POSTSCRIPT / April 1, 2012 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

Share This

Lessons of Palm Sunday to leaders and plain folk

PAUSE AND PRAY: Reiterating our earnest suggestion to President Noynoy Aquino to find time this week to go on a deep Holy Retreat. Without his tight coterie of hangers-on.

Inhale deeply, exhale in a burst. Repeat. Repeat. Let go of the foul air that has accumulated in the system the past two grueling years.

Such a spiritual pit stop will do the President, and the nation, a lot of good. Remember, he has only four years to go. Before you notice it, the race will be over.

There will not be a second presidential lap. In fact, after the 2013 midterm elections, Noynoy Aquino will be already a lame duck president.

* * *

LENTEN LESSONS: Today’s Palm Sunday readings and ritual offer many lessons for all of us, including the politicians presuming to lord it over us.

One lesson is that Palm Sunday is just five short days to Good Friday. Time is, indeed, short and fleeting.

In less than a week, the adulating crowd waving palm fronds and other token of love and welcome, was replaced by a lynch mob crying “Crucify him!” and then driving their innocent victim up to Calvary for an excruciating slow death on the cross.

The triumphal Sunday entry to Jerusalem was eclipsed fast by a seeming Friday defeat at Golgotha.

This reminds us that fame and fortune, political power and earthly riches, are temporal accidents of our transitory sojourn on earth.

We will not pass again this way, and the least we can do for our brethren….

* * *

SIGN OF PEACE: Another lesson is that Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, a symbol of peace, and not a horse that could signal warlike intentions in some cultures.

When a new leader takes over, it might be the better symbolism that he enters the city on a donkey of peace, not a chariot of fire.

Having won the last presidential elections, with the decision final and irreversible, it might have been best for the winner to arrive bearing a message of peace and goodwill.

A national leader should attempt to unite the contending factions, including his own, if he wants to move on with minimum resistance and maximum results.

* * *

JUSTICE TEMPERED: As they say, a house divided cannot stand.

Yes, there must be justice, reparation and all that, but – contrary to what speech writers make their paying clients say — there is not only one straight path to press punitive intentions or pursue government programs.

To men of wisdom and goodwill, there are many non-divisive ways of exacting justice. There are other ways of meting out punishment without provoking a wish for vengeance on those punished.

The winner need not tie the loser’s corpse to his chariot, and then humiliate him and his family by kicking him and dragging him around in the dust for all to see.

* * *

CONSENSUS COURSE: In the gentle Asian way, the wise presiding officer does not divide the house outright if he can help it.

He allows a free-flowing discussion until a consensus emerges. Without dividing the house, without a vote, a decision is announced without loss of face of people whose continuing cooperation may still be needed.

Only the weak and mentally challenged want a final and conclusive destruction of their perceived enemies. They do not make allowances for foes eventually becoming friends and contributing to their success.

Whatever the self-proclaimed marketing geniuses and strategic communication experts whisper to their employer’s ears, the universe is never black and white, or yellow and non-yellow.

* * *

FOUR FACTIONS: In preparing for battle, it is narrow-minded for the strategist to classify the forces in the field and the nearby collateral communities only as either friends or foes. There is no absolute black and white in a game where rational beings play.

There are not only two opposing forces, but at least four groups out there. It is more prudent and productive to classify them as (1) allies, (2) enemies, (3) potential allies and (4) potential enemies.

We must always make room for emerging combinations. We have to consider the possibility, or even a probability, that there are potential foes and potential allies waiting to be discovered, convinced and utilized to one’s advantage.

* * *

NOODLES SCAM: The resolution of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dismissing charges against former DepEd officials over the so-called overpriced noodles scam should close the case.

Those insinuating that its dismissal may have something to do with the fact that former Education Secretary Jesli Lapus is a presidential relative should read the resolution of the Ombudsman. She clearly resolved the issues, contrary to what had been publicized in the news.

On the alleged rigging of the biddings won by Jeverps Manufacturing Corp., the Ombudsman found that the Bids and Awards Committee conducted all the required processes in accordance with law.

She said Jeverps won the two biddings because it was declared the “single calculated and responsive bids” for the procurement of noodles in 2007 and 2009 after the other bidders “either failed the eligibility check or voluntarily withdrew their bids.”

* * *

REAL EGGS: On that the terms were tailored for Jeverps, the Ombudsman said such allegation was not proved. It said it was the end-user Health and Nutrition Center that recommended that the noodles be packed at 100 grams to save on packaging cost.

It sided with the claim of DepEd officials that the phrase “with fresh eggs” instead of merely “eggs” was only to emphasize the actual use of eggs and not merely egg powder in the preparation of the noodle dough. The Bureau of Food and Drugs confirmed the presence of eggs in the noodles.

On alleged overpricing, the Ombudsman said the complainants did not submit price quotes from other suppliers as comparative data.

* * *

(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 1, 2012)

Share your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published.