The Senate fraternity
The gamut of reactions I felt when first hearing Sen Tito Sotto’s speech last Wednesday, August 29: incredulity, anger, complete and utter sadness.
I shan't waste your time mentioning all his bloopers. Many of us know them by now. Let me cut to the chase and say what is in all our minds: Can anyone really be that dumb?
Allow me to answer with a quote, “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
How naïve does Sen Sotto and his staff think we people are? Does he really think that we believe him simply because he says:
“The reason why I am not discouraged despite all the criticism is that, unang-una, alam ko binaback-up ako ng karpinterong hudyo kaya matibay ang panindigan ko diyan. Alam ko na iyon ang gusto niya.” (I know that the Jewish carpenter is backing me up so my determination is strong. I know that this is what he wants.)
I guess he hasn’t heard the Thomas Ssasz saying: “When you talk to God, that’s prayer, but when God talks to you, that’s schizophrenia.”
Complete and utter sadness
Someone (let’s call her Lanie to protect her) wrote in a comment: “His fellow senators must denounce his incredulous act abusing his senate privileges by using the Senate hall [as] his platform in [using] deception and [telling] lies.”
Lanie, Lanie, Lanie, you have such an idealistic nature, one I truly envy. You really believe our senators would speak up when a fellow senator behaves as despicably as Sen Sotto? Well, truth be told, not only did they not speak up, they haven’t done jacksh*t, unless you count Sen Enrile’s waffling about a blogging bill, hoping his claims of ignorance about the Internet will excuse him from making a clear stand.
I may be biased, but I interpret Senator Pia Cayetano’s silence as conserving her strength for the battle ahead – the amendment portion of the RH bill.
But Senators Greg Honasan and Sonny Trillanes? There was a time Filipinos looked up to PMA graduates because they proved themselves stalwart and true, and not merely circus acts, jumping from planes with pythons around their necks.
Sen Loren Legarda? Isn’t the travesty of Sen Sotto’s last speech worthy of at least as many tears as the refusal to open the envelope during then President Joseph Estrada’s trial? We wouldn’t insist you had one of your pashminas to protect you from the cold, but can you not make a clear statement that makes you worthy of being the “Loren, Loren Sinta” your campaign slogan said you were?
Sen Joker Arroyo, the once-upon-a-time street parliamentarian who fought for the rights of the oppressed, what is your stand on Sen Sotto’s threatening us with a blogging bill?
Prove you are with us – the people you wooed with your singing, free ballpens, fans and T-shirts, but most of all with your election promises of saving us from threats.
This commitment we want from you goes beyond blogging, plagiarizing or even the RH bill. What Sen Sotto said is a blatant threat. If he doesn’t like what you’re saying, he will find a legal way to punish you. Your silence says you concur.
You, men and women of the Senate, are charged with protecting the interests of 95 million Filipinos. You volunteered for this job. Now is one of those crucial times you can prove yourselves worthy of such an honor. Please do not try and confuse the issue by making a privilege speech about sports.
You have created your own cozy cocoon. Your workings are deliberately obscured by arcane rules and language. Your already overdeveloped sense of self-importance is inflated by demanding excessive displays of fake civility from all who are allowed to appear before you. Your overweening sense of power is stoked by your right to cite for contempt.
I don’t blame you actually. Cocoons can be wonderful things, protecting us from pollution and noise, whether from the environment or other people. But now you can show whether the cocoons you so love merely refresh you for the battles you fight, hopefully daily, for the betterment of all Filipinos. Or have you been so seduced that they have become the be all and end all of your existence?
Now is not the time to make dedma. It is not business as usual. Sen Sotto has threatened one of our basic rights: freedom of expression.
Admittedly, making an unequivocal statement about everyone’s freedom to express himself on the Net is not Ramboesque, with adrenaline pumping and TV cameras focused on you. This is more the late Sec Robredo’s style, speaking out when necessary, but otherwise quietly doing what he thinks is best.
So far, all you have done is circle the wagons, proving that, when push comes to shove, you are all frat brods lang pala – “all for one and one for all” – especially when you sense you are in danger of losing your perks and privileges. – Rappler.com
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