I’ll keep the excuse short –> life got in the way, and I just don’t have the time to be a lame duck sitting at my computer anymore <– now, let’s get to the meat of this piece.
- Miriam: The End of an Era
The Gist: The Philippines lost a great Pinay yesterday with the passing of former senator Miriam Santiago.
Verdict: I won’t lie, I expected this– but not as sudden. I hoped to see her live for just a bit longer– but no, someone decided this was the end.
You weren’t a ‘perfect politician’, Miriam, you made your share of mistakes and worrisome quotes. But there is just no other like you. No one else with your level of experience, intelligence and capability. No one else with a fierce love for this country and a deep, deep desire to serve. It is saddening to see you go at a time when it seems the legislature has become an absolute joke– because we needed you now more than ever.
I’m happy to say that my first presidential vote was for someone as capable as you– again, that Bongbong decision was not a good one– but among everyone else there was clearly no one better fit to lead, in my opinion at least.
The shadow of your loss looms over a problematic senate filled with men who act like boys, over a Congress filled with a manyak group of middle-aged congressmen who see no problem in rationalizing that a sex tape viewing is ‘in aid of legislature’. I often find myself imagining what you would have done to them– kicked Trillianes and Cayetano out, perhaps, or dressed down Vitaliano Aguirre or Pantaleon Alvarez for their shear stupidity. But then I remember you are gone, and find myself losing optimism in the state of Philippine politics.
I can only hope and pray that the politicians now and the youth that have had an opportunity to meet you are inspired by your example to live out a fierce desire to serve and continue to be critical of the government. Your loss is a big one and your service should never be forgotten. Thank you.
2. All Talk, No… Just All Talk
The Gist: The never ending cycle of Duterte making a speech coupled with an outrageous comment–> eliciting negative reaction –> cabinet member rationalizing behavior as the after effect of some physiological issues and so on and so forth.
Verdict: Honestly, please just do this country a favor and shut up. Better yet, please stay within script and just give the speeches you need to give quickly and civilly. It sure would help everyone’s blood pressure. Written statements would be preferred.
I am tired of hearing you run your mouth. You think it won’t affect the economy? You think that it’s not the problem well guess what it is. If you really want to show how actions speak louder than words maybe you can do that. Fire Martin Andanar and hire a competent communication team and research team to present what your efforts have done through imagery and infographics you can show online. Use genuine, real-time data to illustrate what your initiatives have led to. Create an evidence-based report. Cut the cussing, bow your head and work!
In the meantime just talk through a spokesperson.
3. The Manyak Boys of Batasan aka Congressextape 2016
The Gist: House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and a number of his colleagues at congress seem to think that there is no issue with utilizing the alleged sex tape of embattled senator Leila de Lima as evidence ‘in aid of legislation’. They seem to think so to the point that they see no problem in showing the said tape during the drug hearings.
Verdict: First of all, I’d like to thank the women in my family for teaching me strength and decency. Second of all, I’d like to thank my Media Law classes for teaching me how wrong and illegal this is. I cannot even begin to describe how angry, disturbed and disappointed I am in this. There are so many other ways to prove the existence of a relationship between De Lima and Ronnie Dayan. The fact that you even have the gall to joke that the tape makes you ‘lose your appetite’ when it is an alleged tape is disturbing.
Thankful for the females in Congress who do realize that this is a problem and have been circulating a petition that is against showing this tape during the hearing. Time to hope, pray and (desperately) call on Miriam Santiago’s ghost to knock some sense into the heads of these congressmen.
4. DeLima, Lima, Lima
The Gist: What is there to say about DOJ secretary turned senator turned chairman of human rights committee turned female whipping girl of the Congress drug hearings?
Verdict: Let me preface this by pointing out that I am not too fond of Leila DeLima myself. She could easily have been part of keeping this drug ring going on by letting it continue, or she couldn’t. There is no legitimate proof yet that makes this statement a fact. Yet, if she is a person of interest in said case, than investigate her properly and decently. If found guilty, punish her as needed.
But that’s just it.
Innocent until proven guilty, diba? So why does it seem as though we’ve already branded her as guilty? If she’s really a suspect than follow rule of law and be fair, and more importantly… decent. But let us be honest here: her past with the DOJ is what’s making this assassination of her character and reputation so easy.
What I have been wondering since this drama began is how things would be like if another senator had chosen to investigate the killings, perhaps Grace Poe or Risa Hontiveros? People whose service histories are far, far away from the department of justice. Would the government have been as keen or as prepared to assassinate their characters? Would they have been ready with alleged sex tapes and dirty laundry prepared from the past?
To conclude: I am very, very worried about De Lima’s mental health. I hope she has family or friends to come home to that relax her and soothe her stresses because one can only imagine what it must feel like to be bashed and beaten like that. Again, to summarize:
De Lima = history with the DOJ has made her prime target for character assassination
She may be guilty or innocent
Investigate decently, properly and carefully
If innocent – let free and don’t character assassinate further
If guilty- punish as needed
5. Cursed Cabinet
The Gist: A personal rant about the problematic cabinet members of the Duterte administration
Verdict: First of all, why don’t all of you just shut up, consolidate your statements and hand them to the one guy whose job is to communicate? I’m talking to you, Martin Andanar. Panelo, go learn some diplomacy and stop talking for the president.
[ Careful not to rant too much due to the archaic libel laws of my home country ]
6. Hill x Trump: The Race Nears
The Gist: On Hillary, Trump and the pending change of power in America
Verdict: I’m not as explicitly informed about American politics as I was during the Philippine election, so I may have relied heavily on late night comedians for my dose of what was going on. Thank you John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah for the constant updates and the education, pretty much.
All I can say is good luck USA. I hope you realize that a serial liar billionaire for a president is not going to end well for you. I’ve been told Hillary’s got a multitude of skeletons in her closet but it looks like thanks to systemic issues you’ve ended up with her or him as choices. Believe me, we know how it feels to choose between thorns. We just did that three months ago.
But perhaps what do you need now is someone who actually knows what they’re doing and has your best interests at heart. Make the sane, decent choice and just don’t choose Trump, okay? I personally cannot even begin to imagine what things will be like if both Trump and Duterte are world leaders.
In the meantime, I may be looking forward to more quality jokes from the best of American late night comedy.
Postscript: I heard you had another shooting over there? Fix your gun laws!