POSTSCRIPT / February 23, 2012 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Admin favors US pilot over President Dadong?

CLARK FIELD – The plan to remove the name of the late President Diosdado Macapagal, an illustrious son of Pampanga, from the international airport here and replace it with that of an American aviation officer is unfortunate. And petty.

The move comes to many cabalens as part of the continuing campaign to strip the environment of hated vestiges of the administration of President Gloria M. Arroyo, the daughter of Cong Dadong of Lubao town.

With politics thick in the air, the dropping of the Macapagal name could also be seen as prelude to renaming the airport as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, whose operations are to be transferred to the aviation complex in this former US air base.

There could be a tug-of-war among three names: Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (the present name), Clark International Airport (the proposed name) and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (possible name).

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CLARK VS DADONG: How many Filipinos, and Capampangans, know Major Harold M. Clark and his exploits that could earn for him the honor of having the upcoming premier international airport of the country named after him?

Will Clark’s record eclipse that of the late president Macapagal to such a degree that the aviator’s name should supplant that of the latter on this important facility?

Wikipedia has it that Clark of the US Army Signal Corps was born in Minnesota and reared in Manila. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of the Cavalry in 1913. In 1916, he transferred to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, and in 1917 was rated a Junior Military Aviator.

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CLARK’S BIO: Since most Filipinos do not know Clark, let us introduce him by quoting Wikipedia further:

“Clark flew assignments in Columbus, New Mexico; Kelly Field, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He went to Hawaii to command an air service station and was the first United States airman to fly in Hawaii. Upon his return to the US, Clark served at fields in Washington, DC, and San Diego, California. After completion of a pursuit course, he was appointed as the commanding officer of a pursuit group of the First Provisional Wing at Mineola, New York.

“Clark later became an executive officer with the Aviation Section in Panama. Major Clark died on May 2, 1919, in a seaplane crash in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal Zone, and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.”

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NOY’S RECORD: What was represented as a 1979 psychiatric evaluation report on Noynoy Aquino, then 19 years old, complaining of depression and melancholia went viral days ago after Chief Justice Renato C. Corona dared President Aquino to disclose it.

We presumed that the Chief Justice was referring to the five-page report bearing the signature of one Jaime Bulatao, SJ, dated 8/9/1979, which also surfaced during the 2010 election campaign, and now supposedly rendered moot.

Explaining what he did, the Chief Justice said,“Mayroon po tayong obligasyon na ipakita sa taong-bayan na maayos ang ating pagiisip.” (We owe it to the people to assure them we are of a sound mind.)

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COMPLAINTS: The patient, according to the report, allegedly complained of “hostility, anger and being openly punitive… of fatigue, coated tongue, distorted and unrefreshing sleep and poor appetite.”

The report said Bulatao’s diagnosis was that the patient was “suffering from episodes of depression and melancholia each episode being 2-3 weeks in duration.”

It added, “His attacks always occur after his visits to his father who is incarcerated in a military camp for political crimes.” The reference to the father was presumably to then opposition leader Ninoy Aquino detained under severe conditions by then martial rule President Marcos.

The same report said the treatment recommended was for the patient to have regular psychotherapy, and to take “pharmacological treatment with aminodibenzol (Tofranil) 75 mg 3x a day.”

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NO RECORD?: In reaction, a Malacañang spokesman said there is/was no such report, without commenting on its content.

In the meantime, several readers and resource persons commented on the Bulatao report which can be accessed in, among other sites, Facebook. The address is quite long, but can be given to interested readers.

From the reactions, I have picked and I share below this one from a US-based doctor mainly for the reason that it runs parallel to my thinking on the matter:

“It’s difficult to make a diagnosis based on one visit. Feelings of melancholia and depression after visiting his father are understandable, not necessarily pathologic. So is the desire for revenge. How many of us have not thought of killing somebody after we have been deeply hurt, especially unjustly?

“Having flight of ideas and being loquacious are compatible with bipolar disorder. But it takes more than that to really make a diagnosis.

“At the time the evaluation was made, very few physicians, psychiatrists included, understood bipolar disorder. He should have been questioned regarding episodes of increased energy during which time he needed very little sleep, especially if followed by episodes of low energy.

“I bet the diagnosis of bipolar disorder was not even considered. I make it a rule for myself that in anyone who is depressed, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder has to be ruled out.

“If he is indeed bipolar, the treatment with Tofranil was the wrong treatment. In fact it could have made the condition worse. But at that time, not only was the condition poorly understood and rarely recognized, the proper pharmacologic treatment was unavailable.

“In my opinion, being bipolar does not necessarily disqualify one from being President. Bipolarity comes in various degrees of severity. Many are easily managed with medications.

“But they have to be monitored carefully especially if holding positions of great responsibility. But if this becomes widely known, that will probably be the end of his political career.”

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of February 23, 2012)

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