Love-hate

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FILIPINOS have a love-hate relationship with their countrymen in other climes. It’s a relationship defined by class boundaries, in that most Filipinos love them while some don’t, and even despise them.

Those professionals and middle class folk — including, perhaps especially, journalists still with enough brains to think about such matters — who’ve either decided to stick it out in this country despite the political instability, economic stagnation, and the chaos of daily existence; or who have no choice but to stay, are more likely to thumb their noses at their fellow professionals who’re residents or citizens in other countries.

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Doing nothing about doing nothing

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YOU know what they say about protesting too much, but that’s what the Aquino government has been doing since student activists coined the term “Noynoying” to mean “not doing anything despite the need to do something.”

Malacanang has mobilized its huge stable of photo- and videographers to disprove the suspicion that’s rapidly morphing into a conclusion, and already widespread long before the youth group Anakbayan coined the term, that Benigno Aquino III is more preoccupied with dating rather than assessing typhoon damage, or with sampling Manila night life rather than defusing a hostage crisis — and very recently, with sleeping till eleven a.m. after a night of carousing rather than looking into how his government can relieve Filipinos from the inflationary impact of the oil companies’ jacking up pump prices.

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Politicians all

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THE BATTLE over the impeachment of Renato Corona is being fought between the camp of Benigno Aquino III and that of Renato Corona, who is no less a politician than, say, your garden-variety congressman. Corona meets all the qualifications except one: he has never been elected, and, judging from his low approval rating, is probably unelectable.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima nevertheless said Renato Corona was “acting like a politician,” implying thereby that he isn’t one, and declaring that, therefore, it was “unbecoming” of him to bring his case to the media by giving no less than six interviews in some of the most popular radio and TV news and public affairs programs.

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Masters and servants

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IN 1633, the Inquisition declared Galileo guilty of writing a heretical book in which he supposedly favored the Copernican theory that the Sun rather than the Earth was at the center of the (then known) universe. The Catholic Church eventually admitted that he might have been right, it is the Earth that revolves around the Sun rather than the other way around — but it did so only in 1983, or 350 years after Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for life.

Considering how much Miriam Defensor-Santiago thinks the world of herself, it might take her that long to discover that she’s neither the Sun nor the center of the universe. Relentlessly aware of her being a lawyer and a former professor of law, of having been a judge, and now a “senator-judge” who’s on her way to the World Court, Defensor-Santiago only rarely fails to remind everyone of her titles and alleged
accomplishments.

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The wrong wrongs

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SPEAKING during the commemoration of the 26th anniversary of the uprising at Quezon City’s Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in 1986 that led to the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino III urged Filipinos to do something about the judiciary, which he described as “one of the wrongs committed in the past” that has to be corrected.

In the same speech Mr. Aquino also claimed that the martial law period — the 14 years from September 1972 to February 1986 during which the country was in the grip of the Marcos dictatorship — happened because Filipinos chose to be silent. Working for reforms, Mr. Aquino also said, is the duty of every Filipino, not just of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

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