Stupid, Double Standard

by Jess Lorenzo

Posted at Aug 19 2012 12:55 AM | Updated as of Aug 19 2012 08:55 AM

There was a deluge of comments on the Net lambasting Blair Carabuena for mauling MMDA Officer Saturnino Fabros.

Mr. Carabuena has shut down his twitter, instagram, and facebook account.  His employer, Philip Morris Philippines issued a statement condemning his behavior and suspending him until the investigations are concluded.

His life caved in because of one moment where he resorted to oppression and violence just to have his way and not follow the law.

Some people say that he does not deserve the deluge of harassment online.  They say it borders on Cyber-bullying as people even threaten to kill him.


But the image that Blair Carabuena put himself in is his own doing.  In just a few seconds he rendered himself as a Volvo-driving-rich-tyrant that verbally and physically oppressed a poor-honest-civil servant.  Blair Carabuena often dwells inside his air-conditioned-million-peso, car with a salary at almost 10 times an MMDA officer.  He probably thinks most ?lipinos are beneath him.  Blair’s image is punctuated with the fact that he works for a tobacco company that is taxed because of the sin it brings to society.

On the other hand, Officer Saturnino Fabros is a minimum wage earner, working under the sun and rain.  He probably does not have a car.  He works for a government institution that strives to bring service to society.  He works hard for his small salary as he responsibly raises six children as a single parent.

The short video showed Blair without discipline who does something wrong but bullies his way to right himself.  While Officer Fabros seemed to have faced his fear and stood ?rm to take in the indignity and insult that Blair lashed out.

Suddenly Blair is a poster boy of a “mata-pobre” while Officer Fabros is a champion of “ulirang tagapaglingkod.”  This scene suddenly becomes the backdrop of an epic drama that draws on the deep-set angst of oppression in our culture.

I can only surmise that any cyber harassment is provoked by the bullying that Carabuena dished out to Officer Saturnino Fabros; heightened by their social circumstances.  Justi?ed or not, it is a counter measure that is met on Blair.

Nonito Cabrera, one of the Kaya Natin team said, “Blair was at the right place and the right time doing the wrong thing.”  

The fact that he graduated from Ateneo presupposes that he is educated and smart but his actions seem to make him a nitwit - Stupid, acting without thinking.  In just a few moments of indiscretion, Blair, with all his angst and anger, changed his life forever.

I believe Carabuena is a typical person who dwells in ENTITLEMENT.  This is one of the illnesses of our culture.  It is seen in many of our behaviors and leaders.  It even exists in persons who may hate the likes of Blair but may also manifest similar symptoms.  They are double standard people who are quick to seek
justice but are poor in following the law.  They expect others to follow but they seek the privilege to be exempted.  There are many motorist who have similar pro?les as Blair.  These are persons who feel they are above the law and need not follow lines.  They feel unduly harassed and is exempted from following
single lanes or one way signs.  They would often counter?ow with a slight reason to justify their precious time.  If caught, they dwell in impunity who would threaten their way out of a citation or bribe to avoid inconvenience.

When News 5 called Blair for an interview, the only response the world had from him was that he would ?le a case against Officer Fabros.  

After all these, he still feels right.  What a nitwit!

And then there is Senator Sotto’s Turno En Contra speech at the senate.  He eloquently and dramatically opposed the RH Bill that became the talk in Facebook, Twitter, and email where Reproductive Health antagonists rallied behind and championed.

His speech was skillfully delivered.  His personal story was cleverly integrated.  Altogether, his presentation showed wit.  Unfortunately, it was dimmed by the fact that he plagiarized from a health recipe blogger.

Adding insult to injury, he denied it by saying “Why would I quote the blogger?”, Referring to Sarah, of  He wasn’t sorry and discounted Sarah’s work yet he copied sections verbatim from her blog.

His plagiarized argument is an output of a rigorous 5 month research on the ills of birth control.  It served as a backbone in the national debate against the reproductive health which made many believed to be his personal conviction, advocacy, and a long held belief since the death of his son.

His delivery was perfect only to be undermined by plagiarism.  I wonder if he or his staff ever thought that his speech would be scrutinized and his transgression will be caught?  I wonder if they think much of copying other people’s work?

In my facebook page, one of my anti-RH friends belittled the moral issue of copying saying that the real issue is RH.  In my facebook page, I said,  I agree that the issue is RH but Senator Sotto's staff brought this issue upon themselves and to the burden of the anti-RH advocacy. Plagiarism is (almost) as
hot an issue as RH as you may recall from the recent Supreme-Court-Justices- ?asco. I think if they apologized for the plagiarism, it would unburden and help the anti-RH argument. Unfortunately, glossing over the plagiarism issue would even hurt anti-RH. Anti-RH arguments are founded on moral principles.
Plagiarism is a moral issue as well.

I think this selective morality is what hurts the argument of the RH antagonists.  If I put myself on this side, and we are to argue on moral grounds, we need to be consistent with our moral standards.  I ?nd it difficult to accept that people would brand the RH as immoral and yet quickly dismiss the dishonesty that a
senator committed.

I still wonder why Sen. Sotto is not sorry for what he has done.  Is he aware at all of the implications?  Imagine a senator crying on national TV catching the attention of national consciousness.  His tears signi?ed his sincerity but he did not consider his transgression would be caught.  Where does he think he is, ‘Iskul Bukul’?

To make things worse, his staff, came up with a “narrow-minded” idea of framing the blogger’s intent as anti-RH as well.  They were disgraced as Sarah lashed out to call Senator Sotto not just a “thief”, but a “lying thief.”

Until now, Senator Sotto has remained impenitent.  He does not think his plagiarism is morally wrong and he is morally right in going against the RH Bill.

What standard does he have?  Does he operate on two standards as well?

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Jess Lorenzo is currently the program director of Kaya Natin! Movement for
Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's public health initiatives. @kayanatin on Twitter

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.