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September 6, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ronald Roy  -September 6, 2011

       I hate to be a wet blanket, but I’m not about ready to jump for joy over newly-appointed Department of Tourism (DOT) Ramon Jimenez’s exuberant self-confidence that “selling the Philippines is like selling chickenjoy.”

       Equipped with impeccable credentials in public relations and marketing in the private sector, Mr. Jimenez’s overzealous acceptance of President Aquino’s marching orders may yet prove— hopefully not— he had bitten off more than he could chew.

       Just two weeks ago, I bought a dozen Washington apples, very shiny and red, alluringly packed in a ribboned box with a cellophane window. My mouth watered as I carried it to my car.

       Well, my afternoon snack would have been perfect but for the shock of my life: three worms squirming out in different directions as I cut an apple in half!

       I had purchased that attractively wrapped box of what looked like scrumptious apples (the beautiful PH) but had not seen the concealed worms (wrongdoers from street litterbugs and jaywalkers, to gang rapists and plunderers). Get the idea?

       A cynical friend of mine wryly remarked that nothing less than a fortunate stroke of serendipity could spare Sec. Jimenez an embarrassing failure.

       To be sure, he will need a whole lot of divine intervention to be able to galvanize ungrudging support and political will from all major sectors of society. He will need to show he neither bluffs nor boasts big when claiming he can convert tourism into a “people’s profitable business”.

       In any event, good luck to the fervid dreamer who now heads the DOT. Who knows, but have not some great feats germinated in outlandish dreams? Or don’t these feats sometimes materialize from out of nowhere, the land of serendipity?

       Oddity of oddities! You work your butt off to make things happen, but they don’t! On the other hand, there’s this guy munching a hotdog with a blank stare, and he becomes the most important Filipino on the planet!

       No, Mr. Secretary, I’m not at all suggesting you try the option of munching a hotdog with a blank stare in order to find out if serendipity will happen out of the blue in your case.

       Talking about options, the social mood appears to be swinging strong against ongoing legislative investigations, particularly high-profile plunder cases.

       Truth to tell, Congress does have the option to not hold hearings in aid of legislation or in exercise of its oversight functions. [Consistent with its “power of the purse”, Congress may conduct hearings, concomitant with its oversight duties, in order to find out if public funds appropriated and allocated to government agencies and offices have been misused or abused.]

       And the harsh dilemma for legislators is that they would be damned if they investigated, and damned if they did not, the main gripe being that time and resources would be wasted for work which in the first place pertain to the jurisdiction of other government agencies like the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice.

       And what rubs salt into the lawmakers’ wounds is the scornful suspicion that they investigate to score pogi points— albeit, frankly, I wouldn’t put it past some of them to use spectacular hearings as their stage for play-acting.

       Be that as it may, I opine that the skeptic’s hypothesis of their play-acting, whether valid or not, is utterly beside the point. The current senate hearings on the sordid choppers scandal, for instance, must continue as should the other ongoing cases and still-to-explode half-forgotten anomalies that may come before the inquisitive lawmakers.

       Certainly, these hearings keep fresh memories about how—for close to ten excruciating years— a repulsive tyrant and her co-conspirators raped our comatose democracy again, and again, and again, and again!!!

       Options are integral to man’s use of his free will—  between coffee and tea, light and shadow, fence-sitting and speaking out, evil and good. A few years back, we could have forced the tyrant’s resignation had it not been for the bad choice made by our men in cassocks. But that’s for next week.

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