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“Letsmoveon” Is A Virus

February 18, 2008

Ricky Carandang laments: Why is it so hard to do the right thing in this country? and in exasperation likens the Philippines to Bizarro World.

When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of comic books. I remember in one of those comics, Superman travelled to Bizarro World, where everything was the opposite of what it was supposed to be. Wrongdoing was cheered, while ethical behavior was punished. Is Gloria Arroyo’s Philippines the real life Bizarro World?

He cites the case of Romulo Neri who first broke the story of a multi-million dollar corruption in the NBN-ZTE contract and who has since shut his mouth for reasons now quite known and subsequently Jun Lozada who is now being harassed left and right, from up and below, apparently by the government,  after disclosing much more anomalies in the same contract. He also points to Governor Panlilio of Pampanga who has since multiplied his province’s earning by tenfolds from quarrying since replacing the Lapid’s, suggesting plunder of earnings in the past, and now being threatened with recall. There’s also the businessmen from MBC who, after uttering much of their sentiments about the wrong things in government, they are presently threatened with tax audit– which should not be a “threat” in itself if not for the timing and the tone.

If I may add, we could count in many more: General Gudani, General Danny Lim, General Miranda, Senator Trillanes, the rest of the so-called Magdalos, other reformists on the run, etc. And for what reasons are they now in prison and the rest in hiding?

To be sure, we have varying standards of good and bad, mediocre and outstanding, genuine and fake, assholes and brains, bootlickers and performers; but let’s try putting some personalities side by side and do some comparative science. Try sit side by side General Danny Lim and General Hermogenes Esperon, for example, and ask yourself who’s the better man. Try Secretary Ignacio Bunye and Senator Trillanes, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales and Colonel Querubin, Secretary Sergio Apostol and General Renato Miranda, The Big Fat Man and Jun Lozada… Who among these fellows easily belong to the Dark Side?  Who’re the bad guys and the good guys?   Then, you take a look at who’s holding the levers of power and running the government– and who’s on the run. When the good guys are on the run or behind iron bars, and the likes of Justice Raul Gonzales run the government, need anyone wonder why it’s so hard to do the right things in this country?

My comment of Ricky’s blog, ( now edited):


These are signs we are a seriously sick society. If you should find analogy in a sick man, it’s the cells causing the disease trouncing the good cells and our immune/defense system itself aiding the bad cells.

When the moral guardians looked away because they believed GMAs cheating was justified and all subsequent wrong-but-justified acts were allowed, to reinforce her legitimacy, they have inadvertently done something truly ruinous: make an open endorsement of a set of values that could be violated at will, such as, in this case, honesty. Who among our moral guardians could say when these acts are wrong and justified or plainly wrong? Now, if the highest official of the land could do that, heck, why couldn’t the rest do the same and find succor in the original rationalization, or find justification on their own. “Let’s Move On!” is a disease, Ricky.

(Emphasis on the last sentence is mine, for this entry).

In the very restive days following the explosive “Hello Garci” scandal, various sectors equally stubborn and powerful,  and seemingly well-meaning, have taken the line: Let’s move on! The assertion was straightforward: we should let this source of friction pass because all these unrest and agitation being generated were unduly destabilizing society, jeoparadizing our prospect for economic development, which is more paramount in the scheme of things.  Left unspoken, of course, was this: Anyway, her closest rival FPJ, an actor, an undergrad, would not have been a good President, while this one has a PhD in economics; another thing– he’s dead, for God’s sake!

Too bad, the”Hello Garci” tape had most of the elements of a “hand caught in the cookie jar”crime– hence “caught in the act”. What could one do indeed?– in it, she sounded so much like her talking to Garci asking assurance for a margin of a million , or so. Accused of such a monumental misdeed, if you knew enough of human nature, you should at least expect a vehement denial, but only a long period of disturbing silence followed. Then one fine day, she said sorry; for what reason she said sorry, she would not say but need you have a degree in law or rocket science to interpret the mysteries of the world on occasions like this? Then came along a series of official edicts which attempts at everything but clear the air of suspicion. Anyway, my favorite act is still Secretary Ignacio Bunye’s “I have two discs” caper–for so brazen, so breathtakingly shameless an insult it wants foisted on human intelligence.

Something should be said of a transgression “caught in the act”. In another blog entry, I have argued that being humans we allow a wide margin for acts of lying and cheating in the manner we conduct our everyday affairs.  After all, we all cheat on our parents, our siblings, our lovers, friends, and acquaintances, in various times in varying degrees for reasons both benign and malicious.  It is part of this game we call life.  In politics, we allow even wider a playground.  But here, we draw the line where an act of misdemeanor is all too manifest, for the senses even in their most pliant mode could only take so much beating and reshaping. You get “caught in the act”, there could be no more denying; all denials would be rendered ridiculous and foolish unless, to make things fit where they don’t or events occur where they couldn’t, the universe undergoes a fundamental rearrangement and the rules of logic, a major revision.  Now, a transgression “caught in the act” is a transgression confirmed, firmly established, if not in accord with legal rules, at least in conformity with the public’s notion of unquestionable guilt . You let  one such manifest infraction pass, you have one big problem. For a wrong unpunished is a wrong acquiring approval, with thumbs up high, therefore, from hereon, allowed, authorized–  a transgression no more. Now finally, this– you give approval to one, you give approval to all. Then before you know it,  what used to be evil becomes the norm and good behavior as we knew is then an anomaly, unacceptable and punishable.  That is when you see moral offenders lording over society and the good guys taking all the whipping as when you have a nincompoop like Sergio Apostol blabbering over on TV calling all and sundry destabilizers who would not buy the government line of thinking while one proud recipient of a Medal of Valor is in solitary confinement for no reason.

There’s a new virus, it’s name is Letsmoveon.  It’s of a new strain.  In other times, it was called another.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ramon permalink
    February 18, 2008 5:51 am

    Lets move on is just one of the arsenal of arguments used by Arroyo apologists. Another is the let-he-who-is-withou- sin-cast-the- first-stone ploy. This goes that anyone who makes an accusation is also dirty and theorefore they have no right to criticise. Since no one is totally clean, no one can make an accusation against the Regime.

  2. Deepcaring permalink
    February 18, 2008 7:22 pm

    letsmoveon is not a cancerous virus.
    life is a movement… a process of growth, which includes painful growth.

    cast the first stone is a gospel narrative and Jesus effectively used it against the hypocrisy and righteousness of the religious of his time.

    im no fan of gloria but if we are indeed sincere in seeking out the truth let us see lozada substantiate his accusations in courts and let the legal process takes its course and penalize those who are guilty.

  3. February 19, 2008 4:45 am

    Well said, Ramon.

    Deepcaring, welcome. I am no fan of anyone. As for the courts and legal processes in this country, I wish I share your trusting nature.

  4. February 23, 2008 4:17 am

    Ditto on the legal alternative. A court case at this precise moment will be a tool to prolong the discovery of truth.

    The policemen responsible for Lozada’s kidnap are now using the DOJ/Ombudsman inquiries as shields to appear in the Senate. The excuse of sub judice isn’t even applicable yet. But look who’s being investigated in both agencies – Lozada and Neri!

  5. February 26, 2008 2:02 am

    I liken legalese to making up an ugly woman. In the bright glare of the sun, ugliness will show her a perfect model for a funeral parlor, the lawyer as parlor makeup artist.

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