Get real
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 23 April 2016


Are we going crazy? Dudirty makes a really gross, tasteless, unfeeling, thoughtless comment about a foreign rape victim, and we, or the people listening to him, laugh—an equally gross, tasteless, unfeeling, thoughtless reaction. A statement of apology is attributed to him, and immediately we get comments like “he has apologized, so let’s move on”—therefore, it is not only the crowds listening to him, but others as well, who join him in this bizarre phenomenon.

What will we say about his unrepentant denial of that apology, followed by a dare to the countries whose diplomats expressed outrage or dismay, to see him about it when he is president? Is the “macho” reaction to be admired, so let us MOVE ON?

How many times are we ready to MOVE ON? Did we not MOVE ON after he cussed Pope Francis? He apologized to the Pope, but only after he attempted to justify his remark by disclosing that as young boy, he had been abused by a Jesuit priest, who obviously is dead by now and cannot defend himself.

Did we not MOVE ON after he announced that he would kill “criminals,” to clean up the country once and for all, and made another tasteless joke that killing them in front of a judge would no longer make it an extrajudicial killing?

And more importantly, did we not MOVE ON after his admission that he had supported death squads in Davao that had killed at least a thousand people, including children? Did we not MOVE ON after he admitted to being unfaithful to his wife who finally called it quits after 27 years of marriage? Did we not MOVE ON after he admitted to womanizing?

We did. And don’t anybody say that it is the “masa,” the taxi drivers and such, who have given him an imprimatur to say and do what he says and does. Excuse me. According to the surveys, only 30 percent of the D and E socioeconomic groups are for Dudirty, against the 40 percent of the ABC group who will apparently vote for him.

And apparently all these have bought into his promise to clean up the government and the streets in six months. This, against evidence to the contrary in his performance in Davao City: He may have cleaned it up (this is disputed by some), but it took him at least 20 years (since 1988) to do it. And you think he can clean up the whole country in six months?

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And there’s Bongbong Marcos, another MOVE ON candidate. A big picture in the papers shows him with Lucio Tan and members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Tan got his start from Ferdinand Marcos (cigarette monopoly, a bank, to name a few), but decided to keep the Marcos share for himself when the dictator fell and there was a court battle between the Marcoses and himself. But it seems that not only is all forgiven (after all, the only ones who really lost were the Filipino people), but some Chinese are now also publicly remembering how good Marcos was to them, and feting Marcos Jr. It makes me sick, the thought of cronies coming into power again.

Worse, according to reports, retired generals and colonels of the Armed Forces did the same thing, and more, giving their “unequivocal support” to the young Marcos. Gen. Benjie Defensor (Miriam’s brother) shamelessly dropped generals’ names to prove his point. Do they anticipate a return to martial law or its equivalent? Are happy days here again for them?

Think of it, Reader. Dudirty with his penchant for killing, and Marcos Jr. with his unapologetic defense of his father’s deeds. What a team—martial law mentality and cronyism. As president and vice president. Is that what we really want? This is transformational leadership?

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There’s more. We have the results of the Radio Veritas “Truth Survey” on Servant Leadership. We are told that the survey results are not being endorsed by the Catholic Church, that it is not a popularity survey, that it requires answers of “yes” or “no” to 10 characteristics of servant leadership, that the respondents were not priests and nuns but ordinary people, and that the survey was methodologically correct. And Grace Poe topped the survey.

Questions arise: 1. If the results were not being endorsed by the Catholic Church, why were two bishops (Broderick Pabillo and Teodoro Bacani) at the head of the press conference with the Radio Veritas president? Why make such a big deal of it? Might this be the Church’s way of endorsing a candidate, competing with the Iglesia ni Cristo?

2. Wouldn’t it have been more helpful to us ordinary souls if the respondents of the survey were bishops, priests and nuns? That would have a value-added component. Can you imagine a farmer, or laborer, grading a candidate on such items as “conceptualization,” “commitment to the growth of the Filipino people” and “healing” or “stewardship”? Were the respondents furnished with the necessary information on all candidates before they were questioned?

3. Are the 10 characteristics of equal weight? Because Poe, who “topped” the survey, had the lowest score on “awareness,” which was defined as “having sufficient knowledge and experience for the position, which reflects the programs he or she has implemented during his or her previous government post.” Good grief. Shouldn’t that count for more than listening, and conceptualization, or the rest of the other characteristics?

4. Finally, why call it a “Truth Survey”? Certainly, none of the characteristics had to do with the truthfulness of the candidates. I ask because Poe, the topnotcher of that survey, is facing many issues on that topic.