The Awakening Beast: Public Indignation (Angry Maude)

Guest Blog by: Angry Maude

(Editor: The scheduled blog “How Filipino Personal Independence Undermines Community”will be delayed one day so that this guest article can be run on a timely basis.)
I see that a lot of commentary has moved past Senator Sotto’s transgressions to the willingness of our so-called esteemed Senators to turn their eyes, to duck their heads, to walk away from a blatant, arrogant insult to public honor and high values. Not to mention, Senate honor.
I like Senator Santiago. She is a bright woman and my role model. But today I have to disagree with her. Senator Santiago is correct in only one way. Copying a paragraph from a blog is not such a big deal.
But every which way after that, she is wrong. It is a big deal if an entire speech is crafted on the creative efforts and knowledge of others, with the words twisted to mean what the writers did not mean to say. It is a big deal to deny first the theft, then  acknowledge it and dismiss it as innocent. It is a big deal to criticize the public for doing their duty to condemn bad behavior. It is a big deal to propose an act of vengeance against those who spoke out for higher values, a blogging bill to silence public expression.
No, no, Senator Santiago, that is a VERY BIG DEAL. Idol or not, you are wrong.
Blaming bloggers for the incident reflects a huge ignorance of what the public’s role in a democratic nation is all about.
Condemning bloggers in this instance is very much like condemning a whistle-blower for having courage and high values.
Public expression is a vital check and balance in democracy.
To silence public expression would be like eliminating the courts. Just letting the police determine guilt or innocence. Who really needs that check and balance on justice? Cops have good values.
It would be akin to eliminating the legislature. Just letting the Executive Branch dictate laws. Who really needs a Legislature, especially if it is not interested in doing good acts?
To silence public expression would be to return the Philippines to the dark ages where leaders meet in secret smoky rooms and hatch dark schemes hidden from public eyes.
This is an attitude exactly the opposite of transparency and forthright governance.
It goes against the grain of stability and enlightenment brought to the Philippines by President Aquino’s dedication to good governance.
The Senate is out of step. Out of step with the direction of the Philippines.
The Senate is not leading.
It is just sitting there. Or worse, hiding.
  • Senator Sotto has spoken. He has held the floor for a long time.
  • Four senators have mumbled a few words of support for the Sotto ideals.
  • One senator has criticized plagiarism.
  • Seventeen senators have remained silent.
Oh integrity, sweet integrity, I fear thy name is not Senator.
26 Responses to “The Awakening Beast: Public Indignation (Angry Maude)”
  1. Anonymous says:

    From: Island Jim-e (aka: The Cricket)1. Good show-wonderful expression and outline of what is really wrong with ourgovernment in general and the Congressspecifically! They seem to have becomepart of the problem and not the solution–to serve, protect and insure the publicsafety….soooo sad! They apparentlyare self-serving and ruled by the oldfamilies….and if they do not change weneed to find creative ways and means toget shed of them!2. Again I see shades of "The Hitler"times-ways-means-ends-solution, etc…working in the government and media–shameful…sad, and they take advantageof the starving to feather their own beds.3. Once again this week the privatecare we have to use to get to Manila tovisit our doctor was held up by localstreet police…we had no choice but topay-up or else! I suppose this is theprice we have to pay to "have more funin the philippines!".Note: The definition of "insanity"–tobe abnormal…does it apply to theso-called "capital" of the Philippines,the people who live in Manila, andelsewhere in the provences?Chirp!

  2. Edgar Lores says:

    This is a well-written critique of the Senators by an angry citizen wearing a modified Guy Fawkes mask. May this piece appropriately light fireworks under the Senate and propel the Senators to end their deafening silence.

  3. Yes, Island Jim, these people seem stuffed of shirt and empty of high ideals to me. I could not believe my ears when Senator Santiago essentially excused Senator Sotto. After all the fine and principled ranting she did during the Corona trial. It's like she suddenly went blind. I don't like the Hitler comparison to anyone. He was too despicable. But I agree that these do not seem to be very patriotic people. It billows my skirt, these unprincipled blowhards.

  4. Thank you Edgar Lores. I'm really a sweetie, but this backward idiocy is simply too much. A blind man can see how devious and deceitful Senator Sotto's behavior has been for, what, a week now? And the rest of the senators sit on their hands like stooges. Well, wait until the next election, we'll see how they are sitting.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Shaming Sotto as a plagiarist has served to break the momentum his speech has generated but the whole issue of plagiarism appears to have derailed and prolonged the debate on RH-perhaps a tactical ploy by Sotto. Miriam doesn't want to antagonize Sotto so she's mum-also tactical or Sotto will continue to filibuster on the debate. That's my 2 cents and till the end of this news cycle on Sotto's bull…DocB

  6. Doctor, you mention the RH Bill and it makes my blood boil. These men of the church and senate are so old their thinking has fossilized. They believe they have the right to dictate to a woman what is best for her body. Can you imagine? Well, if you are a medical doctor, I am sure you can. This is a tyranny of old men and it disgusts me. So I can see that an idiot like Senator Sotto would be so conniving as to play these games. How did he ever get to be majority leader? Was it at some drunken party that the vote was held?The only tactic I want to hear from Senator Santiago is honesty. She is going to sit on the International Court, right? And she can't figure this one out correctly, to take care of the Philippine public interest? Can't bring Filipino values higher? I pity the world, and I strike her as my idol.I am hopeful that the Judiciary under Chief Justice Sereno will start on a steady path to improvement.But the Senate is just clowns. I'm sorry, I agree with Joe Am on that one. Just clowns. The only hope is elections when we can throw them all out. A revolution of the ballot box. No blood, lots of tears. Theirs.

  7. I invite you to read an article posted on my blog, did not want to post the entire thing here. Women's health as well as the nation's is not just the job of the legislature. The executive department already has a backing of a law to help realize a great number of the goals of the proposed RH bill.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, Maude, we have to contend with realpolitic. The debate on RH bill has been ended in the House but not in the Senate, where the likes of Sotto can filibuster till kingdom come or the next Congress. While Pnoy has many allies in the House, the Senate is largely indifferent to him. No amount of shaming will make Sotto budge from his position on the RH bill. Else, he would lose face to his family, friends in holy and high places and showbiz denizens. He's relying on the short memories of Pinoys but alas, with the internet, it's a whole new world out there. Imagine his shady past being dredged by bloggers. Sotto didn't see that coming.DocB

  9. Thank you, young man. I'm not sure if your comment was meant for me or JoeAm, but Joe says I am supposed to take care of my own blog comments, so let me respond. Joe can comment too if he gets out of the hammock for a change.I read the article by Flor Lacanilao and think it makes a lot of sense. Here is a quote from the article that emphasizes your point that the Executive Department could do a lot of what is in the RH Bill on its own."Let the pros and the cons continue debating the RH bill issues at their own expense, time, and forums. Enough has been said — yet without any useful conclusion — on government time. Congress should vote now, it does not really matter one way of the other, and save money for the country's other urgent needs."That makes sense to me. Lots of sense. This relentless beating up on the bill with words, chewing up money and time and patience, reminds me of my baking days, punching the dough for the bread over and over again, only to see it fall flat. Now I buy my bread.You married by any chance?

  10. Yes, I am married with two children.

  11. Ah, interesting point, Doctor. I didn't know that President Aquino really has little clout in the Senate. So crusty old coots like Sotto and Enrile can stick things up like my arthritic hip before a rainstorm.I like the view expressed by that handsome boy Angel above. Vote on it and let's move on. Put the task into Mr. Aquino's hands. Let's not play stupid anymore.

  12. Angel, thanks for the link. I agree with Maude. A lot can be done by Executive without the involvement of a Senate that seems to have little ambition.

  13. There is already a law in the country that addresses a significant fraction of the goals of the proposed RH bill. When it comes to results, actions are necessary. The executive department has enough backing from the laws, its current inaction is no different from and perhaps even worse than delays in legislation.

  14. Sigh. Okay, Dr. Angel. Take good care of them.

  15. With regard to basic education, the executive department acts way ahead of legislation. But on women's health, there are laws that have been waiting for long to be implemented.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bottom line: Filipinos deserve the politicians that they elect. They reap what they sow. Filipinos are showing indignation at what Sotto did? Umm, why did the electorate put him there in the first place! They put him there because he was popular, not because he was competent. Or are those two synonymous in the Filipino's mind?Once the electorate stops putting glaringly incompetent people into government positions then they have more of a right to complain. But until they keep getting swayed by popularity, catchy jingles and one-liners (Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap? Yeah, right.), and avoid the glare, they deserve the garbage out that results from their garbage in.And no, your beloved President Aquino is not for public expression. He keeps wishing for his critics to go away; they won't. Having only sycophants among those you seek advice from usually results in a picture that does not always reflect reality.

  17. joy says:

    "Bottom line: Filipinos deserve the politicians that they elect." maybe yes, but consider … how many constitute the "thinking" electorate? in my province for instance, hacienda workers vote according to the dictates of their "amo" else they lose their jobs. in the barangays, it's what and how much the barangay captains would say/give come election period else they cannot run to him/her in times of need. same with workers in many industries. there were voter education campaigns galore but what did they care about politicians' platforms; these are mere promises. until people are better educated and are economically able enough to exercise options independently, the patronage system will continue to run supreme.

  18. I like your style, anon. I've argued with JoeAm in private about the president's always wanting to put his friends in high places. He's just another trapos, eh? Like trying to put that loudmouth de Lima into the Chief Justice chair, or bench, or whatever they sit their big fannies on. I think JoeAm has something going on with Kris Aquino, that hussy.

  19. Very well said, Dearie. I like other women who are not afraid to speak directly.I think the enlightened class is getting bigger, thanks to the internet and people willing to speak up against "authority", when in the past they'd be hauled out and shot. The masses still go with their wallets or allegiances. So we get Sotto in office, while smart people can see he is a church-bonded idiot.Somehow the enlightened class has to figure out how to reach more broadly. Which is that nice boy anon's point, our idiots are still getting elected. Like that Pacqauiao hunka hunka . . .

  20. Edgar Lores says:

    Joy,That's a realistic – and depressing – assessment of the mess we're in.You say better education and economic independence are the keys to defeat the patronage system. But the first depends on the second, and the second also depends on the first. Therefore it is a vicious cycle.To break the cycle, one, two, three or several forces must step in to empower the individual. There are several forces – government intervention, private initiatives, big business initiatives, the press, the web, the death of robredo – but are these forces enough to break the cycle?The last three forces are only accessible by the 40% of the population, assuming that 60% constitute the poor, the underprivileged class. Only the first two forces can penetrate the class. (By private initiative, I hold Gawad Kalinga as a sterling example.) Big business can be a positive force, but it can also be a negative force as you point out.Against these possibly progressive forces stands reactionary forces like the Church and reactionary elements like the politicians, especially right now the Senate as Angry Maud so forcefully enunciates. The Church which can be a huge force for good would rather keep the masa in chains.Ninoy attested to the proposition that the Filipino is worth dying for. I, and no doubt you and many others, ask, "But is the Filipino worth living for?"I publicly say that we must believe, think and act as if the impossible were possible. But I have my recurring doubts and I waver and wonder.Angry Maud possibly offers a resolution. Be angry, stay angry. Righteous anger may burn through the layers of tattered rags and reveal the precious gem lying underneath.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I beg to differ Miss Matilda. Kris maybe a siren but she's no hussy.Fan of JoeAm (and Kris Aquino) from Renton, WA

  22. Anon, let me add to what Maude has said, disregarding her flippant comment about Kris Aquino. You are correct. Although I would not use the loaded word syncophant, President Aquino's circle of appointees seems very limited. Friends and party members. At some point, confidence in someone becomes weakness when it is based on comfort and not capability. So I agree with you on that point.My appreciation of President Aquino is based on his very constructive change in vision for the nation, a vision of a Philippines that is forthright and honest. I believe he works primarily for us, not himself. This is refreshing and very different than Arroyo and Estrada. His choices flow down from that vision and are reflected in appointmentees who are fundamentally honorable people.

  23. Oh, my, Edgar sweetie. I just adore a man who can put it all together like you just did. Really rocks mys socks if you catch my drift.I do agree that anger, well directed and not vengeful, can be very powerful. It is the indignation I speak of in the title of my article. Too many of our leaders, like Sotto, are bully boys, and it is time to bully back. I like that the poor whiner feels bullied. If they can't grasp the terms "humility" and "public interest" and "ethical behavior", it is time to chase them off to the cane fields to labor. All we need are keen ideas and sharp words. Kiss kiss.

  24. Anon in Renton, my name is Maude, not Matilda. I need to slap JoeAm down once in a while. He has been gushing about that lady ever since she wrote him, saying that she is very kind and thoughtful. I guess they became pen pals or something. We gotta get him back to planet logic or pretty soon he's going to go starstruck like the rest of the Philippines.

  25. Anonymous says:

    My bad Miss Maude. Mea culpa.Fan of JoeAm from Renton, WA

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