There will be many flagellants during this Holy Week. How I wish some high Malacañang officials would be among them. Should this be so, I sure would want to be among the first to give them a good whipping. My strength is ebbing with age but the very thought of giving them a sound lashing is giving me added vigor and power.
Hey, am I being un-Christian with my thoughts? We are so Christian that we don’t allow beheading and cutting the hands of corrupt persons. A Christian is supposed to turn the other cheek when he is slapped but I guess I’m not that Christian enough to do so. Of course, some would say that giving some executive officials a good lashing during the Holy Week is not un-Christian but partakes of Divine Justice. This is more Christian than the unconcerned words to a complaining flood victim: “Buhay pa kayo, di ba?”
Ah, but flagellants openly admit their sins and are very repentant for having committed them. Who among our officials have ever admitted committing sins against the people? It looks like flagellating our uncaring and unrepentant public officials will be nothing but wishful thinking. It might take a miracle for this to happen. But, hey, can some priests perform the sacred rite of exorcism in Malacanang to rid it of evil spirits? It looks like this will be the last resort. How about it, Fr. Reyes? I remember that the Running Priest once performed exorcism rites at the House before the voting on the impeachment of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
If evil spirits are not exorcised from Malacañang, then the people will continue to be “resilient,” to grin and bear the misery weighing them down courtesy of unthinking, uncaring, and unsympathetic executive officials. The people’s agony will persist even beyond this Holy Week. Filipinos will continue to endure sufferings and privations as long as President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd is in Malacañang.
Some Yellows believe that God is behind the president. He seems to believe so, as he often invokes His name against what he calls “hopeless” critics: “Bahala na ang Lord sa inyo.” There was a time when many thought there will be a resurrection of good governance with his election in 2016. He didn’t promise a bed of roses but he and his mouthpieces should not blame the people for having great expectations from his administration.
This Holy Week accentuates the Philippines’s being a predominantly Catholic country. Christianity has been with us for 493 years and its teachings and practices have become rooted in Philippine society. Or, supposed to be? We are a Christian nation but we have among the most corrupt governments in the world despite avowals of “tuwid na daan.” Oh well, to the “credit” of the administration, it’s no longer mouthing that worthless, meaningless slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”
A reader of this corner, Joey Legarda once noted: “Sadly, religion in this country has always been made up of rituals and obligations. Religion has always been a very superficial matter.” Legarda notes that the country’s notoriety for corruption does not jibe with its reputation as the only Christian nation in the Far East. He also laments that some people are using religion as an instrument to gain political power.
Another reader, Manong Pres Ordinario, added these thoughts: “While the Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia, there are few Christians but many hypocrites, particularly the rich (and famous) and the politicians. Too much religion, not much Christianity. Puro forma, walang substance. Pakitang tao and status symbol.”
“While they can justify or deny their acts before the people and their constituents, I wonder if they can justify their acts to the person facing them in the mirror or to HIM who knows everything,” Manong Pres intoned.
During this Holy Week, we must also remember that about 10 percent of Filipinos are Christians (that’s how some Protestant sect members call themselves to be distinguished from Catholics and other mainstream denominations), and these Filipinos are more zealous for their religion than Catholics are for theirs. I remember that former Sen. Nene Pimentel once lamented that putting up of the Holy Cross in front of Catholic churches was prohibited in Malawi City, which bills itself as the Muslim City of the Philippines. I hope that the upcoming bill on the Bangsamoro juridical entity will give iron-clad guarantees on the Freedom of Religion in that substate.
Incidentally, will Congress have the power to review the Code of Muslim Personal Laws? The Code allows the Shari’a Court to order the solemnization of the marriage of a female less than 15 but not below 12 who has attained puberty. It also provides that a full brother shall inherit double the share of a sister.