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Barking up the wrong tree

RRoy’siPadBarking up the wrong tree
Ronald Roy — May 11, 2017

A person’s credibility is measured largely by his reputation, although other things like pressure, reward and ignorance may contradict his real intentions. There being no showing of such factors, the only fair way to judge the sixteen members of the Commission on Appointments, who rejected Gina Lopez’s appointment as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is to give them the benefit of the doubt.

“Giving the benefit of the doubt” is a cherished value in the entire realm of law. For instance, it’s better “to acquit ten guilty men than to convict one innocent man”, so goes a dictum in criminal jurisprudence. Therefore, innuendoes that bribery played a hand in the rejection of Lopez’s appointment are unwarranted.

“Lobby money talks”
It’s unfortunate that President Digong made the remark “lobby money talks”. It seemed to cast aspersions on the integrity of the 16 CA members who ousted Lopez. But only he knows the actual import behind his words…so then, why not just give him the benefit of the doubt, like we often do in those cases where, after a gaffe, he says “nag-joke lang ako, naniwala naman kayo”.

The president can be such a tactless comic in the vein of my good friend, Eat Bulaga’s Sen. Tito Sotto, whose remark raised the hackles of women’s rights advocates when he jokingly referred to single mothers as “na ano”, albeit in bad taste.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Sato might have done better than overreacting to Digong’s alleged insinuations of bribery, instead of demanding an investigation, which surely fell on the deaf ears of those who disdain some congressional inquiries as a waste of people’s time and money.

Power of charisma
It’s this kind of humor, or charisma, if you will, that endears Digong and Tito to the hoi polloi who, like it or not, constitute the vast majority of Filipinos…which, again, like it or not. means that ours is a democracy “of the hoi polloi, by the hoi polloi, and for the hoi polloi”.

It is however to Gina Lopez’s misfortune that our hoi polloi are too enfeebled to chart their own destiny. They, the vast majority, wanted her to stay on the DENR job. Ironically, however, they failed to overturn the democratic principle upholding the rule of the majority.

Yes, without casting aspersions on anybody, the vast democratic majority lost out to the minority forces of position and privilege that compose our Commission on Appointments — legislators all who voted in accordance with a count process authorized by the Constitution itself!

People’s empowerment needed
But that’s just the minuscule CA. Throughout the rest of government, one sees functionaries working mostly for their benefit, not the people’s. The sovereign people need to be empowered for their own salvation, and from where this writer sits, the socialist in PDu30 is a fair chance for that to happen.

To be sure, the maverick president knows that his road ahead is steep and bumpy. Altering tradition is overwhelming, let alone changing the Constitution, the laws, and the strategies of war and peace vis-a-vis the armed enemies of the State. But he has vowed “to fix the troubled land”, with nary a concern for his personal safety, much less his hold on power,

Sustaining popular support
With an attitude like this, Digong can only be expected to sustain the popular support he now enjoys. Would that critical human rights groups, especially those of the United Nations, could discern this attitude. After all, it is the Filipinos’ natural right…nobody else’s…to do what they need to do, and to be what they need to be.

Get off our backs, foreigners! For as long as we’re not violating your human rights, live and let live! Knock it off, UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard! You know you haven’t the slightest evidence that the illegal drugs-related extrajudicial killings are state-sponsored. Thus, by barking up the wrong tree, you are violating our human rights!

You’re absolutely right, Monchito (Vallejo). It will be difficult for Janet Napoles to qualify for state-witness status, because she appears to be the most guilty in those pending pork barrel cases which, by the way, involve top officials of the previous yellow administration.

Besides, there would be no assurance she will not lie on the witness stand in order to save some of their necks.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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