Do Filipinos have the balls to punish enemies of the state?

Our culture of impunity. It’s the Filipino’s renowned hospitability and smiling demeanor turned devastatingly cancerous, perhaps terminally. Storms that resulted in “minimal casualties” (by the standards of the typical Third World society’s regard for human life) for now occupy the short attention spans of a vacuous people and sweep under the rug the astounding display of political agendas evident in the granting of “amnesty” to “Senator” Antonio Trillianes and his band of bandits under a rationale that insults the Filipino’s already meager intelligence.

What is it about us that is on display for the world to see in this latest showcase of our renowned spinelessness as a people? What comes to my mind are a few things — past displays of “indignation” over the “injustices” of the powerful, campaigns run to exploit the ingrained victim mentalities of a people who latch on to said injustices as excuses for their chronic impoverishment, politically lucrative demonising of past administrations to lower the bar against which the absolute mediocrity of the incumbent may be measured. Ironies that simply escape the collective mind of a people renowned for a routine failure to grasp irony.

So here we are, staring the root of Impunity in the face and cheering it on in the name of “reconciliation”. Classy, indeed. Amando Doronila for his part observed how (italics added by author for emphasis)…

Trillanes appears unrepentant he had taken up arms against the government — an offense that in other political systems would have led to instant execution by a firing squad.

This attitude does not herald a smooth adjustment of Trillanes’ mindset to civilian ways of doing things in a democratic and consensual milieu once he is granted amnesty with concurrence of Congress, allowing him to take his seat in the Senate.

Unrepentant.

This is an attitude thrust in front of a people who are famously characterised by a quickness to lynch those who they perceive to have delivered even the slightest offense to their “pride”. If Crocodile Dundee was watching us now, he’d quip: that’s not a lynching, THIS is a lynching…

Perhaps it’s worth checking out the smug faces of the above characters at the height of their glory (match the faces of death above to their portraits of power here).

Do we have the balls to take up President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on his promise to get tough on those who undermine the stability of the state and our reputation as a country where merchants can conduct their trade in peace? Whether or not we are to be taken seriously by a world that regards us no longer with looks of admiration but more now with a patronising eye as we continue to assert our entitlement to more concessions and “aid” from the rich of this planet depends on how we plan to answer that question.

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About benign0

benign0 is the Web master of GetRealPhilippines.com
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31 Responses to Do Filipinos have the balls to punish enemies of the state?

  1. ulong pare says:

    … flips, no guts, no glory… flips are embarrassment to humanity… puro kayo mga gung gongs!

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      You are correct in that appraisal, ulong pare.

    • sotirios says:

      Rather than insult the Filipino in general, I think the title of your article should have been;
      “Do Filipinos WITH THE MEANS have the balls to punish enemies of the state?”. I say this because most filipinos understand what is right and what is wrong, the majority however can’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.

      • benign0 says:

        ===begin quote:
        most filipinos understand what is right and what is wrong, the majority however can’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.

        Rather than insult the Filipino in general, I think the title of your article should have been; “Do Filipinos WITH THE MEANS have the balls to punish enemies of the state?”. I say this because most filipinos understand what is right and what is wrong, the majority however can’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.
        ===end quote:

        @ sotirios: I don’t think so. Pinoys have The Vote, they have every opportunity to engage their Congressmen intelligently, and they have access to a free press.

        But what do they do with that power? They elect morons year in and year out and expect nothing more than song and dance from their politicians.

        So there is no excusing “ordinary” Pinoys from accountability for the cr@p way that the Philippines has turned out.

      • Jay says:

        I say this because most filipinos understand what is right and what is wrong

        Sadly, that is so far from the truth. Then again, right and wrong are more open to interpretation as to what is fair and what is just.

        The majority CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! They just don’t do something beneficial for themselves and instead, continue being led by the powers that be. They’d rather play the victims (which they aren’t) as oppose to do something about it.

  2. Jeremy says:

    There’s another questions i’d like to raise: Do Filipinos have the capacity to adhere to appropriateness and rule of law?

    • sotirios says:

      Yes, if the consequences of not being approriate or breaking the rule of law is applied.

    • ulong pare says:

      @jeremy: define “appropriateness and rule of law” in flip lingo/mentality… take into consideration that flipland is littered “with ‘merkan ivy-leagued” law grads… supremo abugagos y abugago supremos were schooled in flipland’s premier colleges and universities… name someone who committed a high level crime and had been pre/per/prosecuted under flipland justice system and got convicted… the last time i checked, the ampatuans are “inprisoned” in their own mansions con todo slaves and bodyguards at their disposals.. that’s flipland justice at its best… bwi hi hi hi hi hi…

    • Jay says:

      Not when the laws are written to be utterly pointless.

      Take in point the Anti-Hentai bill (or whatever its called officially). It is more anti-child exploitation than what it was originally named for, but it still doesn’t have provisions that stop the problem on its source, just putting a band-aid over a festering disease. Same goes for the anti-piracy measures for digital media and such.

      I mean if the current admin also believed that GMA was guilty for her crimes, they shouldn’t have to pull a commission. There is apparently evidence (via whistleblowers) and paperwork so why not just do something as opposed to wasting tax payers’ resources like always?

  3. J.B. says:

    CDQ was close to Noynoy and perhaps could have asked something that led to the eventual release of Trillianes.

    I remember his column ages ago where he said that those who didn’t march along with the renegade captain along with Lim and Guingona will someday blame themselves for not doing so.

    The media has enough mind conditioning prior to Triallianes release that would make it acceptable.

  4. ricelander says:

    To each his own hero. How do you measure up Jose Rizal? If you lived then, I suppose you would have cheered for the Spanish government when they executed him.

    • peste says:

      Haha! Feeble attempt at equating Trillanes, a rebel who took up arms against the rulers, to Rizal, a reformist who disapproved of armed rebellion. By the way, nice try with the word “hero.” It’s value has rather depreciated nowadays.

      • ricelander says:

        Fine, so why do you think Jose Rizal was executed, he a reformist who disapproved of armed rebellion.

      • ulong pare says:

        … different era, different form of governance – master/slave relationship. no real rule of law… t’was rule of padre damaso (friars)…

      • peste says:

        Because he is still deemed dangerous to the rulers and has to be silenced, in accordance to the standards of his time. It all underscores how this revolution business, armed or unarmed, is a very serious effort. The ones who wish to effect change should expect resistance that may even kill them. What this article points out is the curious case of the Philippines where revolution isn’t always treated seriously by both sides. It’s a puzzling inconsistency where we see losing rebels getting rewarded, winning rebels not finishing a revolution, and ongoing decades-old insurgencies, among other things.

  5. ricelander says:

    In the time of Marcos, to those who did not like the way he ran the government, HE was the enemy of the state.

    • peste says:

      Sure. How is his and his family’s punishment going now?

      • ricelander says:

        Trillanes and company most probably want to ask the same question too, with a little modification: how is GMA’s and her family’s punishment going to be?

      • benign0 says:

        Punishment for what exactly? On what charges? Where is pending case for these “crimes”? Has any such complaint on these alleged “crimes” been filed?

        Where are the results?

      • ulong pare says:

        … doktora santa ate glo phd’s ferti-scam allegation died of natural death…. unlike the whistleblowers, they died in untimely death…. blown to kingdom come… flipland justice system at work… 50cc honda as the tool… bwi hi hi hi hi… hey, porky mickey arroyo, ‘musta na ang puso natin ha???

      • ricelander says:

        benignO, my retort is in the context of peste’s reply.

        In any case, the original question really is who is the enemy of the state and from whose point of view? Trillanes and company are not alone in history. Our forefathers too launched a revolution. The thing is, the incumbent wielders of power and their supporters will always regard those who disturb or destabilize the status quo as misguided elements and when lines are crossed, enemies of the state who must be placed behind bars. Yet try see it from the other side: how do you regard those who genuinely believe that to cure the social malaise, only an armed uprising would do? People cheered, including you I guess, when the armed forces, led by Enrile and Ramos, defected to the ‘destablizers” side and subsequently overthrew an incumbent and won worldwide applause for what would be known as EDSA1. Yet EDSA1 is EDSA2’s inspiration. And the two EDSA’s, forTrillanes and company’s similar adventure.

        One man’s heel is someone else’s hero; I guess, it depends on which side of the fence you are standing on. One day, if in your opinion PNoy is getting this country on the brink, why, you would have your version of Trillanes to cheer on…

      • benign0 says:

        === begin quote
        In any case, the original question really is who is the enemy of the state and from whose point of view? […] One man’s heel is someone else’s hero; I guess, it depends on which side of the fence you are standing on.
        === end quote

        @ ricelander,

        That is why there is The Law, dude. The Law allows us to negotiate on the basis of absolutes in a world where everything is relative. When one chooses to resolve something on the basis of relativity, guess what: nothing will be resolved. Nothing will, if the basis shifts depending on “points of view”.

        Of course the Law is an IMPERFECT representation of absolute ethical princoples. But then this imperfection is a better alternative to the chaos of this “all-is-relative” position that you seem to favour.

        Punch a man on the nose.

        From the punchee’s point of view it hurt and is therefore wrong. From the puncher’s point of view it was right because the punchee stepped on his toe and it felt good punching him. Who is right in a world where the basis used for resolving conflict is “relative”?

        So back to my original question:

        Punishment for what exactly? On what charges? Where is pending case for these “crimes”? Has any such complaint on these alleged “crimes” been filed?

        The basis and the channel for resolving anything (whether it be determining rightness and wrongness or selecting leaders out of a pool of morons) is due process, dude.

        And by the way, even if Noynoy — a president I do not like — brings the country “to the brink” I will not advocate and certainly NOT cheer on “my version of a Trillanes” to overthrow him illegally. Our system provides many legal measures for removing him or changing him at the appropriate time and opportunity. It may be imperfect but it is there. If we truly appreciate what Congressmen’s and Senators’ job is we’d know enough to take them to the task of continuously improving this system instead of grading them on the basis of their singing and dancing skills.

    • ulong pare says:

      … makoy was reagan’s puppet… he was the enemy of the state.. where do you think the ‘sang tambaks na billion dolyares stashed in swiss banks came from?

      • ricelander says:

        that santambak na bilyon dolyares… for a start, look for that book by the Seagraves couple.

      • Antay-antayan says:

        “That is why there is The Law, dude.”

        So the pardon of Trillanes is illegal? Hmmm.

        Oh, yeah, it’s the same o-holy god-given “Law” that allowed Arroyo to pardon Erap and Tehankee. That allowed Marcos to declare martial law and sequester private property. That has allowed the church to remain untaxed. That denies gay people marriage. Oh that wonderful Law, dude. 

      • ulong pare says:

        … daaaaaaang! i don’t have to… i was one of ate imeldific’s prez guard… (ate imeldific likes hollywood studs)… bwi hi hi hi hi hi…

  6. Homer says:

    With a culture of impunity like the kind we have here, why bother to ask if enemies of the state can be punished?

    It’s not that we don’t have any balls, but we are already too divided (and too tribal) to make “correct” decisions that would benefit the majority of the entire population. Just like our misplaced pride, Filipinos also have misplaced cajones.

  7. Hyden Toro says:

    The duty of any member of the Armed Forces is : To Defend the Country, from any enemy. Not to get involved in Politics. If they want to go to Politics. They should resign their commissions. The bad examples done by the Opportunist Enrile, and his Opportunist son-in-law, Honasan. Also of the C.I.A. man Ramos have given bad examples to military men. These people cannot defeat the New People’s Army and the Al Queda inspired Muslim insurgency in Mindanao. So they turn to Politics, to show themselves as brave men? These people have never been tested in actual combat. Who are they kidding?

  8. concerned_citizen says:

    We will never have the balls. The people we elect to office are too preoccupied about what to gain and what to lose. Most are probably thinking about bogus laws to pass and reaching their quota of probably 1 law. I haven’t seen anyone with the balls to pass a law that prohibits an imprisoned person from running to a government office. He might still be innocent until proven guilty but the fact that a case is pending against him should disqualify him from running since that pending case puts a big gray cloud over his character.

  9. MaskmanReturns says:

    Sadly we don’t have the balls 2 do that and this topic is right we Pinoys r not ready in terms of everything like this.

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