When freedom of speech becomes license to slander, democracy is debased. There will be consequences.
It has become quite so patent that there is a concerted cabal attempting to obscure and obliterate our country’s newly attained unprecedented economic gains. Who can deny that there has never been a period in our history when we have enjoyed such high esteem in the world’s financial markets. Yet, from these evil precincts, the salutary international reputation engendered by the Aquino administration’s initiatives are debauched daily by those complicit, all Filipinos, in the wrecking operation against a Philippines that is finally on the ascent. They seem to have found great satisfaction at the insidious damage they continue to masterfully orchestrate while intentionally inflicting hurt upon the person of the President.
The vilification and public humiliation of the current President who has not done any harm much less physically hurt any single one of the most vociferous of his ill-wishers, deniers, blamers, nay-sayers and haters, is ultimately deleterious and harmful to the country’s well-being. It is ugly. Every President, for ill or for good, during his incumbency, is always the personification of his country and its people for the outside world to behold and assess.
The media-generated, mainstream and social, political concoction debasing the character of Philippine society today is evidence that the Presidency is very far from being an easy task. The rigors are beyond Job and Hercules. Truly, it has become “damn if you do, damn if you don’t.” The Presidency has become a dolorous ordeal, a perilous obstacle course. Vitriol is attended by a total absence of compunction, assisted by malevolent glee with which the vilest of invectives are hurled at President Benigno Aquijno III. And how has this come to pass, you might ask? I surmise that the availability of and the facile anonymous access to social media, as well as social media itself when being marshalled as an adjunct of the mainstream news trade, has coaxed the emergence of an ugly side of the Filipino. It does not bode well. It is an incipient disease and a cure must be found.
Insults continue to be cast unremittingly, otherwise untrammeled by fear of fate’s retribution. In ridiculous contrast, on the other hand, it has become just too easy for these malefactors to play “Monday Morning” Presidents. And they are cropping up like poisonous mushrooms! Opinionated know-it-alls! What imbeciles!
STAYING THE COURSE
Beyond doubt, our government’s residual debility in efforts to overcome national poverty is traceable to government’s inability to fight graft and corruption effectively. But for the first time in our country’s history, much headway has been gained and laid. That fight must continue and be consistent. That endeavor is led by one who is repeatedly labelled dumb, weak and stubborn by his detractors, none of whom really knows the person of the President. Stubborn because he is resolute and determined. Unflinching because he possesses conviction. There is no denying that the country, under President Aquino, is finally rising from the weight of its past infirmities, and the biggest of crooks in government have been rounded up, in jail or on trial. Has anything like this ever happened in this country before? Is that not an improvement, a welcome change, over the inertia of the past?
I believe that PNoy is sincere in his faith that notwithstanding aberrations, bumps, distractions and turbulence along the way, his thrust is still the right path towards what is ultimately good for the Philippines and the Filipinos. “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” It is a goal very well worth staying the course for. The light at the end of the tunnel is indeed beginning to glimmer. And no, no right thinking Filipino will allow that glimmer to become the harbinger of an oncoming wreck, a train of evil intentions on a sabotage mission, on a collision course!
Unprecedented as well is the fact that we now have another President, just as his mother was, who has not dipped his fingers into the people’s treasury. He remains unsullied and unstained by any wisp of scandal. When was it ever that a President has personally kept to the straight moral path?
We must not overlook the fact that his acceptance of the Presidential candidacy, after and because of his mother’s demise, was preceded by a sincere reluctance that was only overcome after serious spiritual reckoning over the burgeoning popular call for him to run, win and serve. That, by the way, sums up the prelude to this Presidency. Of course, he has had his share of errors. Misjudgment and misplaced trust are human pitfalls that leaders of nations are also heir to. Sure. Moreover, he is a balding bachelor and has not stopped smoking. Do all these justify the insane ferocity of personal attacks? And why do I sense this disturbing feeling that the President’s ill-wishers are celebrating the demise of civility and human kindness. Let me answer that. Because it is happening. What a shame!
The counsel of the late ‘tita’ Cory is sober and spiritual: ”…..let us just pray for people who think like that…,” to which President Noynoy Aquino has added, from the depths of his crucible: ”….we cannot really stop those who wish us evil.” Is he turning the other cheek?
PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH NOY
I first saw and knew Noynoy in 1967. He was in knee-pants when I started visiting 25 Times street in Quezon City--the Aquino family home. Over the years, I have earned the privilege of personally witnessing how well he was brought up by loving and caring parents, never indulging in caprice and whim. He may have been doted upon by family, kin, friends and visitors, of course, being an only son, but he was never spoiled. Reared to be upright and honest, he grew into manhood devoid of malice in his bones, an absence of drama in his character, then and now -- quite like his mother, never given to back-slapping nor hail-fellow-well-met personal style. In his boyhood years, he was not being nurtured to be a politician, because had Ninoy lived, no one from his immediate family would have ventured into politics! Cory and Ninoy brought up their children to be steeped in sincerity, integrity and good manners. They were taught respect and courtesy for others, what folks of old Manila would call “urbanidad.”
What I found most significant was that the President, while growing up, was never a problem to his family, much less to society at precisely the time when oppressive juvenile delinquency among Manila’s rich and famous, especially among political VIPs, was rather common, even rampant. I know you know what and who I mean. And these included violent crimes that were covered up by powerful fathers.
Some of you may recall, as I vividly do, film clips of a youthful Bongbong Marcos and his coterie of society sycophants and nouveau riche hangers-on indulging in bacchanalian revelry, garbed in ribald attire on board the Presidential Yacht carousing, jubilantly chanting at the top of their lungs: “We are the World.” I found the spectacle disturbing and obscene. But they could thumb their noses at the rest of the world indeed because it was Martial Law. Understandable, therefore, that then not a peep was ever heard from the “usual suspects.” Funny and pitiable, that Martial Law had made either collaborators or cowards of the “usual suspects” who are today’s indefatigable rousers of the rabble.
And so, quite like a father, like a father-friend if you will (as I have children and young friends of my own) I am taking this matter personally. Mind you, PNoy requires neither apologists nor defenders. He can hack it and hack it gallantly and with well earned aplomb, too. His parents reared him to be so, to be of “sterner stuff,” while the Presidency with the brickbats that come along with the position have steeled his nerves and strengthened his will. Nevertheless, sticks and stones may break bones but harsh and scabrously derisive epithets and demeaning words can cause sleepless nights and genuine pain in the gut. It is out of pure empathy then, that I feel the pain of shame. A fellow human being, another child of God, is so bullied and demeaned, subjected to undeserved unkindness.
But you know what, why get mad. Sooner or later, time may just bring about that “get even” moment, unaided by man. I think they call it Karma!
Among us Waray-warays, there is a saying: ”an gaba halaba!” It does speak of karma, that karma has a very long reach. Listen friends, retributive justice bides its time but it will come. In one form or the other. So, hex me back all you miserable cretins! I have just cast a hex upon all you douchebags. The pox be upon all of you who wish ill upon a fellow human being the devotion of whose labors are meant for the good of his country and his countrymen.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.