Prez Rody “Digong” Duterte replied to a question from Reuters on salvaging: “You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions and statements. Putang Ina, mumurahin kita [who else?]diyan sa forum na ‘yan. Huwag mo akong ganunin. Tell that to everybody. Itong mga kolumnista [I am one], para ba akong tinatakot, anak ka ng – umalis kayo diyan sa Pilipinas, pumunta kayo doon sa Amerika. [Why should I?] You write kung ano nasa isip – the lap dogs of this American [including me?]. Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, he has too many. . . . America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakatikim ng apology niyan. That is the reason why Mindanao continues to boil.”
This remarkable infelicitous passage has gone viral. If America, to Digong, is Hell, why should he tell anyone to go there?
And why should Digong tell anyone what he thinks of the latter and his mother? He and I, along with countless others, have sainted mothers.
To begin with, Obama belongs to a vilified and oppressed minority and must have experienced being disrespected. (But, it is good the Georgetown Jesuits are making amends today for the sale of 272 slaves in 1838, from which the Marcoses may draw lessons, to help ageing, ailing human rights victims – for their care and funeral – or their apo, via scholarships, without necessarily admitting liability).
Second, we try to teach our young to avoid bad words, but, if the Prez, perceived to be a role model, would not develop a wider vocabulary, big problem. Churchill said a “lie” is a “terminological inexactitude.” No need to be Churchillian but going to Church may help. The Palace is so near Saint Jude; San Beda has its own church. Walking distance.
A Prez must not tell another what he thinks of him or his ancestors. He may be seen as a rock star – or as a star in a freak show.
Digong’s various mouthpieces fall all over themselves crying “this was what he really meant,” “wrung out of context,” etc.. A Bedan lawyer who cannot express himself should be a contradiction in terms.
We should avoid becoming the Wild Wild East of Pulis Patola whose Top Gun challenges to duels and encourages arson (innocent lola and apo may be barbecued), both criminalized by the Revised Penal Code. Law enforcer lawbreaker. Josme!
A State of Lawlessness we have learned to live with, in traffic (overspeeding, non-use of pedestrian lanes, parking anywhere, trikes in counterflow, etc.), not queueing, marital infidelity (which seems to be a requirement for high office, and low – indeed, we hear Pulis Matulis Dalawa Batuta), even in tax payments (Kim Henares alleges Manny Pacquiao owes government several billions but he may be too busy training for his next fight). We are a nation of scofflaws.
But, we should not scare with mindless confusing contradictory pronouncements – our kin abroad, so needlessly, along with prospective tourists and investors. Digong should not anarchize us. A “State of Lawlessness” is not in the Constitution. “Lawless violence” is, but can occur even in households.
Genocide is not a policy of civilized countries. Failings in other countries are no excuse for us to trample upon human rights here.
We in the tiny insignificant human rights community welcomed Prez Jimmy Carter’s interference here during the Dark Years. And Amnesty International’s.
If Obama were a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), Digs’ dig may be more acceptable or understandable. But, he’s black. Blacks could not marry whites until Loving v. Virginia in 1967, which allowed inter-racial marriages. In 1948, Victoria Manalo Draves was proclaimed a winner of two diving golds in the London Olympics, as a Caucasian, although she was born to Teofilo Manalo a musikero from Orani, Bataan.
Dred Scott (1867) was a case of blacks being ruled as chattels, by a Supreme Court led by Catholic Roger Taney.
In 1896, separate but equal, in Plessy v. Ferguson. In Davis v. Board of Education (1954), full equality, which is still not fully implemented.
In short, progress could be slow.
But, in Davao, there is Tim Tebow’s medical facility, where he, an American son of US missionaries, born in Makati, helps the natives. No point in condemning America, wholesale. In my stay in Harvard Law, I was struck by the libertarian egalitarian spirit of my white fellow students. The law firms I trained in were founded by Jews. One is Arnold & Porter and its concern for minorities has stayed with me. Jews and Catholics care for fellow minorities.
The blacks in the US are getting more and more benefits, our fellow travelers in a sense. Look at Michael Jordan, Oprah and Lebron, who has just cancelled his Manila visit. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, after the fact therefore because of the fact, is a fallacy of course, but Nike is culturally-sensitive as alleged Top Tax Evader Manny Pacquiao. Top House Absentee, found out.
Digong’s Kill!Kill!Kill! Pa More and Bato’s Burn, Baby, Burn may be remedies far, far worse than the Disease. The Right Thing must be done in the Right Way.
Digong said: “Yung mga column nag-bash, susmaryosep! Pagka-lap dog ng mga – pretending to be the conscience of this? Sino ka? Hindi ako bilib diyan sa America. Gusto mo sipain ko pa ‘yan sa harap mo eh. Pumunta kayo doon.”
If Digong had attended San Beda Law School a decade earlier than he did, he would not only have anecdotes about loveable Super-Bully Judge/Justice Solidum, one of the original classroom terrorists (“Saguisag, in this class you have to use you brains – if you have any!” – after my first recitation) but also about Justice Eduardo Caguioa, who stressed – lo cortes no quita lo valiente – courtesy does not detract from valor. (I attended San Beda at a yo-soy-bososoy time.)
Now, we have a Prez bowing to Putin who supports China in our sea dispute. Doveryai non proveryai. Trust, but verify. Has Russia done anything lately to help us in our new Police State replacing the Macoy’s Martial Misrule?
On Macoy, may I commend the Supreme Court for preventing the transfer of Macoy’s remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani this month while we look for a win-win solution, such as renaming LMB. Digs should certify as urgent Rep. Harry Roque’s bill.