OPINION: Post-morticians and Monday-morning quarterbacks

Buddy Gomez

Posted at May 19 2016 12:01 AM

Post-mortems and Monday-morning quarterbacking will be the coffee shop and cyberspace political sports of choice for quite a spell more, elections fever and hangover not having abated. For the afflicted aficionados, which means pretty much the entire country, it would be sobering to recall that ancient Buddhist parable of the blind men and the elephant. And thus remembering, be more tolerant, not necessarily accepting, of others’ opinions and sentiments that neither support nor jibe with what the others hold so adamantly dear, even rabidly sacrosanct in some extreme extent. Chafed friendships and relations can use some welcome healing. Remembering the parable can help mend fences.

A quick refresher: blind men each one touching different parts of an elephant were all in disagreement as to what the animal was. You know, the trunk, tail, the ears, leg and the side, etc. Each part thought to represent something that in fact was not. 

Knowledge possessed by “men in the dark” is always dictated by and limited to what they could touch, thus perceive and conclude. Therefore, depending on one’s biases, disposition, frame of mind, level of intelligence, amount of information, throw in party affiliation and candidate loyalties, so will conclusions and opinions be formed. We can all attempt to supplant divisiveness and instead exult in healthy intellectual competition. Underlying this parable is an ennobling thought suggesting that people can live in harmony with others who have different belief systems. We must.

No one on planet earth is omniscient. Even if we encounter almost on a daily basis the opinionating, opinionated know-it-all ignoramuses that infest the newsprint and the internet; and the noisy hollow heads of talk radio. There is always that lingering, hovering possibility that one could indeed be wrong. And that would only be human. It diminishes not a person’s dignity and pride to leave the mind’s door ajar, even if ever so slightly. Letting in some air is invigorating! 

So, I will join the circus of commentaries and risk being wrong. Please allow me to contribute a few morsels for today and the days ahead.


Consistent with a promise he declared on the stump, President-elect Rody has now extended to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) an invitation to participate in his administration. A very generous offer, indeed. As reports go, the invitation covers four Departments: Agrarian Reform, Labor and Employment, Environment and Natural Resources, and Social Welfare and Development. 

READ: Duterte offers Cabinet posts to Communist Party

What has not yet been revealed, however, is Mr. Duterte’s exaction on behalf of the nation. What is the “give” from these Pinoy commies? There has got to be a trade off. Will that be acceptable? Reasonable? A couple more questions arise. Will the NPA (New People’s Army) give up lucrative brigandage and turf? Do they possess the management mettle required to run bureaucracies? 

As a matter of rule, ideologues do not make competent managers. Also of prospective interest, there is that honored obstacle course, a rite of passage known as the Commission on Appointments. If the CPP can come up with Secretary-level nominees, it would be interesting to witness the concomitant hearings. It can be a spectacle!

For a bunch of losers, the rabid and incorrigible left have that incredible stubbornness and stick-to-itiveness. (Longest lasting unsuccessful Communist rebel movement in the free world!) 

Otherwise admirable. But by sheer miscalculation, we remember that they missed out on EDSA I. And during the just concluded 2016 presidential skirmish, they placed their chips on candidate Grace Poe. Lost again! Poor judgment. Another error. 

But not to worry. The Filipinos are known to spawn its own political fauna and flora when convenient. We had “butterflies,” a naughty euphemism for party hopping and “balimbings” (a multi-sided fruit) symbol of turncoatism. Well, the season is not just nigh but now! And jumping the gun, first to execute a political somersault even before the votes are official canvassed is the Communist front Makabayan bloc. They just announced their switch from Poe to Duterte. Maybe some of their ageing also-rans are hoping to land a sinecure or two in the Duterte administration.


What I fear for those coming in from the ideological cold is the not unlikely bloody consequence of revenge from NPA evictees and victims’ kin. We know of the on-going internecine rivalries and purges. There is a fierce struggle within and among them. The rejectionists who have opted for life out in the open against the affirmists who adhere to a pig-headed strategy of a bloody revolution as the only means to achieve communist ascendancy and “national liberation.” The latter are pawns of and remain blindly loyal to Jose Maria Sison.

The illustrative, perhaps even suggestive, example of a “revolution devouring its own children” can befall the ranks of our homegrown rebellion. The history of Communism is replete with murderous purges, the Philippine experience thrown in. The most sensational is perhaps the Bolshevik regime’s rivalry between Josef Stalin and the political heirs of Vladimir Lenin. After Lenin’s death, Stalin could not tolerate the continued existence of a potential rival even if such rival were already living in exile a continent away from the Kremlin. Leon Trotzky was assassinated with a pick axe in Mexico city upon orders of Stalin.

We cannot discount the possibility, whether remote or not, that there could be an assassin lurking and nursing an unquenchable mortal hurt, waiting for the hide of Joma Sison, perhaps even from the ranks of the disaffected rejectionists. Lest it be forgotten Mr. Sison is the mastermind of the Plaza Miranda bombing carnage and the Communist rebellion’s body count of victims reportedly in excess of 30,000.

Another question percolates. Did the President-elect consult the AFP leadership and give them even a cursory heads up? After all, the NPA is principally a military concern. As such, it is the AFP that has all this time heroically carried the brunt of the fight against NPA depredations, sustaining an ever lengthening roster of soldier casualties. 

An academic who media willy-nilly crowns as an “analyst” calls this Duterte offer of participation “a stroke of genius!” Excuse me for being an inveterate skeptic but this affair smells like post- campaign political pimping. Worse yet, is it appeasement? Appeasement is heavy stuff. (Google it and permutate the implications and consequences. Pitfalls and failures are rife.) Let us just hope that President-elect Rody is no overconfident simpleton battling a complexity beyond his ken. He must be constantly reminded that brawn is best flexed when cerebrally guided.

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