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October 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ronald Roy  -October 12, 2011

       Horace Greeley once pronounced: “The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth, truth which tends to make mankind wiser, and thus happier.”

Horace Greeley       In respect of the Philippine setting, Greeley, if around, might very well say that the country’s principled journal of today is a libel (sometimes death) defying tightrope act by any quixotic scribe, who thinks he can help retrieve a world sinking fast in the moral abyss of its own making.

       Yes, the challenge confronting today’s ethical Filipino journalists is quite daunting, albeit inflamed by the romantic notion of their calling’s raison d’être: the pen is mightier than the sword—to borrow a mantra from the judiciary.

       A toast to all quixotic journalists! A toast to OpinYon! A toast to me, who received a recent hate text message from cell phone # 09162595755. The sender identified himself as Gregorio Antonio Gutierrez de Obillo, a name so kilometric you will please let me refer to him by his acronym GAGO.

       Mr. Gago fumed in Taglish: ”Putang ina ninyong mga Atenista! Saboteurs ng economia! Mga @!#^ tsismosong manunulat! Mada-fucking 4-peat cheats and Ongpin sympathizers! Ikaw, Roy, @!#^ tuta ni Ongpin, shit you!” Dig these invectives, ha? Tarantado!


       Mr. Gago, I know you’re reading this. So let me tell you that, while I respect your freedom to criticize journalists, I don’t respect your foul tongue and bad English.

       “Invective” is not a count noun but a mass noun, just as it is in the case of the word “happiness”. Thus, both “invectives” and “happiness” are wrong.

       And oh, Mr. Gago, I hope you don’t mind these two pieces of unsolicited advice, one: Stop letting out streams of invective because stresses are bad for your health; and two: Believe me, you’ll do yourself a big favor if you shorten your name.

       Finally, Mr. Gago, with some exceptions, the Blue Eagles are birds of the same feather that flock together. And should Roberto Ongpin get to be convicted of any felony arising from the controversial DBP loan, rest assured nothing will give his fellow Ateneans greater pleasure than seeing him dumped in the slammer.

       Mr. Ongpin says he’ll be back by the 25th of this month to answer “all unfounded charges” and resume his business endeavors to help the country he claims to love. Fine, but we love our country, too, Bobby. So, if you are unclean en garde!

       Ongpin may never have had a need for an A, B, C, D, or E, backer to succeed in business, but in his possibly forthcoming trial, he will need a whole lot of that alphabetical support all the way to the Supreme Court.

       Leslie (Uy-Reyes), I’m sorry if, for Sen. Cayetano and Solicitor General Cadiz, a behest loan is unlawful. My article last week clearly explains any behest transaction is not necessarily unlawful. Example: The President issues a behest (which means order) to the DBP to invest in a company while knowing the  same to be engaged in smuggling operations. The behest investment here would be a palpable felony. I rest my case.

       While at a coffee shop with some friends, a stranger recognizing me as one of his favorite columnists asked me what I thought of the proposed charter change. I courteously told him to buy OpinYon regularly, and advised him to read my answer in this issue. After thanking me, Jerry Ortiz returned to his table.

       Thank you for asking, Jerry. As a general rule, I am wary of charter changes. I have always believed that a country can only be as stable as its fundamental law, and vice versa. In fact, in the whole world, we have come to be known as obsessed tinkerers of our constitutions.

       While leaders of both Houses have given assurances that only economic provisions would be covered, I remain skeptical, vis-à-vis America’s historical furtive interventions in virtually all— repeat: all— aspects of our national life. Let’s rewind to 1946, the year US neocolonialism began in the PH.

       After World War II, the US Congress passed the Bell Trade Act to compensate our country for damages suffered during 3 years of Japanese occupation. The Act contained conditions which proved us to be a patsy of a neocolony of theUnited Statesthrough the ensuing years.

       The conditions, which we foolishly accepted, one: extended the unpalatable trade relations (I shall explain this unpalatability in a future article) between the  PH and the U.S.; two: prohibited us from engaging in U.S. dollar and foreign currency-based businesses without the nod of the U.S. President; three: required us to allow Americans to exploit the nation’s natural resources and operate our public utilities; and four: prevented us from altering the peso-dollar rate of P2:$1 without the prior consent of the U.S. President. And yet, we were already supposed to be an independent sovereign state!


       So, why did we foolishly agree? Because, devastated by the war as we were, we had become such beggars as to have lost all dignity to choose.

Claro M. Recto       In the words of the late nationalist Claro M. Recto:

“Our country was in ruins, the national economy was completely dislocated, and there was no food, nor shelter, nor clothing for our people as a result of the war. Considering our state of economic distress… the proponents of the Trade Agreement wielded a formidable weapon over our people.“ (Speech delivered at the Commencement Exercises of the University of the East, April 5, 1954)

       So Jerry, now you know why we should all be wary of the proposed charter change. To this day,America’s neocolonial intentions are clear: They want us in an eternal condition of penury which, in a manner of speaking, means we have no choice but to settle for their meager handouts in exchange for what they need inMindanao. For your better enlightenment, Jerry, please read my recent articles “Dobermann Pinscher” and “Of Words and Swords.”

       Every country, like every human being, has a dark side. Whatever Uncle Sam wants, uncle Sam gets, that’s America’s dark side— that of an abhorrent bête noire whose bullying tactics seem unpreventable even if foreseeable, whose cunning devices sometimes include assassinations, like the failed plan to murder Claro M. Recto (and Ninoy Aquino?) whom they found to be dangerous to America’s Interests. But that’s for a future article.

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