POSTSCRIPT / March 29, 2015 / Sunday


Opinion Columnist

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Palm Sunday: On lying pols, fickle multitudes

FICKLE BEHAVIOR: With politics staining almost every aspect of life in the country, the practical and timely lesson offered by Palm Sunday, marked today throughout Christendom, is on the fickleness of political behavior.

We can fill an entire library citing the lies uttered by fork-tongued government officials caught in contradictions and the perfidy of leaders who place self-interest above the public welfare they are sworn to serve.

On that Sunday, Christ rode triumphantly into Jerusalem to the rousing welcome of a crowd shouting hosannas and paving his path with palm branches. Days later down the week, the same exuberant crowd turned into a mob screaming for his crucifixion.

The Gospel recalls to us: “The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!’”

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A LEADER FOLLOWS: We know well enough the rest of the story of the dark nights of Holy Week prefaced by the bright morning of Palm Sunday.

There is a parallel in the swings of public trust and approval of Philippine officials presenting themselves during a campaign for votes and later at certain low points of their term.

In the same way that EDSA has been physically disfigured and morally violated, the 1986 People’s Revolt that exuded an almost-Camelot aura has been debased by later crude attempts to imitate the original with unconvincing mass gatherings for leadership change.

The shifting of people’s behavior below EDSA’s balcony where Pilates periodically ask for the approval of their actions is a reminder to those in power that the people know what they want and need – and that they are sovereign.

Palm Sunday is a reminder that those who presume to lead a nation must know how to follow the people.

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TRUTH BY INSTALLMENT: Another timely reminder to the presumptive leader is that he should not lie to the people.

It is useless to lie to one’s constituents anyway. They will find out sooner or later — and when they do, there is a heavy price to pay.

As many sectors are now saying on the Mamasapano and the Bangsamoro issues, President Noynoy Aquino must level with the people and tell the whole truth.

It is so debasing for a President to pull out in small bits what he claims to be part of the truth. He looks like he is playing a card game with the people, opening one card at a time depending on what cards he sees on the table.

Just let it all out, Sir. In the final reckoning, the whole truth shall prevail anyway and those who covered it up shall pay very dearly for it.

Much more is expected of the President, especially in terms of honesty.

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MIDNIGHT DEAL: The news says that “on the first anniversary of the peace deal under his watch, President Aquino renewed his call Friday for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, warning that failure to forge peace would mean counting “body bags.”

There several errors in that one sentence. The BBL is not a “peace deal”. It is simply an appeasement attempt by Malacañang to the MILF faction of the Muslim community by giving that secessionist band its own nascent Islamic state.

Giving the MILF an expanded territory with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as core plus its own parliamentary government will not seal the peace. Selling a piece of the Republic to the Malaysia-backed MILF for a still undisclosed price is a bad deal.

It is erroneous to equate non-passage of the BBL with body bags. That is a leap of logic. As said, the BBL is no guarantee of peace. Regardless of the BBL, this nation has been counting body bags of innocent victims of incompetence, dishonesty and lack of official concern.

It is sad that some community leaders are allowing their names to be used in a desperate Public Relations campaign to make it appear that a wide swath of the public, including key figures near the top, favor carving out a new Moro nation from the Mindanao-Sulu area.

The Mamasapano massacre and related events have exposed the folly of rushing the BBL’s approval. This midnight deal should be held in abeyance until a new administration with a fresh perspective is installed next year.

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CLARK CUP WINNERS: The winners in the 2nd Clark Golf Cup held last Friday at the Clark SunValley Country Club in Pampanga were announced yesterday by Ashley Manabat, vice chairman of the organizer Capampangan in Media Inc. (CAMI). They are:

• Lowest gross champion Elmer Ngo; Lowest net champion Raul Ilagan.

• Class A division champion Efren de Mesa; 1st runnerup Boyet Arellano; 2nd runnerup Rey Lapid.

• Class B division champion Luis Conde; 1st runnerup Dennis Chan Ibarra; 2nd runnerup Francis Dimaliwat.

• Class C division champion Ret Rosales; 1st runnerup Joel Laxamana; 2nd runnerup Noli Mamenta.

• Ladies division champion Leana Carmona; 1st runnerup Tekkie Guese; 2nd runnerup Mary Ann Reyes.

• Fun holes winners: Longest drive Mike Dy; Nearest to the pin Rey Lapid; Most accurate drive Dino Tanjuatco; Most exercised Lemel Oribiana.

The CAMI board thanked the Clark Development Corp. and Donggwang Clark Corp. for their cooperation. Tournament coordinator was Carlito Cernal of Catandem.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of March 29, 2015)

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