a president in most everyone aspiring for a seat in the Senate. For lawyers, the strength of this urge, I think, is directly proportional to the size of their ego multiplied by their performance in the bar. This makes it easy for them to commit the politician's classical blunder: overestimating one's strengths and underestimating his weaknesses.

Now, Koko will probably never be all that his father ever was: mayor, assemblyman and now senator. But at least, he will always have that bar topnotcher thingy.

Graphic nicked from uniffors.com.