My column today an open letter, To Our Worthy Bishops. It makes heavy use of the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is an extremely useful online reference. The particular entries I referred to were the ones on Discernment of Spirits, on Reason, on Conscience, on Prudence, and on Justice. The reason referencing Catholic definitions of terms is so important, when speaking to the clergy, is that religious definitions can be quite different from the secular meaning of the same words -which is why arguments between Catholics and non-Catholics (or anti-Catholics) can be so futile (the same applies to the law and lawyers). Also useful to writing my column is the English translation of an interview of the Pope’s brother (hat tip to this site for the article in question).
The big headline was of course, Manny Pacquiao’s victory, but also the case of a Filipina maid who chopped-up someone in Singapore has created some media buzz in the region. The punditocracy has the Inquirer editorial blasting Cory Aquino and Bro. Armin Luistro of the Bukluran Para Sa Katotohanan for bringing up the specter of military intervention in the crisis; Max Soliven speculates that the President delayed her departure for New York over anxiety over Catholic bishops turning against her; Gail Ilagan takes a pot-shot at Cory Aquino and Susan Roces, too; Random Jottings examines the Speaker’s debt-for-equity plan, Max Soliven’s birthday bash and guest list, and curious legal arguments made by government officials defending a recent raid; Jojo Robles takes a sly dig at the Senate President’s being abroad (and examines the Speaker’s debt-for-equity scheme); Rudy Romero admonishes Fidel V. Ramos to just fade away; JB Baylon asks the President some questions, since she’s no longer a defendant; Fr. Joaquin Bernas says the impeachment attempt did not die, it was killed, and examines the prospects of an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Armando Doronila says the the House vote means,
The crossover of party lines illustrates the triumph of divide and rule as a formula for political survival. Although the President has survived the challenge, the vote leaves the country as deeply and bitterly divided as ever, and her legitimacy remains under a cloud.
Jose Sison tries to dissect sectoral reactions to the House vote, too; Efren Danao writes on the silly laws sponsored by congressmen; and then, there is Rigoberto Tiglao’s counter blast against using survey results against the President. He uses the example of Fidel Ramos:
In early March (1995), despite the dramatic resolution of the country’s power crisis, then President Fidel Ramos’ popularity steeply fell, with his satisfaction ratings dropping to zero by mid-1995. (Should FVR have resigned then?) The reason for this was the Flor Contemplacion controversy. The decline in Ramos’ popularity wasn’t even caused by an action of his. Public outrage broke out because of a statement made by his foreign affairs secretary, a statement which, the people felt, was callous.
All I can say is that what I recall, is that my own personal anger at the time, was aimed at Fidel Ramos not because of anything his people said, but what he was doing: preparing to attend a state dinner in London, when what I (and surely many others) felt, was that the duty of a President at such a time was to cut his trip short and attend to pleading for one of his countrywomen.
The blogosphere begins with the question of Imee Marcos, as reflected upon by JJ Disini, who thinks it would have been to much for Imee to remain in a cause suddenly endorsed by Cory Aquino (and reported by an article saying despite gathering a million signatures, some Ilocanos would prefer the late dictator’s remains to well, remain in the Ilocos) overlooks a central political fact: for Imee to go against her mother’s appeal goes beyond Marcos family intramurals, it would result in sending a negative signal to all Ilocanos, and for her to do so, would be to kiss her political career goodbye.
Ricky Carandang mulls over the predicament being faced by Finance Secretary Gary Teves; Anonymous Sources speculates that upon his retirement, Chief Justice Hilario Davide will begin speaking out; Newsboy takes a dim view on transitional governments (read the last paragraph, it packs a wallop); finally we can say that Newsstand’s magnum blog opus on the impeachment vote is coming to an end, with entries No. 8, No. 9, and No. 10.
Have you seen Another Hundred Year Hence’s chart on how Congress works? Or Go Figure’s entry on “aid and growth”? There’s my favorite Communist blogger, Ina Alleco dwells on how literature opened her mind to class distinctions, too; and an extremely interesting (and lengthy) entry on superstition in provincial terms, as it applies to planting trees, in Let’s rebuild our beloved nation.
Kottke.org points to a website selling a million pixels for US$1 per pixel! Finally, to Love & Light and Red Herring (and all who left a comment and e-mailed), a profound thank you. Depression achieves the most unexpected things.