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Glimpses of a life
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on April 20, 2007 72 Comments 5 min read
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The papers continue to have updates on the killing of Julie Campbell (see the obituary in her alma mater’s website), ranging from the upcoming autopsy. to suspects being sought, to the possible murder weapon‘s being found. Our godforsaken Secretary of Justice made international news by blaming the victim and has sparked exasperated comments but the evolving case mercifully (for our country) quickly shoved aside his crass comments. In New York, local media has played up the case: something that has The Nomadic Pinoy reflecting on what the murder’s impact will be, on a hitherto tranquil and peaceful part of the country (and the country as a whole: see similar concerns expressed locally by Mike in Manila; see ialman‘s LiveJournal, too). As for international media, there’s this profile of Campbell from the Associated Press, as reproduced in The Huffington Post,.

Two other stories bringing the Philippines to international attention: Abu Sayaff conduct seven beheadings; and the assassination attempt on two media men and the murder of a reporter with the government radio network. Foreign media groups have reiterated their calls for action. See Journ Classroom for a sobering reflection on what all these murders mean.

A debate was provoked by opposition, particularly from some victim’s families, to NBC’s decision to air portions of videos sent the network by Cho Seung-hui. In Slate, there’s very interesting roundup of how the debate extended into whether NBC should have withheld the videos, or not.

In other news, the President signs an Executive Order (No. 608) establishing a National Security Clearance system. It will be interesting to compare it to one of the tightest regulations on official information, Britain’s Official Secrets Act. Naturally, the EO’s full text is nowhere to be found on line.

Allegations that officials asked the President to fund campaigns against unfriendly party-list parties. Whether true or not, another campaign’s going to be a sure thing: Sigaw ng Bayan says it will revive the campaign to amend the constitution after the elections. Meanwhile, the Comelec is being petitioned by Oliver Lozano to forbid election-related surveys.

The grilling of the American attorney-general makes for instructive reading on the importance of congressional hearings. Slate Magazine has a digest of the Q&A Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales experienced in the US Senate.

In the punditocracy, Rasheed Abou-Alsamh takes a look at Filipino voters in Saudi Arabia, and says the real sympathies of the voters won’t be known until the end of the actual voting period. Amando Doronila says the administration’s campaigning on the economy is a flop.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer writes on International Humanitarian Law, and in the case of the Red Cross, asks if pulling out volunteers in dangerous situations isn’t a dereliction of duty.

Alexander Chancellor in the The Guardian recalls the attempted assassination of Pope Paul VI when he visited Manila in 1970, and provides this interesting vignette of a presidency not yet quite divorced from the people (today the walls have been raised, crowds aren’t permitted in the streets, and it would be pretty impossible to wave something at a president and have that president intervene with the security):

I arrived late and panted up the road to the gate of the palace between lines of armed police holding back the crowds. Immediately behind the gate stood Ferdinand and Imelda awaiting the Pope and surrounded by guards, some of whom pointed their guns at me. I waved my invitation pleadingly at the president, who signalled to his guards to lower their guns, open the gate and let me in – which was how I ended up alone in such exalted company.

Chancellor then recounts how President Marcos gave him a highly embroidered account of the assassination attempt:

…I asked President Marcos to describe to me exactly what had happened at the airport. “I’m afraid I did a bad thing,” he said. “I laid hands on the Holy Father. With my right hand I felled the assassin, and with my left I pushed the Holy Father backwards. I hope he will forgive me, for I felt I had to do it for his safety.”

“Where did the Holy Father fall?” I asked. “Into my arms,” interjected Imelda, the famous beauty. I turned to her and, with genuine curiosity, inquired how the Pope had reacted to this unusual experience. “He let out a kind of soft sigh,” she replied. “He went ‘aaaaheeeeh’.” This was all jolly interesting, but unfortunately it was also completely untrue.

In the blogosphere, there’s bread coffee chocolate yoga, where one of Julie Campbell’s friends describes her sense of loss. A Peace Corps colleague, Yvanovich.com is at a loss for words.

The Philippine blogosphere, of course, is abuzz over Julie Cambell’s blog, which from the boondocKs, who focuses on the Cordilleras, quite early on pointed out (and has done a yoeman’s job of putting together information and updates) and there have been some pretty touching tributes left in the comments section of her last entry: one remarkable entry is by wait, who said that?! from Legazpi City, Albay, who recounts seeing Julie Campbell around town, but not knowing who she was.

Others have posted tributes that include poetry, and other, I presume younger bloggers, were posted to make their first serious blog post., while knowread/knowrite in General Santos City reflects on Peace Corps volunteers in general. Filipina, Cebuana, muses on so many deaths in April. Philippine Commentary asks what happens to blogs when the blogger dies (my sense, if it’s a free blog, it becomes a kind of shrine; otherwise, remorseless Capitalism being what it is, the registration expires and the blog goes kaputt).

the thoughts that wander shares her angst over being a first-time taxpayer.

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  1. http://www.rimban.wordpress.com/2007/04/20/two-journalists/

    I don’t know Mallari but I do know that what happened to him has unnerved many journalists. Joyce Pañares of the Manila Standard today was texting me about something else yesterday when she said she was depressed over what happened to Delfin. The prevailing sentiment, I think, is that if it can happen to someone from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading newspaper, it can surely happen to journalists from any of the lesser known papers and community newspapers.

    naaaaahhh… i doubt na mangyayari yan sa MST, Philstar o sa GMA7 journalists. 😉

  2. Raul Gonzalez has proven once again he is the ideal poster boy for abortion and artificial birth control advocates.

    If only his father had used a condom or his mother had an abortion…..

  3. Oh Raul (you really deserve another “O” somewhere in your surname)!

    It’s little wonder you’re not running for any elective position!

    BTW JM,

    I saw that you’re double posted. How did you erase that?

  4. …six names .. Roger Francisco, Dennis de los Reyes, Moises Agustin, Wilmen Santos, Louie Teodoro and Toto Millas.

  5. Only in the Philippines where a Member of the Cabinet (notably Raul Gonzalez) can say a stupid, insensitive, senseless, and unbecoming remarks and still a member and sometimes in the U.S. every now and then like the other Gonzales, the Atty. General (are they related?) And I might as well add that only in the Philippines that an official alleged to have committed all kinds of wrongdoings and still an official and that would be the President and many others, just like in most African Countries and some South American Countries, but very few in Asia nowadays.

  6. ooh wow.. i didn’t realize you’d mention my blog here. i was really surprised. anyway, Campbell’s death really is tragic.

    your blog is inspiring… 😀

  7. Sec. Raul Gonzales is right on his comments regarding the death of Julie Campbell. Keep in mind the risks when visiting the Philippines.

  8. Sec. Gonzales’ remarks about Ms. Campbell’s death is not so much an indication that he is a “bad” person as it is a cultural thing, especially of his generation to which this commenter belongs. I remember when, as a kid, the elders in our extended family – grandparents usually – would berate us for getting into “accident” because we defied their “prohibitions”. We usually didn’t hold it against them for expressing frustration over our
    careless defiance, and it probably made as a little (just a little) more “obedient”.

    In contrast, the American culture encourages risk taking and sometimes fatalistic attitude of “everything is going to be alright”. As a general rule, they seem to have a stronger faith in the goodness of their fellowmen, and unless there is actual information to the contrary, would give the latter the benefit of the doubt. The case of the female banker jogging alone in Central Park in the middle of the night, backpackers who would singly scour the wild, or hitchhike cross country with strangers and so on, come to mind.

    Ms. Campbell’s death, whether by accident or criminal act, is a real tragedy that should never have happened.
    If it was “foul play”, there is no use blaming anyone but the perpetrator. Crime happens anywhere, be it the jungle or an institution of learning. In this instance, it was doubly ironic that Ms. Campbell put so much faith and trust in us in spite of the much publicized predators, in large numbers, infesting our society.

  9. Sec. Gonzales’ remarks about Ms. Campbell’s death is not so much an indication that he is a “bad” person as it is a cultural thing, especially of his generation to which this commenter belongs. I remember when, as a kid, the elders in our extended family – grandparents usually – would berate us for getting into “accident” because we defied their “prohibitions”. We usually didn’t hold it against them for expressing frustration over our
    careless defiance, and it probably made as a little (just a little) more “obedient”.

    In contrast, the American culture encourages risk taking and sometimes fatalistic attitude of “everything is going to be alright”.

    :rolleyes:

  10. Somewhere out there; family and friends are grieving for Julia.

    Comments like the DOJ secretary’s will certainly not comfort them.

    Since the NBI which is under the DOJ is not going to interfere with the police investigation (which I think is under the DILG); is his remark a professional remark or a personal one?

    Either one would still not excuse such a statement but I feel that a personal remark like that should have been kept more “personal”.

    Anyway, the FG recently underwent an operation for a dissecting aortic aneurysm.

    Doctor Gopez-Cervantes (probably a professional opinion) remarked that it was brought about by FG Mike Arroyo’s hypertension.

    The FG’s condition was missed by the staff of the St. Louis Hospital in Bagiuo.

    If for some mis/fortune, he died in that hospital and was revealed to be due to a dissecting aneurysm (which would be so drastically different from a Chronic gastritis); PGMA would surely have an investigation conducted on what went wrong with the diagnosis and treatment.

    I wonder if Gonzales would be so cavalier as to “publicly” state that FG’s demise was brought about by a condition due to HIS hypertension which was due to the lifestyle HE led and the body HE “developed”.

  11. Justice League,

    Bencard, the social scientist in our midst, will say it’s a cultural thing.

  12. justice league,i doubt sec. gonzales would make such a “prognosis”, he not being a doctor. you evidently would’nt but i would give him the benefit of doubt that he knows his limitations.

  13. buencamino, thanks for your profound observation. that’s precisely what i said about gonzales’ remark.

  14. justice league,

    A columnist in the Philstar said that the staff at St Louis Hospital correctly diagnosed FG but they were told to make an announcement that it is just gastritis.

  15. If Raul Gonzales wants to make a personal remark then don’t say it on national television. He is a public figure. Look at McCain. He is currently in trouble for bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran eventhough he said it’s a joke.

  16. I assure everyone that if Gonzalez “uncalled” remarks, (a public official’s remarks, given to a press or as an opinion is always “official”) given by any of our public officials, it will be either, he has to apologize, resign his post, force to resign, or chase of office. No other option. Of course, he will be paid a handsome severance pay in thousands or millions, but honour is worth more than money for decent men and women.

  17. Bencard,

    During the “Subic rape case” the complainant and her mother alleged that a number of the prosecutors were not doing enough to win the case.

    Sec. Gonzalez then remarked that “I hope she is not imagining AGAIN,”.

    Except that medical terms weren’t used; Sec. Gonzalez seems to be alluding to a medical condition for what the complainant seems to be complaining about.

    Also worth noting is “AGAIN”.

    Anyone is free to give him as much benefit of the doubt as want to be given but I don’t think I can be faulted if I believe he already used up mine.

  18. Supremo,

    Very well,

    But an injustice is continually being perpetrated. I can understand if they told the concerned hospital to forego the real diagnosis so as not to “unduly alarm” many people but this has gone for so long.

    Given that FG is well enough to leave the hospital; any rectification should have been made already and that should come from those who did the “telling”.

    And I know you’re just relating the story from the columnist, but how long was the duration between the arrival at St. Luke’s and the decision to operate on him since they already knew his true condition?

  19. My condolences to the families of those who were beheaded. May their souls rest in peace and may their families remain strong on this tragedy that befell upon them.

  20. Personal belief systems have no place in the office of the Justice Secretary. That belief system believe that it is dangerous for a white person more so a white woman to be moving in areas of the ‘heathen’ natives. The cultural thing that separates the illustrado mindset from the Indio, then Tao as common tao and now massa. Till today the remnant of the Spanish clans still call Pinoys the perjorative term Tao’s. Their clans and some others still keep that China Wall between and the common tao as they are called.

    Unfortunately for the country that image of natives will stick in the world. It is sad but we are mostly considered by outsiders as natives rather than nationals of these islands. The elite of this country still carry the culture of the accidental formation of the Philippines state. GMA and Big Mike say their sweet nothings to each other in Spanish in public.

    It is the same culture that believes an independent woman must be a loose woman and for that if anything happens to her it is her fault. The lumpen elite culture in all its glory. Remember the advice of the famous guy from Ateneo for women, if you are being raped lie back and enjoy it. In a country that believes that professional basketball players are a marginalized group but homosexuals are not.

    Science tells us that in the womb we all start out as females until the hormone testosterone from the Y chromosone kicks in.

  21. Manuel Buencamino:

    Bencard, the social scientist in our midst, will say it’s a cultural thing.

    Wag na sanang idamay pa ni Bencard ang “Filipino culture” sa mga callous at insensitive remarks ni idol nyang si Raul Gonzales.

    Walang kinalaman yan doon. Iba ang kultura ni sec. gonzalez.

  22. What Sec. Gonzales didn’t realize is that Julia (pbuh) was of a rare breed with pure heart. Warn her or caution her about dangers or dangerous persons, she will just smile. To her everybody is a friend, I guess even with her perpetrator. Many will really be touched by her kindness which was only known to those she has been with or lately after she died and feel really sorry about her death and the manner it was done.

  23. …the FG recently underwent an operation for a dissecting aortic aneurysm.

    Doctor Gopez-Cervantes (probably a professional opinion) remarked that it was brought about by FG Mike Arroyo’s hypertension.

    the doctor (in contrast to the secretary) knows that indeed some things are better left unsaid

    things such as:

    1. the possibility of producing a tear when they poked through the aorta during FG’s angioplasty last December, and

    2. the heart pumps faster and blood pressure rises at higher altitude, as in Baguio…the tear in the intimal layer of the aortic wall could have given way due to more increase in pressure

  24. Baycas,

    As to 1.); it appears that Dr. Gopez Cervantes is a Gastroenterologists in St. Luke’s and does not perform angioplasty. Someone else did that particular operation.

    Better to let someone from that specialty talk or get the view first of that specialty or the physician concerned with regards to that possibility.

    In any case, I agree with your first statement.

  25. Raul Gonzales happens to be a DOJ secretary with a personal opinion which he is entitled to express (especially when solicited by members of the media) just as everyone commenting in this blog. Said opinion may be stupid, inane, nonsensical, absurd, or unpleasant to an overly sensitive individual (e.g., one who can dish it out but cannot take “it”). But, to paraphrase Voltaire, one may not agree with what the sec. was saying, but his right to say it must be defended at all cost. Of course, like vultures who who can smell a rotting carcass from afar, vote-hungry politicians will exploit the “politically incorrect” statement to the hilt. Just look at Cayetano whose talent for politics of hate is again on display for some free air time.

  26. Raul Gonzales happens to be a DOJ secretary with a personal opinion which he is entitled to express (especially when solicited by members of the media) just as everyone commenting in this blog.

    Yup, he is entitled to his own opinions. And people are also entitled to slam this doofus every time he says something stupid.

    Said opinion may be stupid, inane, nonsensical, absurd, or unpleasant to an overly sensitive individual (e.g., one who can dish it out but cannot take “it”). But, to paraphrase Voltaire, one may not agree with what the sec. was saying, but his right to say it must be defended at all cost.

    Defend the creep’s statements? Ikaw na lang. I’ll pass.

  27. justice league,

    i found it absurd at first to hear or read on medical bulletins on FG’s cardiology case coming from a St. Luke’s gastroenterologist-hepatologist. and last week, if reports aired on radio are true, what is quite ironical is that the doctor at St. Louis is reportedly a cardiologist…with a gastroenterologic diagnosis…haha!

    anyway, i now fully understand that she’s (dr. cervantes) just playing the-captain-of-the-ship role…she being the attending physician…and also the spokesperson. besides, i remember she said she’s also an internist (one who specializes in internal medicine) prior to her being a gastroenterologist and liver specialist. as such, she knows fully well how angioplasties (or aneurysmectomies, for that matter) are being undertaken even though she’s not performing them.

    what i certainly wish now is that somehow the other members of FG’s 18-doctor team of specialists would be given a chance to speak on their specialties with regard to FG’s present condition. i understand dr. juliet already spoke of her specialty yesterday afternoon…especially when FG is reverted back to a liquid diet as a result of his inability to assimilate a soft one.

    …i wish the one who did the angioplasty, which i believe is part of dr. juliet’s team, would care to enlighten us on the procedure…in light of the recent findings of the COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation) trial saying that aggressive medical therapy will suffice in the selective treatment of clogged arteries (topic of dr. castillo’s medical files in yesterday’s pdi).

    …it appears that FG’s clogged arteries were only incidentally found during his executive check-up last year and that the angioplasty (which at first not made known publicly!) was done NOT as an emergency treatment. if my two-point theory above is correct, the aortic dissection could not have taken place…

  28. JM,

    As to the “quoted” segment; that is certainly not what Bencard is implying. He is just defending the Sec.’s right to say those statements and not the statements per se (again, that is with regards to the quoted segment only).

    Bencard,

    You know that right is not absolute and one can be prevented from saying things on certain matters.

  29. Justice League, thanks. As you can see someone’s fingers are faster (on the keyboard) than his brain is in comprehending a commentary. This kind of people argues with emotion, not intellect, and not worth one’s time or attention.

    Yes I know the right is not absolute, although certain sector of the media (e.g. PCIJ) will take strong exception from that. It seems to me that the only legal restraint are libelous or defamatory utterances, or those that impinge on national security. Asinine comments are not legally barred.

  30. Asinine comments may not be legally barred in a democracy where speech freedom is guaranteed. But there are limits to wit:

    Public officials must observed ethical conduct and proper decorum all the time, and if an insensitive, uncalled remarks have been made, unbecoming of the official, then it is fitting that said official vacate the post or get fired or the lest, apologize. We’ve been hearing so much of these stuff from many public officials and leaders and just becoming routine. That’s the reason why these officials have the so-called “advisers”, to brief them of proper behavior and conduct.

    And even here, where speech freedom is sometimes taken for granted, there are limitations.

    “Ontario announced an enactment of the law to add both physical bullying and cyber-bullying to the list of behaviors that can get a student suspended or expelled. Posting comments, pictures, or videos attacking other students or teachers outside of school hours will carry the risk of school punishment, if the incident is believed to have an ‘impact on school climate.'”

  31. Bencard,

    There are also instances when matters are being heard by a court here and those can be under penalty of the said court.

    Vic,

    I understand your idea.

    MB,

    I acknowledge your post to me.

  32. JM,

    As to the “quoted” segment; that is certainly not what Bencard is implying. He is just defending the Sec.’s right to say those statements and not the statements per se (again, that is with regards to the quoted segment only).

    Bencard,

    You know that right is not absolute and one can be prevented from saying things on certain matters.

    yeah, i know what bencard is saying. I’m just tryin to pull his chain. And the last thing I want to do is take away Gonzalez’s god given right to make a fool of himself everytime he opens his piehole.

    It’s the gift that keeps on giving, so to speak. 😉

    BUT, bencard also defended gonzalez’s statements in previous post, so i was also alluding to that in my last post.

  33. JM,

    As I’ve implied, my comment there is confined to the quoted segment only.

  34. Baycas,

    Yes, she does know to a certain extent. But for her to speak on a possible matter of negligence publicly could unduly compromise the integrity of a colleague who certainly has more “experience” on the matter and thus might seem inappropriate.

    As for other medical matters, they’ll probably come out as things develop.

    I’ve scanned Dr. Castillo’s article and important findings are that the results of the trials were released this year (2007) while the operation was conducted last year.

    Besides, there was a regimen of cessation of smoking, weight reduction, shift to a vegetarian diet, etc…

    I have no idea of what the FG does but if he has to correct all the factors above; well that’s quite a tall order.

    (Actually the timeline of the OR and release of trial findings come in this part of the post after the lifestyle modifications. It was just the first part that I noticed so I put it above.)

    Well, I’m surprised someone has shown interest in my admittedly neglected blog.

    I really wouldn’t have put up one but some blogs wouldn’t allow me to post a comment unless I took a blogger ID and to get a blogger ID, I have to create a blog. I don’t understand the rationale but I was in no position to argue so I followed it.

    Anyway, I don’t think an update there is coming real soon as I’m a member of other forums too and though I’m fortunate to be relatively young (go ask my relatives) my bank account definitely tells me that I won’t be retiring anytime soon.

    Besides, there is a part in Fr. Cuyos’ prayer that really stung me.

  35. Noted, JL.

    And is it just me, because I find it a wee bit obnoxious bencard’s saying that “we must defend SiRaulo’s right to speech at all cost”.

    In the first place, nobody’s trying to stop gonzales from making stupid statements. What most people are doing is ridiculing gonzalez and calling him out for his remarks.

    (unless what bencard meant by invoking the “free speech” defense was that we should lay off from criticizing Gonzales for his remarks) 😉

    and as far as i know, nobody (except for a few) has called for gonzales resgination because of those remarks.

    http://www.technorati.com/search/raul+gonzales+julia+campbell+resign

    http://www.news.google.com/news?num=50&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&tab=wn&q=raul+gonzales+julia+campbell+resign&btnG=Search+News

    In the past, i have called for Gonzalez’s resignation. I still think he should resign, but not because of his recent statement (altho the remarks doesn’t help him at all)

    He should resign because he has no integrity, no credibilty and is a partisan DOJ secretary of mrs. arroyo.

  36. Is Gonzales admitting that the government he continues to be part of has reneged on its duty to ensure the safety of people within its jurisdiction? Or, was he simply saying that the guarantee to safety only applies to a person if he walks with at least another person?

  37. I think Raul Gonzalez is a total jerk and the thing he said about Julia Campbell certainly takes the cake for insensitivity.

    But unfortunately the picture he paints of the Philippines as being basically unsafe for tourists is absolutely true, and it’s worse than he says it is because it IS unsafe for tourists and locals whether they are walking alone or not, whether in the provinces or in the urban areas.

    If half the people lambasting Raul Gonzalez for revealing this truth to the world would spend at least some of their time doing the same to the NPA, the Abu Sayyaf and the various leftist organizations that support them, maybe we could have a safer place for tourists and other visitors to hike in and visit without wondering if they will get clubbed over the head because of the color of their skin.

    Surely, no one disagrees that it IS unsafe to be a tourist in the Philippines because of these insurgencies and THEIR culture of impunity when it comes to extortion, revolutionary taxes, fees to campaign and various other “revolutionary” tactics like landmines and kidnappings.

  38. Asus! Call a spade a spade.

    I just have a Pinoy friend who just came back. He went to visit Cebu City and he avoided going out at night. Why? The taxi driver cautioned him about the holdaper that is very rampant in Cebu. And that was confirmed by other freinds who visited Cebu City in the past.

    The thing is anything can happen to a tourist or even to anyone in the world. Hindi lang sa Pinas. I went to Paris last year and I was rob of a video cam in the train.

    A first visitor to NYC from other state was stabbed while riding the subway….

  39. DJB, if one’s truth will hurt the family of the deceased once spoken in public, then whoever it is should just shut up.

    also, the perpetrator in Campbell’s murder supposedly had a serious gambling problem…there’s no mention of any leftist connections.

  40. in the US, even in school, there is no guarantee that the students are safe. The hostage incident in NASA where the first hostage was killed and the hostage taker later proves that there is nothing in the world where you will feel perfectly safe. My friend in SF warned me not to get lost in the Tenderloin district during the evening nor take a walk even in broad daylight in Oakland where gang wars are claiming lives everyday.

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