Celdran was neither obnoxious or offensive. And Christian Monsod should know — he was there when Carlos Celdran staged his protest before some 20 senior Catholic bishops.
“He looked like Charlie Chaplin to me”, Monsod said laughing, when I asked why he did not find Celdran’s action offensive. Chaplin is a well known American comedian and mime artist in the era of silent movies.
Indeed, Celdran looks like a Chubby Chaplin.
Monsod was one of the two eyewitnesses presented by Celdran’s lawyer Marlon Manuel in the criminal case accusing his client of “offending the religious feelings”. Attorney Manuel found out Monsod was there and asked the former Comelec chairman whether he was willing to testify on what he saw inside the Manila Cathedral that mid-afternoon of September 30, 2010, while seated on the third row just behind the bishops.
I asked Monsod whether he was deeply offended by Celdran’s action. I asked him because he is one of the very few laymen and businessmen who has been physically working closely with bishops for the last 40 years in the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference (BBBC) where he is currently a co-vice-chair.
I asked him because he is one ex-public officials who did not make money for himself while in office as Commission on Elections chair. It was Monsod who had repaired Comelec’s tattered reputation after the Marcoses fled.
And so I asked Monsod whether he had felt offended seeing what Celdran did before the altar because I knew I would get a frank answer from him.
Monsod replied, "No I was not."
I asked him why.