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?

The politics of walkout and boycott

It is not surprising to hear reports that some senators and party-list representatives will boycott the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Arroyo on 27th. Boycott as well as walkout have spiced-up Philippine politics for generations. Walkout even triggered mass uprising.

Isn’t it common to hear senators and congressmen who walkout at a middle of hearing or investigation because they are not given what they wanted? In 13th and 14th congress of Philippine Senate, walkout is very common. One senator even cried because of her conflict with a senior senator. Now I can safely conclude that some senators are immature.

Reports said, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Benigno Aquino III, and Manuel Roxas will avoid the SONA.

Walkout and boycott are signs of protest. These senators who announced that they will not be attending the Senate’s opening session and the SONA are protesting against the present administration. I respect them if that is their political stand.
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Sen. Jamby Madrigal’s unparliamentary language and disorderly behavior

Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla is right in filing complaints to Senate ethics committee against Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo Madrigal.

On May 8, 2009, Sen. Jamby Madrigal told in a TV interview that Remulla is “corruption king of Cavite.” It was so disgusting to hear a Senator saying inappropriate language like Jamby’s. Even Senators are liable of uttering malicious and highly inappropriate language. The remarks of Jamby further destroy the already tinted reputation of the Senate.

The Senate ethics committee must seriously look into this issue as it equally give weight on complaints against Sen. Manny Villar. Both Villar and Madrigal have accountability to the Filipino nation.

What happen to some Philippine senators?
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RP to Myanmar: Release Aung San Suu Kyi immediately and unconditionally

At least the Philippines speaks its position on Myanmar‘s new charges filed against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi just days before the expiration of her six-year detention.

The statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo on the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi at Insein Prison says, the Philippine Government is deeply troubled and outraged over the filing of trumped up charges against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her transfer to Insein prison, particularly when concerns have been raised regarding her health condition.

The Philippine government urge the government of Myanmar to resolve the matter speedily, and to release Aung San Suu Kyi immediately and unconditionally.

The new charges against Aung San Suu Kyi seems an indicator that Myanmar is not serious to carry out its own Roadmap for Democracy which has long been overdue.

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Senators: New Breed of Product Endorsers?

The reporters and news anchors of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs cannot endorse a product. If they do, they must pack up their things and find their luck to other media organizations where news archors and news reporters appear as endorsers during commercial breaks of a primetime news. ABS-CBN reporters and news anchor have option to shift to showbiz career if they really wish to endorse products. They have another exciting options though – run for public office, senator preferably, and presto, they can start-up another career as senator-product endorser. They can immediately join the new breed of product endorsers.

In ABS-CBN, it is clearly stipulated on their policies that News and Public affairs men must not endorse products because the network protects and preserves the integrity of News and Current Affairs. This might be the among the reason why CNN, BBC, NBC at Fox News highly respect ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs men.

In the Philippine Senate, no senators are barred from endorsing a product. There are no policies that prevent a senator to endorse whatever products – wine, bath soap, detergent, toothpaste, bathroom tissue, herbal food supplements.

I insist the Philippine Senate don’t need to impose such policies because senators are supposed to have sound judgment, high ethical standards, and unbiased on certain products and services.

Isn’t endorsing a brand of detergent a form of bias towards a single detergent manufacturer?

Or should I say that unlike ABS-CBN, the Philippine Senate do not need to protect its integrity as an institution because the word ‘integrity’ has long been lost?

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago recently lambasted the new breed of product endorsers – the Philippine Senators – insisting that appearing on advertisements already qualify as early political campaign. I don’t like to join the legal game of Sen. Santiago.

I see the senator-product endorsers as lame, and insecure political leaders who try to position themselves to the public eye in preparation to 2010. That’s my version of Santiago’s ‘early political campaign’ rants.

Rationalizing thier acts, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, one of senator-product endorsers, defended that he personally believed the product he endorse . The other senator-product endorsers said the same with Sen. Manuel Roxas claim that his endorsement is part of his advocacy to consuming public. Most of senator-product endorsers claimed that the do so voluntarily and without monetary returns.

The senator-product endorsers even accuse Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of sour-graping, of being merely jealous for not being asked to endorse. That’s childish. Or maybe true.

Among the senators who have appeared in ads endorsing products or promoting their personal advocacies are:

  • Senate President Manuel Villar (a local toothpaste and his assistance to distressed Filipino migrant workers)
  • Senator Loren Legarda (face-whitening food supplement and her tree-planting campaign)
  • Senator Panfilo Lacson (Facial Care Center)
  • Senator Francis Pangilinan (instant noodles)
  • Senator Mar Roxas (detergent)
  • Senator Francis Escudero (food supplement)
  • Senator Richard Gordon (bath soap)
  • Senator Pia Cayetano (fabric softener)

The classic defense is the legality of thier endorsement. No one can argue on that. The ‘good’ senators – Senate President Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Francis Escudero, Senator Richard Gordon, Senator Pia Cayetano – have all the legal rights to endorse a product. but as senators, they have moral and ethical obligations to the Filipino people. And because morals and ethics are quite relative, we will waste much time in discussion.

I personally dislike seeing some Philippines Senators in the 14th Congress posing as product endorsers. If given a chance, I will strip them the privilege to represent us and legislate for our nation. That’s too harsh though. But I insist, I have the power to do that – with my one vote. And my power can be exercised in 2010.

After 2010, I don’t like to see the President to appear on TV ads endorsing herbal supplements or bathroom tissue, nor instant coffee or beauty soap. There is already expressed and unexpressed intention of Senator Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson,  and Senator Mar Roxas to run as president in 2010.

I hope Senate President Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Francis Escudero, Senator Richard Gordon, and others think many times that endorsing a product is showing bias to a certain product or company. Having bias may hurt the integrity of legislation and the Senate as an institution.

What the senator-product endorsers need is GOOD TASTE because thier ads are done in BAD TASTE. The chamber is not a venue of carnivals as the Temple not a venue for vices!

Read also:
What happen to some Philippine Senators?
Senate inquiry on sex video scandal: Out of direction, out of focus
Arrest Jamby and Pia
Walk for Truth

Blog authored by batang buotan: (Link opens in new window)

What happen to some Philippine Senators?

I get more than enough dosage of absurdity done by some senators in the 13th and 14th Congress. It seems to me that many senators are working hard not to legislate for the general welfare of the people. [It seems] They use legislative power for personal and political motives. Forgive me honorable senators but please do not blame me for thinking like this.

Look how some “brave” senators treated “witnesses” during the gruesome, theatrical, and often misdirected Senate investigation. Many times I suspected that the Senate investigations are not intended to aid important legislations but to aid political ambitions. Again, my apologies to good senators but again, do not blame me for thinking like this.

Almost everything popular will be investigated by the senate. This makes TV news more funny and very entertaining. It is both entertaining and irritating to see senators ranting infront of the camera. One writer proposed that some senators need “some training” so that they don’t appear like insecure and spoiled brat in highly respected branch of government.

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