NOVALICHES Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Jr. has gone on record in the media as offering a hefty P5 million reward to President Rodrigo Duterte if he can prove his accusation that the prelate has got a wife. In fact, since the Digong has charged Bishop Bacani with having not one but two wives actually, the prize becomes doubled. Indeed, over Radio Veritas, the bishop, one of the more noted pillars of the Catholic Church, declared he will deliver to Duterte that double whammy if the President proves his words true.
It’s an exercise in futility. I mean the bishop’s dare. No priest—that is, Catholic— takes a wife and then announces it to the world. Therefore, no man, even a despot that the Digong is, with all the power of sleuthing at his command, can prove a priest’s indiscretion with his faith.
The Digong’s accusation is a propaganda piece. That’s all there is to it, though there certainly is the element of sensationalizing a publicity skirmish meant to be won by the President. From the looks of it, Duterte is indeed winning. It was a mere bait that Duterte threw, but the bishop bit and he got hooked. By reacting with a several-million-peso reward offer for proof of the accusations against him, rather than diminish their truth, Bishop Bacani succeeds only in reinforcing those charges.
Why dignify Duterte with a reply? This war of words is never decided in a lengthy debate. The saner the arguments you throw at Duterte, the more insane the retorts he counters at you, and in a mass psyche of mundane humor, the craziest comedian is the winner.
Come to think of it, but that’s how Duterte got the voters hooked in all three debates during the presidential campaign. While all four other candidates did their damn best trying to sound serious and sane, Duterte effortlessly did his kenkoy. Oh, how the damn bastards loved it. And I was one of those tards, mind you. I consistently graded Digong best in showmanship.
I did not vote for him, of course. I hate to think of the government as a mere venue for doing a show, as I thought Duterte did during his Stand-Up Comedy Act (SUCA) called SONA in July last year.
Alas, but the nation seems a goner for being unable to tell serious government from cheap entertainment. How throngs cheered the candidate who had such fun smooching women hard on the mouth, flashing a middle finger at his detractors, throwing invectives at world dignitaries, admitting murdering people, men, women, and children, and on top of all indignities, cussing the Pope.
And now, here is Duterte picturing you a sickening shame to your soutane, what do you do? Match his malevolence and offer him a bounty. What is that but a betrayal of your utter disrespect for the people. You are virtually calling them stupid by believing that they will believe you.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. This sounds elementary enough for our comprehension. But what do you do when you try to fan the smoke out? You only succeed in speeding up the process of oxidation, thus keeping the fire burning. To put the fire out, douse it with water. Simple as that.
At the height of Duterte’s cussing of world dignitaries, Pope Francis was asked for a reaction. His answer was devoid of any tinge of bombast or braggadocio or self-righteousness. Indeed, the holy man that he is, Pope Francis said, “I admire the honesty of the man.”
Might not the bishop think of emulating his supreme superior? In another interview, Pope Francis was asked how he would describe himself. His answer was quick. He said, “I am a sinner.”
As simple as it goes. But it speaks much of a man with no skeletons in the closet, pure of heart, sincere in his humanness.
In the case of Bishop Bacani, by making the reward offer to Duterte, he might just succeed in opening a Pandora’s box and send the evils otherwise sheltered therein flying out into the whole wide world.
He is not only up against a President whose awesome investigative power in his hands can cause the damnation of his fiercest enemy. Look at what kind of Pandora’s box he has opened in the case of Senator Leila de Lima. The lady solon has been reduced to smithereens, if only for the moment. There is no gainsaying how similarly awesome is her capacity to resist. Less endowed adversaries, much lesser women still, would have long fallen flat on their faces already, but Senator Leila is still up on her feet, indicating something terrible is still forthcoming from her end.
Unless Bishop Bacani could be perceived as equating to a full-scale mobilization of Catholics against the President, and unless such a mobilization intimidates the President enough so that he is held back in his punches, the bishop’s quarrel with Duterte could degenerate into the state of affairs now obtaining between Duterte and De Lima.
That is, if Duterte calls the Bishop’s dare on the reward.
Which brings this piece to the original topic intended, as indicated by the title. Entertained by the Bishop Bacani dare, I thought of cajoling him into parting a little with his several-million-peso reward offer by offering in my turn a reward to whosoever is able to tell who said the quote in the title: “Putangina mo duling. Anong ginagawa mo rito?”
Answering that question gets us abreast with history, throws us into the correct context of assessing Duterte in his current thoughts, words and deeds. Let results follow from such understanding.
So now let’s start the fun. Who said those words, “Hoy putanginang duling. Anong ginagawa mo rito?” Register your answers in spaces provided for your replies at the bottom of this page. The first to register the correct answer gets my talent fee for this column. For that, I stand to lose my medicine money, but for a little understanding of Philippine history, that’s a small sacrifice really.