I’ve always doubted the credibility of our esteemed opinion columnists. To me, whether it’s for online or printed publications, they all sing the same songs of praise. That is, praising their chosen candidate while putting their candidate’s opponent in a negative light. Their biases are too obvious and they always contradict what they say. Since these people are paid to write, I also doubt the credibility of the media outlets for allowing these columnists to write or make a commentary with such partiality on their behalf.
One such columnist is William M Esposo from Philstar.com. He recently wrote about TIME Magazine’s article on presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino. His article was titled: An unexpected added impetus – the TIME magazine cover. From the title alone, he already confirmed that he is rooting for Noynoy Aquino. As I predicted, avid Noynoy supporters like him believe that just because Noynoy had been featured by a respected international publication, it is already an affirmation that Noynoy is the best candidate among the rest. Does this guy think we are a bunch of idiots?
You would expect ordinary Filipinos on the streets to come to this irrational conclusion but to read a supposedly educated and seasoned columnist believe this is something else. Did Mr Esposo totally miss the point of the TIME article? If you ask me, he completely ignored the other, more important points that the author of the TIME article made that was less favourable to Noynoy. Here’s an excerpt from his article:
The Tharoor TIME story is a good gauge of how momentous the Aquino campaign has snowballed. Being a foreigner, Tharoor is a dispassionate and neutral writer who only told it like it is. Tharoor’s headline — The Next Aquino: Can Noynoy Save the Philippines? — reflects the popular perception that Noynoy Aquino will be the 2010 Philippine president.
The comfortable lead that Noynoy Aquino has posted in the trusted presidential polls, the defections to Noynoy Aquino’s camp, the large and passionate crowds that welcome the Aquino sorties, the desperation now seen in the actions and statements of his closest rival — all these point to another Heaven-made Aquino presidency. An act of God — the passing of the “Icon and Saint of Democracy” — led Filipinos to consider Cory’s son as a president whom they could trust and believe like her.
This is such a flawed statement coming from a person of influence. Obviously, the TIME article flew over his head. First, this columnist, Mr Esposo, emphasized that a presidential poll result can be trusted. If you have to emphasize that, it means it can’t be trusted. History has shown that political polls are not consistently accurate. Their “results” only serve to condition the minds of those who are inclined to join the bandwagon and our dear columnist is leading the charge in ensuring that people jump on the Noynoy yellow wagon.
Second, he highlighted the large and passionate crowd that welcomed the Aquino sorties in Zamboanga. How can he be so sure if people joined that crowd as Noynoy supporters or were there only because they just wanted to catch a glimpse of Noynoy’s celebrity sister, Kris Aquino? Frankly, it would help convince me of Noynoy’s sincerity if he asked his sister to stay home during his campaign trips. He knows he has an unfair advantage over other candidates because of her appearance with him. If he is truly popular among the voters, why does he need Kris at all? It’s such a cheap shot and I don’t know why his supporters don’t see it this way. Besides, Noynoy is not the only candidate who attracts large crowds in the campaign trail. And his party is the one showing desperation by using his family’s name as a come on.
Third, why does Esposo keep mentioning God in his article and claiming that an Aquino win is “another Heaven-made Aquino presidency”? Is this columnist a priest or something? Why can’t he keep God out of this? By stating that it is “An act of God”, he is trying to condition the minds of his readers that anyone who goes against what he considers a “natural event” will be damned to eternal punishment in hell. Personally, this is the silliest thing I’ve ever read. This guy, this columnist, is definitely stuck in the Dark Ages, when people accused of heresy were burned at the stake. As far as I’m concerned, this columnist is the one using the Lord’s name in vain. It’s like he’s saying that the presidential election is out of the control of humans or the voters. I hope people see through his dishonesty.
Another columnist who my colleague in AntiPinoy.com here pointed out to be definitely stuck in the dark ages is Conrado de Quiros from the Inquirer.net. In his recent spiel, he emphasized again that this election is about good versus evil. To quote:
It was a desperate choice between the GMA curse and the Cory legacy, between Noynoy (or what he represented) and Gloria (or what she is), between life and death.
It was a choice between Good and Evil.
You hear the word “moral,” and you think ethics, you think refinement, you think dark nights of the soul. It is nothing of the kind. It is life and death, it is eating and starving, it is breathing and being shot in the head. It is as bituka as it comes. Good vs. Evil—it is more powerful in Tagalog, mabuti laban sa masama—is there suffusing everything.
From the start, this particular election was never about elections. It was about bondage and freedom, oppression and liberation, despair and hope. Why the hell should people see it as an election? An election presupposes a natural succession. How can you naturally succeed someone who has been ruling for a decade without a mandate? If this was an election at all, it was the same as the snap election of 1986, a choice not between the relative virtues of Cory and Marcos but a choice between light and dark, heaven and hell, hope and despair.
My goodness, is this guy serious? There are other candidates aside from Noynoy, why the heck is he saying that the fight is between Noynoy and Gloria only? Why is he taking us back to 1986? And more importantly, why is this writer still employed by the Inquirer? He is obviously very biased for Noynoy and he is obviously misleading his readers into thinking that the other candidates are irrelevant in this election. Have we no choice anymore but to swallow this kind of crap from our “esteemed” journalists? It’s no wonder the Filipino mind remains trapped in telenovela mode, for de Quiros himself said ” “It is the stuff of telenovelas, it is the stuff of movies” in referring to the election. Hay, talaga naman , kung pwede lang akong magmura!
And look at what he said here about presidential platforms:
Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for education? Simply removing the monsters whose very existence teaches the young that lying, cheating and stealing are rewarded and whistle-blowing, telling the truth, and being courageous are punished is an entire curriculum unto itself. Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for economic development? Simply stopping a reign of corruption stops poverty completely literally in that there is no mahirap where there is no korap, and completely spiritually in that nothing impoverishes a country more than an utter lack of moralidad. Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for national security? You arrest the usurpers who made the country home to desperation and insecurity, and line them up against the wall, or its legal equivalent since we don’t have the death penalty anymore, though we can always make an exception, and we will have more security than can be guaranteed by the armed forces or the insurance companies.
Hey, Mr. Conrado de Quiros, if you want to know who cares about Noynoy’s plans for education, economic development and national security: WE DO! and that’s 60 percent of the voters (if you believe the surveys).
Here are some facts that you may not be aware of Mr de Quiros: Your idol, the late former president Cory Aquino, the mother of Noynoy, may she rest in peace, may have had all the virtues that you described above but since she wasn’t really suited for the presidency just like her son, Noynoy, her virtues weren’t enough to move the country forward. Your candidate Noynoy has delusions of adequacy which a lot of Filipinos now can see because we have learned from history unlike you, who hasn’t learned and still wants to go back to 1986.
You know what else is so funny about Conrado de Quiros? It seems that he has acquired what is known as the rock star syndrome. For those who are not aware of such a concept, when someone is afflicted with the rock star syndrome, one starts to think that they are amazing when in reality they suck. This disease causes the person to be extremely cocky and full of himself and can prevent a person from hearing their flaws, preventing him from getting better and, if left untreated, it may become permanent. Proof that he might have a rock star syndrome is his habit of publishing fan mail that says how much he is adored by his readers. If he has to publish such fan mails, there’s got to be something wrong with his ego.
These are the kinds of columnists the Filipino people have to contend with. The Philippines has a scarcity of opinion makers who can influence people to think outside the square. It’s unfortunate that such writers like Esposo and de Quiros are the ones who are kept on the payroll for just recently I heard from a commenter here at AntiPinoy.com, that Belinda Olivares Cunanan has been asked by Inquirer president Isagani Yambot to take leave of absence because of her pro-Gibo and pro-GMA articles. If true, I’ll see this move by the Inquirer as fair if they can ask de Quiros to take a leave as well for writing too many pro-Noynoy and anti-GMA articles.
Esposo and de Quiros are just two Philippine columnists that reveal their true nature in their articles every now and then. They are admired by a lot of Filipinos (who don’t know any better) because these writers make it a point to use words that send their readers consulting the dictionary after reading every couple of words. But other than that, their opinions are basically useless and should go straight to the trash bin.