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Tale half-told

TWO days from now, President Aquino goes back to the simple life away from the seat of power, stress and distress known as Malacañang. But simple?

If simple were all that easy, would he need 12 bodyguards ‘round the clock to secure his person?

Simple or not, days before his departure, I asked him how that previously off-the-record story about a threat to kidnap his sister Kris had ended. In his private office, on the afternoon of April 7, 2016, the President had given a sketchy account of how the threat was uncovered and how an unexploded device was found by a wall at the back of Baclaran church the following Thursday (“Baclaran day” is Wednesday).

This is the rest of that story, as told by the President. When the threat was confirmed, Kris and her sons were moved to Pangarap, the presidential guest house, “where they stayed with me.” (Was this before or after Kris returned from a trip to Hawaii? I forgot to ask.) Of all the things that Bimby, his eight-year-old nephew, found so important to bring to the attention of the President was whether his Batman cape was made of leather. Bimby wanted to know, “Is this made of leather?” No, it wasn’t.

That side-bar aside, Mr. Aquino said the would-be kidnappers were arrested in their home base in Zamboanga, “one of them 68 years old, the other 70.” As unlikely as a sexagenarian and a septuagenarian are able to plan and execute with precision a kidnap plot against a high-profile celebrity who moves around with her own security, the President found it almost laughable that as soon as they were arrested, the suspects began to sing like nightingales.

So all’s well that ends well. But, PBSAIII did not laugh, did not smile when I teased, “Kris will be the next Aquino to go into politics.”

Last Saturday, when I drove by his house on Times Street, there were no police cars, no unusual vehicular or pedestrian traffic, no trucks with stuff to unload. The neighbors were probably busy preparing their “Welcome back” signs and paraphernalia (including food). (JULLIE Y. DAZA)