Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth into gear
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-02-26
The classic definition of IDIOT is that of a person who doesn’t know the truth or fails to recognize the truth. It’s name-calling when you call another person an idiot just to deliver an insult. It’s an accurate description of a human condition when you describe an idiot as an idiot.

The late Professor Emmanuel Q. Yap, a great nationalist and patriot, was fond of calling many Filipinos idiots for not knowing the historical truth about our country and for not knowing our real friends from our biggest enemies. Manoling used the word idiot to focus our attention to the reality that few of our countrymen know what really brought us to where we are. Like the human body, if we don’t know what’s making us sick, we will not get well.

Manoling sought to develop a patriotic leadership in our country, a leadership that will know the historical truth and would thus enlighten our people. He’s right in that we’ve been stuck in the quagmire of poverty because we fail to know the most basic factors that are making us poor.

In Hamlet, William Shakespeare wrote: “Madness in great ones should never unwatched go.” What the Bard of Avon meant was that wayward thinking among those holding important positions should always be challenged. Humanity pays a stiff price for the “madness” in people occupying high positions. They can bring a society to a point of severe stress and conflict.

The obsession for temporal power led many a Pope to commit high crimes. The narrow-mindedness of Catholic clerics led to the Inquisition — that sad chapter when the finest species of our race were harassed, tortured and even executed because stupid clerics could not fathom the ideas that superior minds espouse. Lesser minds are always threatened by superior minds and so a genius like Galileo was stifled by the Catholic Church and forced to live a miserable life.

In the Philippines, Spanish subjugation was accomplished with the collaboration of the SWORD and the CROSS — the military and the Catholic Church. Harsh military oppression imposed the physical threat on the Indios while greedy friars manipulated scripture to promote the Spanish interest, which is to colonize and exploit us.

Last weekend, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles was interviewed by ABS-CBN and he said a mouthful about the on-going impeachment trial at the Senate of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona. It’s bad enough that Archbishop Arguelles happens to be a fellow Batangueno of CJ Corona — what made the interview worse is that Archbishop Arguelles made a public demonstration of his shortcomings, another bad reflection on the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Arguelles had essentially called for a stop to the impeachment trial. We should simply allow him his right to express his two cents worth if it was at least two cents worth. What he said however were totally way off the mark and should be challenged.
He described the CJ impeachment trial: “It’s boring. Parang hindi totohanan eh, umeeksena lang ‘yung mga pulitiko eh. Gusto lang yata ma-media lang (It seems to be a parody, the politicians are simply getting a share of the spotlight. They just want to be seen in media).” The Archbishop further demonstrated his shortcomings by proposing an alternative venue for the impeachment trial — that it be tried instead in a regular court of law.

We must wonder what Archbishop Arguelles considers as not boring. This is the first time in our history when we’re trying a Chief Justice of the SC and that certainly cannot be considered as boring. Per the Aquino administration, removing CJ Corona will effectively remove the single biggest hindrance to the fight to stop corruption and make transgressors account for their sins. Many Filipinos see the CJ as the planted protector of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) in the SC.

While it’s true that many of our politicians are using the impeachment trial to crawl into center stage - that’s merely incidental and doesn’t reduce the importance of the process. If our biggest plunderers like to occupy the front rows in church during Sunday Mass in order to project an image of piety, are we to stop Sunday Masses altogether? Jesus Christ provided us with the fitting response and that was to expose the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, not to stop worshipping God altogether.

Archbishop Arguelles’ proposal to transfer the trial to a regular court of law could be interpreted in so many ways that reflect badly on the Archbishop. Doesn’t Archbishop Arguelles realize that the regular courts are under the SC? Does he really think that justice can be served under a conflict of interest condition? Did he not see how many judges and employees from the regular courts were hauled to demonstrate their “love and affection” for their embattled CJ during those rallies staged at the SC Padre Faura headquarters? Archbishop Arguelles has nobody to blame but himself if the many who want to see the CJ removed will henceforth perceive the Archbishop as a CJ supporter and a partisan in an affair of State where the Church isn’t supposed to meddle.

Other than the bad faith angle, the proposal to move the trial to a regular court of law also further demonstrated just how naïve the Archbishop is. Didn’t he know that per the Constitution only the Senate could try impeachment cases? If he does not even know that basic fact, what business does he have to utter those statements that he made on national television?

As an Archbishop of the Catholic Church, Arguelles had inadvertently revived the issue of land transport vehicles that the GMA regime had given several members of the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines). This is an inevitable conclusion that people, who believe that CJ Corona is GMA’s protector in the SC, will make. Considering how the GMA camp is associated with gift bags with large amounts of money, didn’t Archbishop Arguelles realize that this could put him in the suspected recipients list?

With Archbishops like Ramon Arguelles, the Catholic Church doesn’t need atheists and heretics — not even those priests who have been exposed for preying on choirboys or maintaining secret lovers. The Catholic Church has mega problems among those occupying top positions in their highest echelons.

* * *

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo