The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Do you know why I love the Philippines and Filipinos? Because they have character.
They’re good, they’re bad, they’re ugly.
Take the impeachment trial. Senator Enrile is a good guy. He holds the wisdom of the ages in his still brilliant legal mind. Sure it takes him some time to piece his sentences together, to rummage through the crowded or clouded memory banks to find precisely the right words to line up, to make every sentence mean something. But if you wait patiently, you find impeccable logic and profound thinking. Like the last two questions he asked that demonstrated clearly that the bank secrecy laws and SALN are NOT in conflict, leading even a half-wit to figure out that SALN requires voluntary disclosure of dollar amounts . . . or resignation because you can’t live up to the oath.
Well, also not grasping the notion is the defense who clasped desperately to any log they could find as they shot down the river toward destiny. Interestingly, they lost control when the defense took over the trial and they got upended by calling the Ombudsman to the stand.
But lead counsel Cuevas was another good guy. Sure, he was stuck with defending a slimeball, but somebody’s got to do it. He had to stand at the mike and face the condemnation of Enrile as the other attorneys slunk down in their chairs as the Chief Slinker Corona exited during his infamous walkout. Other attorneys were evidently in on the ploy, but poor Mr. Cuevas was not. Still, he hung boldly in there, apologizing and doing all he could do to protect his ill-mannered client.  Throughout the trial, he had to work in a public spotlight with and against colleagues who were friends and former students of his. But he stuck to the high road, vigorously arguing the law and the facts, slanted to reinforce his interpretation of the law.
One of the “bads” was the Chief Justice who redefines slime-in-a-robe . . . offering up any excuse, any whine, any political attack in the name of vengance. His walk-out will define him for life, and his pathetic look, sitting eyes down in his wheel chair, getting reprimanded like a child.
And I put President Aquino among the bad, too, for this particular exercise, the trial. He just could not shut up, never understanding that his political condemnations of the Chief Justice during the trial were exactly the thing we hate about the Chief Justice: it’s called meddling. Reaching for the court of public opinion rather than the principle of justice, the principle that Mr. Corona deserves a trial untainted by Executive opinion.
One ugly was that goody-two-shoes Keh fellow, who took it upon himself to go directly to Senator Enrile, as if he, Keh, were an esteemed part of the judicial process because he is idealistically pure. Well, he got what he deserved. A belt whipping on national TV.
The other ugly was whipping the belt . . . Senator Santiago. She used to be refreshing, her candid rants putting people in their place. But now every time she steps to the microphone, there is anger in every word. Maybe she should consider retiring, eh? The Senate is a demanding job, and no one will ever be able to live up to the perfections that she demands. She has become a bore, not refreshing.
And for me, personally, it has been a delight watching the various senators perform. I say “perform” because I think they do a lot of acting. My favorite was young Estrada, and I’m sorry to understand that he is close to the Arroyos. He has a disarming way of laughing at things. We never quite know what he is laughing at, but he laughs a lot, and sometimes I suspect he is laughing at us. That’s very different than the stiff formality we see in other senators, and I like it.
Perhaps the ugliest of the uglies are the media, the sensationalists posing as journalists.
No dirt, no rumor, no slander is too cheap for them to blaze in the headlines. I suppose they don’t have enough staff or professionalism to actually dig for facts, to write in-depth stories that interview several perspectives. To do thoughtful pieces. No, they take the quick hit, the vivid display of shock and surprise, and wrap it in tissue paper. Then put it in the headlines. Then look for the anger that flows forth to add “substance” to the story.
I look around my neighborhood and I see more goods and bads and uglies. They are all over the place. More goods than bads. More bads than uglies.
And I find myself, like Senator Estrada, inclined to laugh a lot.
And so I am happy here.
7 Responses to “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”
  1. brianitus says:

    I feel like grabbing a pack of Camels and lighting up…Anyway, quick note: Young Estrada is an Arroyo hater through and through, if that's what you meant by "close." He's close enough to smell the excreta from the little madam.True, the impeachment brought out the best and worst in Philippine politics and the media watchdogs. It just revealed that we still have a long way to go in terms of "maturity." The tendency to wallow in too much drama is really a major time waster.

  2. I must have read the wrong report. That's good to know, and makes more sense given the background with his father.You know, I think the trial showed the best of the Philippines. The principles being argued are important. It has been done under the firm guiding hand of Maestro Enrile. There was not a general in sight, plotting coup. U.S. politics is infested with a much more destructive undercurrent of politics over people.

  3. brianitus says:

    Yes. I think Enrile can retire now. The trial did bring out what needs further clarification in the system. However, will they do it? That remains to be seen. If they don't and efforts do not lead to greater transparency, then my questioning of the original motive of this exercise will be answered.

  4. Anonymous says:

    From: The cricket!1. Well written narrative and observations!2. I am happy to be a witness to history making! (vs. wit-less waste of time that the media spent…I wish they would/could do better with paying attention to the responsibilities they have and ignore!).3. I turst that now the time draws near and the curtian is ready to fall (on the head of the "judge" …)the media huff & puff wind-bags & old farts will turn their collective attention and address (focus) on the survival and crisis issues we need to "fix" our island "life-boat" PDQ…!4. I must give a "high-five" to "chairwrecker" wonderful sunday review! He has stated that now we must wait upon GOD to dispose of the corruption issue(s)! (or maybe the chinese 3 house GODS-Fuk-Luk-Sau…to fix the "PH- factor"! 5. Maybe better to ask FUk-LUK-SAU to fix the Puke-yuck-peee-u of Manila Pollution and vehicle Transportation-grid-lock! But then again, it seems to me that "waiting for GOD…GODS….is somethn that takes a great deal of "SAINT-HOOD" (or insanity…. depending on how far you can keep your nose above the flood/tide, mangled in traffic over load, and stink… from "telling the exhaust-tale"!).5. Gee, would it not be wondermuss if the island R/TV/film/print media spent just 60% of the time on doing the "right thing" at the "right- time", with the "right stuff"…! Putting the goal of entertainment for the masses aside and "telling-reporting the facts, truth, and how-to fix-it needs of our community! Instead the media insists on taking the e-z way out by padering to the needs, wants, and desires of the "rich and powerful"! The question: Why is the media content with being the "Nero"….playing the fiddle while the islands are burning….heating up to the self- distruct point! Why do they spend 90% of the time and space on "chewing gum" information/features? I cannot beleive that the reading/viewing public would not benefit from a 90% proof effort!Side-bar: Three House Gods defined: Fuk: Prospertiy and good luck!Luk: Honor and abundanceSau: Health and long life….Results combined: doubtful by historical evidence!Oh…."I don't think we are in Kansas any more…."!

  5. jim-e, your comments are better than the blogs that this Joe Am guy writes.Fuk-Luk-Sau I think is busy loading gunboats for direct intervention onto those islands right off over there west of here. Prosperity, abundance and long life come by acquiring most of the world's minerals.The reason the media do what they do? Because it is easy, and because people watch and read.

  6. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-e (aka: the cricket!) rocking chair…1. I hope you caught the I-am-peach-ment proceedings this pm…of the PH-factor–Judge "Capone"….!2. I have to make the observation that I was very pleased to have a front row tv seat (the tv media did good!), and enjoyed the comments of the members of the Senate!3. Most of all, I really appreciated the comments of Senator Recto…I think he among all of them "really got it"–I hope he keeps the fire under the congress and they value his remarks!4. I hope I can live long enough to see the island community reach a "survivalable", progressive and successful future! Someone commented once that "faith is the door to hope"….I just hope the door don't slam on our fingers!I hope that I never see the door slammed and it is big enough forall of us to fit through! For happier daze to us all…I raisemy cup….ask you all to do the same…and PRAY…pray…that it stay's full of good stuff forever! Most of all I hope that those"smarter" than me folks get off their collective "big-Asses" anddo the right thing, at the right time, with the right stuff–act now…not tomorrow to keep a rainbow over our island community!

  7. Yes, I caught the whole thing. Senator Recto indeed had a clear message of responsibility. Maybe this trial will light a bit of a fire of confidence and responsibility . . . not smug complacency. The latter comment is directed toward the Executive branch of government.

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