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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An unguided missile


By Rod Kapunan
Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma, Jr. was off-tangent in coming to the defense of his boss, President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III, who himself was out of line. Instead of welcoming the country’s most honored guest, he unexpectedly delivered a snide at some members of the local clergy for siding with the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Like an unguided missile, Coloma failed to take into account that along with the country’s most esteemed guest, His Holiness Pope Francis, are millions of our people who will be listening on what our President has to say to welcome the Pope.
While the Filipino people heard the consoling relief of the pope who came for an apostolic visit, the millions who were listening were stunned at the statement made by Aquino. PNoy did not mind choosing an unsavory issue of castigating the clergy right in front of the head of the Church that has close to one billion followers worldwide, and in the only Christian nation in Asia whose members are predominantly Catholics. As if that was not enough, Secretary Coloma came in to rub salt to an already embarrassing faux pas believed by many as completely insensitive. The pathetic defense of the miscommunicating secretary is something communications experts would say is “garbled.” Obviously, the two were not communicating along the same frequency.
Even if the off-the-cuff tirade was in the words of Coloma a “truth telling” statement, still it was wholly inappropriate and uncalled for. Pope Francis came to fulfill an apostolic obligation, not to listen to his gripes or to investigate our domestic politics. His having to set foot in Malacañang was to pay his respect to the man who is supposed to represent this country. Whether PNoy would use the occasion for a “truth telling” session, as crafted by Coloma, such reflects much of this administration’s bad habit of blaming others to cover his own ineptitude and gross incompetence. Fortunately, his guest, being more dignified and refined, opted not to indulge himself in a nonsensical parley with one who does not seem to understand protocol or know much of what he is talking about.
As the public saw it live, PNoy did not attempt to hide his irritation. Even as he exhorted all praises to the Church for standing up against “tyranny” and “persecution,” he obviously could not tell the truth that it was that crafty power broker Jaime “Cardinal” Sin who relentlessly shepherded the clerics to rally behind Mrs. Cory Aquino who eventually was installed to power by coup d’ etat. PNoy could not even tell the truth that it was the magic wand of the Church that catapulted Mrs. Aquino from an obscure housewife to political prominence on which the Cojuangco-Aquinos have been capitalizing. This is why he is the second Aquino already in office.
Whether PNoy was truly elected by the people or by way of electronic cheating now derisively called “Hocus-PCOS” is now beside the point. It does not even matter if his inappropriate attack on the local clergy much that it is now an open secret that PNoy has opposed many of the fundamental issues staunchly defended by the Church. Like a brat, PNoy’s statement was an invitation for the Pope to castigate his local wards. But of course, Pope Francis would never stoop down to the level of engaging in a parley whose mentality is akin to that of an unguided missile.
Even his savage assault on former President Ferdinand Marcos who died more than twenty years ago for his imposition of martial law was a stunning surprise. As if to make it clear to the Pope, he said he was at the front-row seat of the alleged “tyranny” and “persecution” during martial law. However, Marcos did not impose martial law without any valid reason. His father, Ninoy Aquino, was not arrested when he was about to be canonized as saint. Rather, he was accused of conspiring with the communist rebels by supplying them arms and ammunitions, in the murder of his political enemies in his own province, and for his treasonous betrayal that derailed our Sabah claim, thus igniting a long-drawn secessionist war that instead of us reclaiming a territory that belongs to us, it is the government that he presides that is about to part our own territory as his way to buy peace.
In fact, no less than PNoy is the one perpetuating the greatest injustice to his slain father by not allowing that case to be finally resolved. Both he and his mother stood as the most powerful persons in the country, that they could have ordered all the government investigative agencies to finally resolve the whole truth about his father’s assassination. Ninoy’s soul continues to cry for justice, but his own family continues to capitalize his death just to keep themselves in power. Instead, they continue to point the blame on one who could no longer defend himself.
He did not even have the nerve to tell His Holiness that Marcos had to violate “his own decrees” just to allow his convicted father to leave the country for that life-saving heart bypass. He completely erased from his mind that it was then the First Lady Imelda Marcos who visited his father at the Heart Center offering and providing everything to make sure he will have his bypass operation on time in the US.
Thus, when PNoy finally opened his mouth on the issue of martial law, many were dumbfounded even suspecting he wanted to personally prick the Pope much that it was General Jorge Rafael Videla who imposed martial law in 1973 in Argentina and waged the infamous “Dirty War” against the leftists. Secretary Coloma did not bother to remind PNoy that Like Marcos, Pope Francis, who was then known as Father Jorge Mario Bergolio, was himself falsely accused by two priests as allegedly involved in their kidnapping by the military which turned out to be false and was subsequently dismissed. Thousands were arrested by the military and many simply disappeared without a trace, and to which our own copycat activist-turned mercenaries adopted the word “desaparacidos” to justify their claim as human rights victims.
Despite the horrors of the “dirty war”, Pope Francis has chosen not to look back at the past for which he has no control, but to look forward. To look back is to reopen an old wound, and that would run counter to the Church’ fundamental principle of forgiveness. Pope Francis could only look forward to convince his millions of followers that the virtue of reconciliation begins by forgiving one of his sins. It brings about peace because it reconciles one’s mind with the truth to what happened, and to accept that only the Almighty God can undo things for us. In the case of PNoy, his easy way to escape responsibility is to blame others as if to tell the people that he can do no wrong, and that truly makes everybody wonder about him.
rpkapunan@gmail.com

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