Mandates from Heaven, Imagined and Real

Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror, March 15, 2006 edition, p. A10.

Politicians believe an imaginary mandate from heaven trumps losing the people’s mandate.

Take Gloria Arroyo for example. In survey after survey after survey, Filipinos have said they can’t stand her. Yet, she won’t vacate Malacanan. Instead of heeding the people, she tells them, “I  believe that I am here now because that is the plan of God for me and for us.”  Pwe.

In America, when it became obvious that Bush had lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, he said, “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”  Pwe.

They credit God for the things they do. That’s why I asked my confessor, “Father, did God really tell Bush to lie so he could turn Iraq into a parking lot? Did He really tell Arroyo she could do whatever she wanted  to win in 2004? ”

I didn’t get a satisfactory answer from him. He merely repeated the company line : “God works in mysterious ways.”

I was truly disillusioned.  And I would have remained that way had I not  stumbled on an old statement  by Senator Angara. “As they say, talking to God is praying, but if God talks to you that’s hallucination,” he said.

God is the last refuge of scoundrels. Senator Angara led me to that truth and I realized God does work in mysterious ways.
My search for the Truth was over but I still had a temporal matter to resolve – Mrs. Arroyo and “responsible journalism”.
A newspaper reported that she said. “she is not looking for ‘praise releases’ but for a journalist who knows his limits and who is aware of the difference between ‘fiscalizing journalism and sedition’ “.

Well, that didn’t tell me anything except journalists should err on the side of caution. Mrs. Arroyo’s spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, made things vaguer when he explained what his patroness meant.

He said,  “Those responsible journalists need not worry. We have the guidelines to follow. And it would be good if all of our friends in the media would review the provisions so we would not commit the mistake of hurting other persons’ feelings and that line wherein we are already violating the rule of law”

I know neither Mrs Arroyo nor her cabal will ever clearly define “responsible journalism” . They know a clear definition will ruin the illusion of a balance between “fiscalizing journalism and sedition”.

They created that chimera because they want gullible journalists and castratis to balance on an imaginary tightrope.  And they want the Pekingnese Press to look objective and responsible.

Tyrannies are born accompanied by cries of “responsible journalism”. They flourish in hothouses full of smoke and mirrors.
Ricardo Saludo, the Malacanan spinner who looks like an Amish refugee, appeared on TV waving a copy of media guidelines written by the KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Broadkasters ng Pilipinas). He said the document proves that there is no government interference with media. He purposely neglected to mention that the KBP standards were written under duress, under martial law. Slime.

He said government was not trying to intimidate the press when policemen were sent to occupy the premises of the Daily Tribune and armed guards were posted around television stations. He reminded everyone that police occupation did not silence the Tribune.

Saludo is right. The press was not intimidated. Malacanan’s attempt to sow fear failed. That’s why Saludo spinned it into something positive. It’s the old “if you get a lemon make lemonade” approach. Except when Malacanan’s slime makes lemonade, it tastes like slime-monade.

I don’t like deceit. I don’t read the papers to be fooled. I like what Bill Moyers, a multi-awarded American journalist, said about  news. He said,   “news is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.”

I don’t know about you but, to me, “seditious” journalists are the ones who enjoy a  real mandate from heaven.

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