In defense of Jeane Napoles

Chad Osorio

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If you've got it, flaunt it...It may have been done in bad taste, but it was never a crime to be proud of what you have.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Let’s start with a question: why can’t Jeane Napoles take pictures of the stuff she owns? Just because some people are offended that they can’t afford it? It’s not her fault that poor people are poor. It may have been done in bad taste, but it was never a crime to be proud of what you have.

The social media networks are specifically designed so that people can connect, and yes, “sell” themselves to others so that their social value increases.

And how do we do that? By asserting the social influence, high level of attractiveness and material wealth that we have. That way, people will either love us, respect us or fear us. It’s a tool for attaining social power, and Jeane did precisely that.

I initially address the issue of her social networking audience. The readers of Jeane’s blog, in the first place, are her friends from the A community. I’ve never heard of her and her luxurious ways (and I’m pretty sure neither have you) until this scandal blew up. I doubt that she intended poor people to read it in the first place. They don’t even know who Lacroix or St Laurent is, and they do not understand the social value of a US$3,000 designer bag one uses for everyday wear.

SPARKLES. Janet Lim-Napoles' daughter Jeane fancies expensive shoes like this pair she posted on her blog. Photo from Jeane Napoles' blog

These posts were specifically targeted towards her own clique, which she intends to rule over as Queen Bee. It’s not an in-your-face, I-have-this-you-don’t statement to the rest of Filipinos.

READ: Napoles’ daughter blogs about lavish lifestyle

READ: Napoles daughter owns P80M LA property

Beyond reasonable doubt?

I agree with the point that it would have been all right for her to do what she did had the Napoleses not stolen from government money. My question to everyone would then be, has their guilt been proven by the courts?

If yes, then by all means take away all their money and their privileges. Put the responsible party to jail. The shame enough would kill them all. I know it would me and my family. But until then, we should stop judging them just because they’re proud of what they have.

Because if we continue doing so, then why don’t we just save time, money and effort for the judicial system and stone them to death ourselves? We’ve already labeled them as guilty, why not go the extra mile and punish them as well?

We have a judicial system, however slow and flawed it is, for a reason. Let’s leave our judiciary to do the judging.

Dear everyone, let’s not get into the hype of hate. Let’s understand where both sides are coming from. We have to be critical, but being critical doesn’t always mean thinking negatively about the issue. The media gives information, and yes, some opinion, but that doesn’t mean we’re not free to form our own.

Let’s do so with a fair and open mind. –

Chad Patrick Osorio is a student on academic leave from the University of the Philippines Diliman’s College of Law. Formerly a United Nations legal intern in Cambodia, he is now honing his skills as a fashion photographer.  


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