Narrating a story is not stating a problem. It may be admitting that there is a problem, and I think that is precisely what he did — admitting to the whole world in so many words that his administration is in a terrible shape. But, WHAT is the problem? (And, we should not even question for a moment whether his narrative is a lie or a truth. It is inconceivable that he would tell a lie in front of an august body — that should already be a given and one that does not even warrant a thought.) So, let us just unpack briefly what he said.
[President Noynoy Aquino] talked about the Marcos era for two reasons: (1) to remind everybody that his parents were the freedom fighters to whom we owe our democracy (okay, we can give that to him; nobody is complaining), (2) to have a premise that the Church helped his parents in their struggle (still okay, I too can not object to that) From his premise re the Church during Marcos, he complained that the Church changed and just stood by while Gloria plundered the nation. Boom, sumabog na. As Ilda writes above, how can he complain about the Church when he too remained quiet during most of the term of Gloria, even supporting her a couple of times. If I recall correctly the falling out between the Arroyos and the Aquinos only happened towards the middle of Gloria's 2nd term. There was a public clamor for Cory to go against Gloria because of the Garci Tapes. But, Cory hesitated because she was actually instrumental in the installation of Gloria via EDSA2. So when Cory finally acted and walked to Assumption College to organize EDSA3, there was no support. But, that got the ire of Gloria, and she started persecuting them quite subtly, but P-Noy took this personally — the reason he is persecuting her now not subtly. At this stage, has P-Noy stated a problem relevant to the present? Or, was he just talking history that has no longer any relevance?
He proceeded to claim that while the Church remained quiet in the face of Gloria's plundering activities, a good many local clerics began and kept on criticizing him during his own incumbency. (He could not understand why they would do that when he is the best that has ever happened to the republic. No, he didn't say that, but what else was he implying?) So, has he stated a problem finally? ….Or, was he just whinning in the middle of a hallowed hall? — now made unhallowed by the tears of a narcissist. Or, was he just hoping that P-Francis would give some of local clerics a good dressing down? If that is true, did he expose his vindictivenes, a veiled rhreat in effect to his perceived enemies?
He ended with kind words for P-Francis and Tagle. Now, can we take his nice words for the Church hierarchy as genuine good words, or just platitudes in the face of what I just described above? Be that as it may, did he miss a golden opportunity to play a statesman in a world stage? It would have been a fantastic way to recover from the blunders he had during Yolanda which was beamed to all in earth? Or, did he create more problems by blurring the lines in the separation of Church and State? In the case of the RH law, for example, this was tested to the limit. The Church maintained that it was the State crossing the line for the issue involved morality which is very much of the Church domain. The State maintained that it was not a Church domain for 20% of the population are non-Catholics. Could the speech been more meaningful if he touched on this subject so that in the event other hot button issues like Divorce and Same-Sex Marriages start shaping up in Congress, the debates could be more intellectual, rather than just being acrimonious as it was with RH?
Nobody is holding back PNoy to talk about any topic. All Pinoys ask is that it be meaningful. Maybe, separation of Church and State would have been a heavy topic for that venue. But, he could have stuck with the theme for which P-Francis came: the Poor. This would have been an easy topic for the interests of both Church and State are joint in this regard. This has to be a priority of government for no economy can talk of sustainable growth unless it can expand its middle class, and where would you get that, but in giving underpriviledge class a good fighting chance to up their status. On the other hand, in the case of the Church, they can not talk of the soul if the body is not healthy and the stomach is empty — there is simpky no way you can talk of spirituality if the faithful has no choice but to worry about things basic to the physical body. How could such a faithful even comprehend things abstract, things spiritual, when even things material are incomprehensible? …More to it, there is today so much debate going on whether liberal democracy is exacerbating inequality since the "trickle down" is simply not working at all, whether it is the developed economies or the 3rd Workd. P-Francis has joined this debate via his last encyclical, and it would have been nice to have had a president talking about this, or is P-Noy simply oblivious to these things? Maybe these things just go over his head, and he just broadcasted via his speech he hates being called 'Kalbo' What a profound way to state a problem, I tell you, and it never ceases to amaze.
Basing it from the pronouncements of P-Francis and the several press conferences with Tagle and Lombardi, the Vatican Press Officer, the nation is being urged to elevate the quality of public discourse, and they are insisting these things are urgent. Every time we talk about petty things,… the leaders, the intelligensia crowd, the academics, etc make the poor poorer since the lower class is dependent on the more priviledged ones to be those that initiate a change in mindsets. How can we change them if we cannot ourselves change. It is heart-warming that some in the media are responding in kind for if there was anybody to whom the words of P-Francis applied in between the lines, it is them, and some acknowledge this. Let us hope media could carry this long after the Visit.
Diplomatically, Francis and Tagle had to ignore PNoy's speech. It must have been a surprise to these two Jesuit trained guys that another Jesuit trained fellow was a "point-misser" if the two had to be blunt, they would still be forced to ignore the speech for it did not add anything to the overarching theme, or any other theme for that matter, that could advance the nation, state-wise, or spiritual-wise.
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