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Others thinking you think you’re better

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serenoare dangerous – in the Philippines and elsewhere. Sara Duterte about EDSA veterans (link), Supreme Court Justices about CJ Sereno, probably many about President Aquino’s handling Dengvaxia – which may have proven successful given recent indications (link). Damn, time for Martial Law and censorship! Increase the number of dengue cases, as yellow must be made bad! And they deserve hatred that is deep and personal, just like Harry Roque wishing Leila de Lima a life in jail (link) – yes, they messed up some things, but what did they do to deserve all of that?

Pakikisama and Schadenfreude

One accusation hurdled against Chief Justice Sereno is lacking pakikisama towards her colleagues in the Supreme Court – again a propaganda strategy that is very Filipino. Pakikisama often means subduing oneself to fit into a group. You don’t like the movie everybody in the barkada has seen? Bad enough if you weren’t there to see it with them. Worse if you say you think it is a stupid movie. An individual opinion against the assumed majority opinion – wow, does he think he is BETTER? Put a UP graduate into the midst of some working-class OFWs without escape. What could happen?

They might probably wait for the first slip-up of the UP graduate, and then display Schadenfreude. Sara Duterte brought the word Schadenfreude into the Philippine vocabulary (link) with regards to Mariel de Leon not topping Miss International – because she criticized the present administration. The sentiment against “yellow”, the previous administration and all related to it, is however more like the Serbian saying Da komsiji crkne krava – “If only the neighbour’s cow would die” (link) – related to the Serbian concept of inat: spitefulness, vindictiveness, hardheadedness + much more.

Spitefulness and Feindbilder

There is a similar spitefulness visible and audible among those who hate Aquino, Sereno, De Lima. Aquino? Sure he messed up certain things. But is the present government doing so much better? Sure it was easy to make him – and Mar Roxas – bogeymen due to their plantation owner origins. Feindbild is the German word for a cluster of prejudices and fears pertaining to a given group. There is also the Feindbild of the English-speaking elite, easy to trigger among common Filipinos. Why otherwise would Mocha focus on Leni Robredo’s US visits and her daughter in Harvard?

There is I think deep envy about what is perceived to be a privileged life, as opposed to one’s own.  Why otherwise make a big deal about Leni’s dresses, like some have done – yet admire the dresses of Isabelle Duterte at a lavish debut? Of course, Leni Robredo has already been identified as part of the other tribe, those who have “had it all” (not true for Leni who lived in the dormitory when she studied at UP) while “we” never had anything and now have the right to luxury and the good life. Even if no one can claim that Leni is lighter in color than most, or Sereno’s nose way too sharp!

Country and town

are both called bayan in Filipino. In a town especially a small one, there is a certain conformity. There is indeed a certain sameness, anywhere in the world. You are ruling a quite homogeneous group of people. The Philippines is a country – forced upon a collection of small communities. Countries need specialized people to be governed properly. The probably first specialized people in the Philippines were the town scribes the Spanish friars trained. More sophisticated governance and business brought about the present “elite” universities that are in international rankings (link).

That the provinces and the poor were left behind is an effect of this development until today. But the present government is playing a dangerous game in mobilizing envy of those left behind against those who had better chances. Mayors can still run their cities by sheer instinct, like Duterte did. For larger entities like countries you need truly competent people – unless you want to return to olden days with plenty of epidemics, pogroms and witch hunts. Isn’t the Philippines getting there? Measles spreading due to fear of vaccines. Pogrom mentality against drug users. And witch hunts.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 3 March 2018

4 comments to Others thinking you think you’re better

  • https://www.facebook.com/philipjr.lustre/posts/1844988518866651?pnref=story

    HINDI BARKADAHAN ANG HUDIKATURA. Isa sa mga batikos ng mga puwersang kontra-Sereno ay hindi makasundo ng Punong Mahistrado ang mga kasama niyang mahistrado. Siya lamang daw ang ganitong punong mahistrado. Sa madaling salita, galit ang mga kasamang mahistrado sapagkat hindi nakikisama sa kanila ang Punong Mahistrado. Hindi nila hawak ang kasalukuyang may hawak ng timon ng Hudikatura na walang iba kundi ang Punong Mahistrado. Maling-mali. Baluktot ang ganyang paniniwala. Katwiran ito ng isang gago’t hangal.

    Hindi barkadahan ang Hudikatura. Hindi bigayan, o pakisamahan ang takbo sa Hudikatura. Hindi tama na maging sobrang mapaglaro ang Punong Mahistrado at bigyan ng daan ang anumang hilingin ng mga kasamang mahistrado. Tanging mga taong may malalim at matibay na paniniwala at ganap na nakakaunawa sa batas ang may karapatang maging mahistrado. At maging sa kasaysayan ng Hudikatura, madalas na nagbabangayan ang mga mahistrado. Hindi totoong tahimik ang Hudikatura na umuugit sa mga husgado. Maraming gulo at gusot na nangyayari sa institusyong ito.

    Upang ganap na maunawaan ang tinatawag na dynamics sa Hudikatura, kailangang maunawaan ang kalakaran ng takbo sa isang napakalaking sangay ng gobyerno. Maraming puwersa ang pilit na umiimpluwensiya sa Hudikatura. Sa mga desisyon na ginagawa nito, sa paglalagay at paglilipat ng mga taong uugit sa Hudikatura, at sa paghawak ng salapi at iba pang yaman ng sangay na ito. Sa madaling salita, magulo rin ang Hudikatura. Hindi ito nalalayo sa anumang sangay ng pamahalaan.

    Sapagkat junior ang Punong Mahistrado kung ihahambing sa kaniya ang mga mas nakakatanda at mas matagal ng mahistrado, pilit siyang ipinagtutulakan ng mga kasama niya. Ginagapi at niyuyurakan ang dangal. Ngunit kailangan rin bigyang kredito ang pagiging matatag ng Punong Mahistrado. Hindi niya nadala o naaapektuhan ng mga nakakatandang bully sa Korte Suprema. Naging matatag siya. Kaya nga kinamumuhian siya ng mga ito sapagkat hindi nila nakaya ang tikas at gilas ng Punong Mahistrado.

    Hindi kagalingan ang mga kasama niyang mahistrado pagdating sa mga usapin ng batas. Hindi sila maihahambing sa mga higanteng kaparis nina Roberto Concepcion, JBL Reyes, Claudio Teehankee, Isagani Cruz, at iba pa. Pipitsugin sila kung ihahambing sa kanila. Matataray at mabunganga lang. Laking galit nila ng tayuan sila ng Punong Mahistrado. Aba, pang-aabuso na sa poder ang ginagawa nila. Natural lamang na sansalain sila.

    #StandWithCJ
    #JudicialIndependence
    #DontresignCJ

    • https://www.facebook.com/philipjr.lustre/posts/1844200818945421

      HINDI INIHAHAMBING ANG AMPALAYA SA PATOLA, GAGO. Tatagalugin ko na ang kalatas na ito para magkaunawaan. Hindi inihahambing ang usapin ng SALN ni Renato Corona bilang mahistrado at punong mahistrado ng Korte Suprema at ang SALN ni Ma. Lourdes Sereno bilang isang maestra ng batas sa UP College of Law. Magkaibang-magkaiba po iyan. At huwag maniniwala sa mga nilalang na pilit na nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan, tsismis, at siempre, black propaganda. Nililinlang lang nila tayo..

      Uunahin ko na si Renato Corona. Matapos ang limang buwang paglilitis ng Senado noong 2012, tinanggal siya bilang punong mahistrado ng Korte Suprema dahil sa hindi niya idineklara sa kaniyang SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth) ang mahigit sa P200 milyon na kaniyang salapi. Kung bakit mayroon siyang mahigit sa P200 milyon ay hindi na inalam ng Senado. Hindi rin inimbestgahan ng Senado kung iyon ay nakaw na yaman. Ang pagkakamali ni Corona ay hindi niya isinama ang napakalaking halaga sa kaniyang SALN. Sapat na iyon upang matanggal siya sa Korte Suprema. Hindi rin niya naipaliwanag ng ganap kung bakit may ganoon siyang kalaking yaman.

      Naiiba naman ang kaso naman ng kasalukuyang Chief Justice. Walang ganyang kalaking salapi si Sereno. Hindi nakaw na yaman o anuman ang usapin. Ang isyu ay kung naisumite nga ba ni Sereno ang kaniyang SALN noong siya ay guro (hindi pa siya mahistrado ng Korte Suprema) ng UP College of Law. Naisumite niya ang SALN, sangayon sa kaniyang mga manananggol. Teka limitado ang pagiging kawani ni Sereno sa gobyerno. Kaya ang SALN niya bilang guro ang hinanap. Matagal rin siyang guro sa UP College of Law. At parttime teacher siya. May mga gawain kasi siya sa pribadong sektor.

      Ngunit ng hingin ng Judicial and Bar Council na siyang gumagawa ng screenng sa mga nominado sa mga piling posisyon sa Hudikatura, noong 2012 ang mga kopya ng SALN ni Sereno, dahil isa siya sa mga nanomina upang magng punong mahistrado, hindi naibigay ng UP ang mga kopya ng kaniyang SALN. Pormal siyang humingi ng kopya sa UP,ngunit hindi makita ang kopya ng SALN. Hndi niya nilabag ang batas tungkol sa SALN. Ang problema ay ang UP na walang maipakitang kopya ng kaniyang naisumiteng SALN.

      Humingi naman ng exemption si Sereno sa JBC. Ipinaliwanag niya sa isang liham ang pagkawala ng kopya ng kaniyang SALN sa UP. Sumang-ayon naman ang JBC. Binigyan siya ng exemption. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit naisama pa rin ang pangalan niya sa limang nominado ng JBC upang maging punong mahistrado. Mula sa limang pangalan na isinumite ng JBC, namili ang Pangulong Benigno Aquino III ng taong mamumuno sa Hudikatura bilang punong mahistrado. Napalaki ng pagkakaiba ng kani-kanilang usapin sa SALN.

      Baliw ang mga troll na kumakampi sa mga mahistradong kalaban ni Sereno sa Korte Supreme. Pinipilit nilang baluktutin ang usapin ng SALN. Imulat natin ang ating mga mata at huwag maniniwala sa kanila. Pipilitin nilang baluktutin ang lahat. Huwag rin maniniwala sa mga blogger. Hindi ho sila ang kakampi ng katotohanan. Pipilitin nilang ilisya tayong lahat.

      #StandWithCJ
      #JudicialIndependence
      #DontresignCJ

  • Mary Grace P. Gonzales

    As events unfold in our country, all I could do is to silently scream (an oxymoron?) It seems that no matter what I do, posting on current events that directly affect them (like the TRAIN Law) or how many times I repost things I have already shared years ago when we are striving to help educate/inform our countrymen – nothing registers, at least to my target audience – my DDS relatives in the province and here in Metro Manila. I get a few likes, less than few favorable comments, all coming from the same echo chamber, and as they say with tongue in cheek – it’s quite obvious I’m talking with myself or preaching to a choir. I’m not reaching the right audience whether I speak in Pilipino or in English.

    They couldn’t care less about what is happening to CJ Sereno, the West Philippine Seas, EJKs, or that the Marcoses’ dream of occupying Malacañang Palace again is almost upon us either by Federalism/Parliamentary system or by the PET decision c/o the 10 friendly SC justices; or that Mocha and her ilk are driving them over the cliff with her lies and black propaganda. All they care about is where they will get their next meal, or how to pay off their loans to the rural credit association every Monday because if they fail one single amortization, they will lose their credit line and their hopes of sending their children to school which although free, still requires a lot by way of transportation cost, baon and clothes…the little they get from 4Ps just a drop of what they need what with the rising prices of prime commodities.

    And they comprise the majority of our voters who most probably will vote for anyone who will give one of 2 days relief from their everyday struggles, another actor or actress, or another Duterte enabler.

    And the unending circle continue to go round and round, in an ever spinning wheel.

    And still, I struggle on…still posting and sharing, trying to plant something in their subconscious, minute snippets aside from their hopeless daily grind.

  • https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/03/05/a-study-in-black-and-blue/ – By Leandro DD Coronel

    If Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno were a punching bag, she would already be all torn up. If all the hits against her had been actual body blows, she would be black and blue all over.

    What they’re doing to Sereno is beyond fair play. After months of public pillorying, her attackers haven’t proven that they have solid grounds to impeach her.

    The Philippine Constitution lists the following as grounds for impeachment: Culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, and other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.

    So far, from this layman’s point of view, none of the charges leveled against Sereno is solid enough to merit a Senate trial. The charges are at best internal organizational issues that could have been settled by and among the members of the high court themselves..

    ..What they’re doing to Sereno and De Lima is not doing the country any good. What they’re doing to Ombuds(wo)man Conchita Carpio Morales and Vice President Leni Robredo, demonizing them and destroying their reputations, only serves to further alienate certain sectors of society. Again, for what?

    One thing is apparent. When they want to destroy someone they don’t like, or someone who’s in their way, they won’t stop at anything to accomplish their mission. By hook or by crook, they’ll go about their business with impunity until they’ve achieved their goal.

    What the people currently in power are doing is perpetuating a vicious cycle of vendetta among our politicians. What happens when power has slipped out of their hands and they go back to being ordinary mortals again? So far, what they’ve proven is that we’re a mean people.

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