Friday, September 24, 2010

Will P'noy Play A Nicolo?

Ruben Gomez, summa cum laude of Ateneo65, asks if there is a hidden hand who is masterminding the demolition program, marshalling megamillions to orchestrate public opinion against Aquino.

Aquino has set out for himself the crusade against corruption. This is the centrepiece of his administration’s mission with the slogan “kung walang corrupt walang mahirap”. It seems that demolition teams organized by the corrupt lords have started their dastardly handiwork and are bent on undermining the trust and belief behind the Aquino leadership.

In a graft ridden government and corrupt society there are many who have been seriously threatened by the anti-corruption program of Aquino. Singly, these personalities are formidable enough. They have a lot at stake and would react with forceful vehemence, would summon all the money and influence they can muster to diminish Aquino’s resolve. I think at the moment what we are seeing are kneejerk reactions, but sufficiently virulent, from individual efforts with some premeditation. These are just for starters. It’s scary to think that in time these efforts will escalate and the rashness and impudence will go to a higher level. Also, perhaps at a later stage, this disparate band of thieves, will unite into an unholy alliance under one common cause...then we will be witness to an Armageddon of sorts, the principalities of evil against the forces of light.

Machiavelli was right to say that it is difficult to institute radical reforms because those who profit from the status quo would resist while those who might profit from the changes would not be as enthusiastic as the latter. Machiavelli, in his book The Prince, tells us of ways of handling these but as far as the Prince’s solutions go they would require some amount of cunning, ruthlessness and duplicity. Would Aquino have the inclination and gumption to take on a Machiavellian response to the problem? As Christians we are taught that in the face of ravenous wolves we must be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. His mother advocated this with her reconciliation and justice policy as opposed to indignation and retribution against those who abused. This belief seems hard put to provide solutions because it does not finish the job and does not deliver the “coup de grace” against the enemy. As recent history shows the robber barons are still very much with us because they were not eradicated when we had a chance to.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ressa – Hack and Slash Journalist

Ressa writes as if ABS CBN is lily white in the whole fiasco. Media is as guilty in what has transpired when the hostage taker was able to monitor the goings on outside the bus. In the interest of journalistic freedom ABS CBN inadvertently provided a monitor for the hostage taker to see the siege preparations, the taking into custody of his brother (which caused him to snap) in more detail and repetitiveness than a B movie, sent other media reporters into the scene trying to scoop each other in a frenzy, in some cases becoming more of an obstruction than help in the negotiations.
The manner in which she wrote went down to the level of movie hacks, perhaps a rung higher in style but having a similar paucity of substance in content and using the same cheap tricks of making plausible tales about the existence of factions in the cabinet, coining catch labels as "sablay" (referring to Samar and Balay). While "sablay" was not mentioned in her article, it does fit in as part an overall news effect. How ingenious! How masterful the use of squid tactics (an integral part of media's arsenal) to divert the attention away from media's culpability.

Ressa spares no detail and included Cory’s ineffectiveness and P’noy’s minimal output as senator for good measure; more vicious than the attack of a killer dog.

Is this a reflection of the Lopezes’ regard for the Aquinos? If not, Gabby should call off his hounds to refrain from sniffing about for more scuttlebutt and other yarns to spin.

On one hand it may be that Ressa got so excited about the scoop. It was a rare media coup in the offing and went beyond what she claims media’s role is, as observers only. As we now know they contributed to the drama that unfolded in the eyes of millions of viewers, reason enough for her to remark “fantastic!”, as if saying to herself “now we are getting somewhere”. Perhaps after a while somebody must have told her or it may have dawned on her that they were treading on dangerous grounds and as a panic reaction started her unbridled cackle against all other parties involved with the exclusion of media. On hindsight she, as senior vice president of Asia’s premier media house should have been more circumspect and so there...

As the bald poet Will said “The lady doth protests too much, methinks” or in a less refined analogy “the hen that lays an egg cackles exceedingly loud”.

Rebuilding the Filipino

“To all of you my fellow Filipinos, let’s keep on building the Filipino as great and respectable in the eyes of our world – one story, two stories, three stories at a time – by your story, by my story, by your child’s story, by your story of excellence at work, by another Filipino’s honesty in dealing with others, by another Pinoy’s example of extreme sacrifice, by the faith in God we Filipinos are known for.”
Alex Lacson

Alex Lacson, understands the Filipino problem very well. There is a need to stem the growing bad reputation of the Filipino by accentuating the positive and the noble about being Filipino starting with our young. Let us not repeat the same mistake that led to a generational moral descent of our youth during the Marcos years...Martial Law babies growing up admiring the wrong kind of heroes in their midst. The corrupt rich, the robber barons, the abusive military, the tainted best and the brightest, all thrived under the munificence of the great Maharlika leader. Most of those who benefited from this largesse are still very much with us, enjoying ill gotten wealth and power, flaunting them with relish not only in the genteel side of media but also in the more sordid affairs of business news and the mockery of our justice system. The pernicious lesson goes on for as long as these are abetted by media. Crime pays.
As Lacson suggests, the work should start from the moulding of our youth’s minds. Let us tell our children and grandchildren about the nobility of the Filipino and how they should lead noble lives. Everyone can play a role in this effort. Let us do away with the attitude of self flagellation, false sense of humility, a complex of being inferior and undeserving which the recent hostage taking further exacerbates. Let us instil pride in the Filipino among our youth by talking positive about ourselves as a nation and as a people in front of our children. It is a long drawn process but it may be the only way to erase the stain in the Filipino psyche which took generations to embed.
Media should be enjoined in this endeavour. They should help out in making this nation great again but not in the context of the ill intentioned New Society.
Paid hacks create false images, kitschy entertainment fare entertains but plants wrong values, bad news sells newspapers and sensational news in broadcast media ensures ratings. While the wheels of the media industry are turned by these it does not elevate them from the insidious commerce, unwittingly or not, they currently engage in. Perhaps the Lopezes, the Gozons, the Lims, the Pangilinans and other owners of influential media houses should take it upon themselves to cooperate and be a part of the rebuilding of this nation. They should realize that it is not all about the selling of advertisements, but that it is also about the selling of an idealized image of the Filipino and the Philippines to our youth, a tandem effort with well meaning heads of every Filipino family.