No Reputation to Protect

What if Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV declares straight to my face:

You have no reputation to protect.

What else should I say?

I am praying that it would not happen to me. And now I am still hoping that the Filipino nation had not heard such arrogant line. In silence, I have entertained another hope – that Sonny Trillanes hadn’t become (elected) as senator of this country. (My apologies to the your Senator and his family.)

But what if Sen. Trillanes was our god – all knowing, all powerful?

What the world would become if Trillanes, our god, tell us that we don’t have “reputation to protect”?

Let us give thanks to our Lord that some people hadn’t wanted to teach. Because if the former military man, Sen. Trillanes is teaching our children and in one of his inquiry tell a young boy that he has no honor and reputation?

The Philippine Senators, in their celebrated investigations, had long been shaking us – emotionally and mentally.

I asked one friend who have witnessed a senate investigation of the past congress. “It feels like you’re grilled”, my friend told.

What had our Senators accomplished so far from their physically, emotionally, and mentally draining investigations and inquiry?

I have nothing against on Senate investigations. It may be necessary – I am not sure enough. But I am hoping the our Senators accord respect to all people they have invited.

When Sen. Trillanes thrown his hard hitting line: You have no reputation to protect. He had not only traumatize us but had also caused pain (and destruction) to intricate social web (of family and friends).

Who has the reputation?

Can our Senators, specifically Sen. Antonio Trillanes, generously share who still got reputation?

Everyone deserves respect because everyone has honor and dignity. Who are we to tell someone that his “reputation” already gone?

What’s next?

I learn (by heart) the great lessons on the stories from the Senate. The lessons from Senate investigations – from the melodramatic acts to antagonistic verbal attacks – to the famous line of Sen. Trillanes, you have no reputation to protect can be enough.

Should we hurt each other more?

Lessons from the story “Piece of String”

I remember a story “The Piece of String”. It was a story about a peasant who was accused of stealing. He was too disturbed that he wanted to get everyone believe that he really hadn’t stolen the pocketbook but has picked a piece of string instead.

But who will believe a peasant like him? For a poor man like Maitre Hauchecome (of the story) reputation and honor was more important. Perhaps, more important than sparkling stones and metals.

Hauchecome went out of his way to explain to people that he was innocent and that he only picked a piece of string. But he got mockery, insults!

You can read (re-read if you have heard this in your literature class) this classic from Guy de Maupassant by searching, The Piece of String.

Interesting enough! The last part of the story says,

Toward the end of December he took to his bed.

He died in the first days of January, and in the delirium of his death struggles he kept claiming his innocence, reiterating:

“A piece of string, a piece of string–look–here it is, M’sieu the Mayor.”

Perhaps the story could have different plot and characters if Guy de Maupassant lived with us today. What do you think?

Rep. Ronald Singson: Just a Drug User, Not Drug Trafficker

It seems that Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson was the last person to know that his son, Rep. Ronald Singson, was using drugs. Or, like many other fathers, Chavit was in denial stage?

No matter what, a father always finds ways to defend his erring son. As the move in Congress to take disciplinary action to Rep. Singson was progressing, Gov. Singson immediately came out and told the nation: My son is not a drug user!

Recently, as Singson family desperately finds ways to get out from the drug mess in HongKong, Ronald Singson admits that he is using drugs.

Just a user, not a trafficker

Now, the wind has changed direction! Gov. Singson seems buying out the assumption that a cocaine user is less evil that a cocaine courier (or trafficker). And of course with the hope that the will be able to convince the Hongkong authorities that the drugs possessed by the Filipino congressman was for personal consumption and not for sale!

Now, the problem of Gov. Singson is how to convince HK court that son is a drug user.

High Profile Drug Users

The Philippines once again get a dose of high profile drug abuse news.

Alabang Boys might not be fresh in your minds but when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) apprehended young and affluent drug suspects, we got the impression that the moneyed are not afraid.

I concluded that time that the depth of drug problem in the country is too deep for our authorities to penetrate.

The reason is that high profile drug cases often quickly slipped through Philippine’s public eyes. Easily forgotten!

In the case of Rep. Singson, the issue is not just legal but also moral and social. Let us not take the merit of his case in Hongkong. Instead, let’s have this case as springboard for a national discussion on how big our problem in drug is.

Can you imagine how a congressman get the nerve to bring drugs outside the country? Does this imply that while in the Philippines, he might have even brought drugs inside Philippine government offices?

Now,  I believe the news about policemen caught in the act of sniffing drugs. Isn’t this already very alarming?

Politics and Drugs: The Narco-Politics

There is a clear intermarriage of politics and drugs. Narco-politics has become a big un-tackled issue in the country.

Early in 2008, I brought out how Narco-politics could be an important issue in the the 2010 Elections. I wrote, Narco-politics and the 2010 Elections which was regarded by Manuel L. Quezon III as the first to bring up the issue of Narcopolitics with regards to the 2010 polls.

Whether or not our elected or national leaders are using drugs – we don’t know. We can’t also be sure how politicians benefited with drug money in the 2010 elections.

However, from things we see – it seems clear to us. I hope we begin to see even just one side of the big problems of drugs in this country.

Just think of it. We hear news about movie personalities, policemen, politicians are into drug abuse which add to our long list (composed of students, young professionals, poor man, jobless men …)

What’s next if we continue to let this slipped through cracks?

Reproductive Health Bill and our Conscience

Reproductive Health bill once again gets life in the 15th Congress of the Philippines. And once again, the staunch killers of the RH Bill do all ways to once again abort it.

Do you support the Reproductive Health bill and join the calls so that the 15th Congress enact it?

It’s alright if you haven’t decided yet but as responsible Filipino citizen and faithful follower of your Church, you need to take a stand.

I already did. And I use my conscience on my decision.

We all have the moral sense of right and wrong. We all have conscience. When we get confused and find it difficult to decide, we use our conscience. A very good friend always reminds me to “follow my heart”. What he try to say is to be where my conscience is.

With my conscience, I support the Reproductive Health bill. But I am a Roman Catholic and my Church strongly opposes RH bill.

One good online article I read about Reproductive Health bill was written by Fr. Emeterio Barcelon.

Fr. Barcelon wrote:

You will certainly be disobeying the ruling of the hierarchical church but conscience is the ultimate decision maker. Disobeying might not be such a serious sin if other circumstances mitigate the fault. The Church is the guide for Catholics in moral matters. Non-Catholics should use their own conscience

I suggest you to go to Reproductive Health bill article of Fr. Barcelon in Manila Bulletin Online for additional insights.

Now, please use your conscience.

President Noynoy’s Habitual Defense to his Officials

The President has developed the (undesirable) habit of defending his erring staff.

On his sweet and sour inaugural speech, we were reading President Noynoy as someone who would do what it takes to ferret out corruption and wrongdoings. But recently, we see him as the President who do what it takes to defend his officials who are close to his heart.

Well, he also consistently and publicly criticize those who are not member of a big domain called “kaibigan, inc.”

Recently, we hear the President once again spoiled us with his sugar-coated defense to Assistant Secretary Mai Mislang. The girl whose tweets made her appear as tactless and irresponsible government servant, was well defended by President Noynoy.

In GMANews.TV reports, the President was quoted saying:

Ipinaliwanag niya sa isang sulat at pinaalala ko lang sa kanya, well, bata si Mai baka yung akala niyang gawain na simple ay hindi niya narealize ang implications. I’m more or less convinced that she realizes what was done.

Please see: Aquino won’t fire aide […]

Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno is a sure President’s pet. Puno was allegedly received jueting payola, according to an expose of retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz. When alleged-jueting man of Aquino government voiced to media that he would resign, Aquino was ready to broadcast his rhetoric chant – that Puno is entitled to undergo a due process.

Upon hearing the sugar coated words of the President, the former PAG-ASA chief flashed to my mind. Was there any due process when he [Aquino] relieved Prisco Nilo?

Please note that Nilo was not a member nor follower of new “kaibigan, inc” while Puno is the President’s close friend. Their friendship was born in the firing range according to Global Balita report that also outline why the President cannot let go the name Rico Puno.

We also remember how the President find ways to defend his “kaibigan, inc.” officials on the wake of controversial hostage crisis in Manila that involved Chinese nationals. We noticed how the President standing up to defend even to his erring officials. While it is not bad for a leader to defend his officials, Noynoy Aquino must get reminded that too much of it is undesirable.

Does the President raise his officials to become spoiled brats? Or the President simply repay those people who helped him get into office? Did he forget his sweetened battlecry, “kayo ang boss ko”? The voters brought him to office, not just his friends and supporters. That’s why I want him to allow Undersecretary Rico Puno to go out from government service because that man was dragged into jueting controversy.

Now I want to believe that the President was (aware or not) got jueting money support in the last presidential elections. I hope I am wrong.

Vote Buying, Partisan Politics

It was supposed to be non-partisan. But the recent Barangay and SK elections were practically a party politics. I wrote, Barangay Elections, Non-Partisan?

Candidates of Barangay and SK Elections ally with town’s political big bosses. Town and city political figures ally with Barangay leaders by financing candidates and ensuring victory.

Vote buying

There was massive vote buying in the recent Barangay and SK Elections. In our barangay, candidates for barangay council gave 30 pesos to 50 pesos per voter. Those who did not give lost. This scheme was also the reason why a virtually unknown person became the barangay’s new councilor. Barangay captains gave higher, from 100 pesos to 500 pesos.

In my observations, the bigger the money, the higher the chance to get victory. I have yet to know a place where the barangay and SK elections were not played up by too much and unnecessary money.

Worst SK Elections

I could say that it was the worst SK election ever at least in our barangay. It was too tricky.

Parents of one SK candidates even pawn some areas of their farms to raise P60,000 purposely for the elections. No wonder, SK voters were given some P500 to P1,000 each.

To ensure victory, they emlpoy a very clever way – the “kidnap” strategy.

What is “kidnapping” in tricky SK politics?

This is a way to keep supporters to get contact with other parties, thus the chance of shifting of support can be avoided.

For example, an SK candidate gather majority of SK voters in a place three to a day before election. Most of them brought those minors away from the barangay. For example, in Barangay Pugwan, the were brought to resorts and they stayed there until election day. Yikes! I saw the truckload of SK voters who went back to Pugwan to vote.

I was so disappointed with what happened. How could parents allow their daughters and son to stay in a secluded place with the SK candidates considering that they were all minors?

I wonder why SK elections become the “games of generals”. I could not see 17 year olds at work but the seasoned politicians.

How much you get? How much they give?

The questions before and after elections are now on how much was given and recieved than how good were the visions and programs of candidate or elected officials.

In fact these questions were asked naturally on public places – as if one was asking how much a kilo of Tamban or Pirit nowadays.

How did our shame blown away?