eK! is electronic Kabalen, a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

wilfrido david
wilfrido david WHAT MAKES, or for that matter, who makes someone or something controversial. There are controversial events and personalities as well.

For the most part, it is circumstantial, or by design, but almost always stirred by media to satisfy the public's curiosity. It is fodder for the press, and it is the stuff that exposés are made of. It is something deliberated on in TV interviews, it is food for thought for the public to chew on, swallow, and later get indigestion from.

I have a list of controversial events and people that have fired our imagination and have merited our attention for as long as we found them interesting. Controversies and controversial people quickly fizzle out, like a balloon losing air—that is, until the media can come up with something better or worse, as the case may be.

Osama Bin Laden. As i write this, the TV broadcasts are saturated with news about his death. It has been a long time coming. Ten years on the top of America's most wanted list is a record in itself. Various opinions about his killing render it unappreciated and uncalled for. Some say he was unarmed and therefore should have been captured alive. Some want his picture released to prove that they got the real Osama, just as there are still some people who say that the moon landing in 1969 was faked, produced in Hollywood.

Conversely, the controversy about Obama's birth certificate has just been laid to rest after it was publicly released. I tend to believe that these doubters are the ones believing that the world will end in 2012! How ironic. At any rate, the average radical terrorist is happy that Osama is now in Muslim heaven (with 13 virgins around him). Pity, the navy seals confiscated his viagra.

Donald Trump is undoubtedly laying the groundwork, preparing for the 2012 elections. He's the main advocate in pursuing the case about President Obama's birth certificate. Obama is secretly wishing that Trump would indeed run for president because he is nothing but a nuisance. Only people who like his hairstyle would vote for him. For once, the Republicans agree with the president. Sarah Palin is not worried.

Ferdinand Marcos. The Marcos family is agitating for the late ex-president's body to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. For a time, this matter was no longer an issue, until General Angelo Reyes's untimely exit. Despite the manner of his death, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is all for the idea, being a Marcos ally and a close friend for the duration of Marcos's reign until he found it convenient to be a fair-weather friend instead towards the end.

Enrile says the fact that Marcos was a World War II soldier and was in the infamous Death March "more or less" qualifies him to be buried in the Libingan. He might have been an idol to some people, but he was not by any means a hero. Enrile's rationale might as well include all those who served in the war, including the Katipunan heroes whom we hold as patriots in our history books.

General Angelo Reyes became controversial only after he took his own life. Despite, or inspite of, the senate investigations on the AFP scandals, in which he was a key principal and his character being in question, his departure was anti-climactic. Not that it matters anymore, his body should have been buried in the family plot pending the outcome of the investigations. Now, without him, his fellow accused (or investigatees) are breathing easier. By the way, are the investigations still going on? Reyes's fellow generals unabashedly aver that he is a hero, maybe just to assuage his family's grief. Or is this plain, unadulterated hypocrisy? Call it what you may, but being buried in Libingan doesn't necessarily mean he is a hero. It's like a departed good person who needs to be beatified and canonized before he can be prayed to.

Jun Lozada, George Rabusa & Co. Those whose cases are in the freezer pending continuance of their respective Q & A sessions must be secretly wishing that someone would do an Osama Bin Laden-like departure on them. Then, predictably, another dilemma arises—do they deserve to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? It is a legitimate question because they are considered as heroes of some sort. Well, that is stretching it a little bit too far, but it does stir the brain cells.

Merceditas Gutierrez, after much thought and deliberation, even as she gutsily declared that she wasn't resigning, did just that and not without a sigh of relief. Nagsalita siya nang patapos, ngayon wala siyang nagawa kundi kainin ang sinabi niya. Baka masira pa ang tiyan niya sa ginawa niya! What does that say of her character? Not much, if we are talking about personal integrity. At best, she doesn't mean what she says. All that circus-like congressional impeachment proceedings was a waste of energy, effort, and significant congressional time which could have been utilized on more important issues. I see a grinning GMA, et al., in the picture.

Gloria M. Arroyo. Yes, indeed, she is a workaholic. After two scandal-ridden terms, she is still working "for the people," as government officials like to be referred. A lot of people are beholden to her for "favors" done, and among these are the ones who neglected to pay their taxes, for obvious reasons. Forbes magazine is trying to complete a first 100 Richest People in the World List and is including at least 20 from GMA's inner circle.

Mikey Arroyo overshadows his other brothers, and they don't mind at all the fix he is in. He owes the BIR millions in taxes on income and hidden property acquired locally and abroad. He deflects the media questions by insisting that Pnoy is out for revenge, going after GMA and her family at every opportunity. What goes around comes around, to put it more appropriately.

Ping Lacson. It is amazing how short a memory the Filipino public has, and how forgiving they are especially when top people in government are involved. Is this, unconsciously, a passive, nay, submissive cultural attitude that is deeply ensconced in our national psyche that it very often works to our disadvantage? Remember how the Chinese asked (insisted) that they send their own investigative team on Luneta hostage-taking fiasco. Pnoy granted their request meekly without as much as giving it a thought? Ping Lacson came back like a conquering hero, short of a red carpet welcome. He knows fully well that he was a fugitive of the worst kind and depended on his friends' help with calculated intimidation. Now, are we being led to believe that he traveled without help from DFA? You can travel on a budget, but not without a visa! It is entirely possible that he didn't leave the country at all, what with the guaranteed protection of the NBI and the senate? Well, at this point, the question is moot and academic and well on its way to the proverbial thrash bin, which is overflowing with unresolved cases (the fertilizer scam, NBN-ZTE deal, Hello Garci, to name a few).

Rico Puno (not the Rico J) seems to be keeping a low profile after the much publicized jueteng payoff investigations. Nothing has been heard from or about him since then. Is he still the DILG undersecretary, or is he abroad doing a Ping Lacson? Or is it another whitewash? The silence is deafening, it gives one an earache—something like the clicking in your ear when the airplane you are on begins a slow descent.

Pakistan. As they say, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Amidst all the facts surrounding Osama Bin Laden's demise (killing, execution, rub out, whatever you may choose to call it), Pakistan, with all the billions in aid it gets from the United States, in all appearances, was "cuddling" Osama in its home turf during all the ten years the Americans were looking for him. How is that for a "friend"? It is a gross betrayal of trust, and whatever the United States decides to "properly" deal with it should be accepted in the free world. It is no different than catching your partner cheating on you! This "love affair" with Pakistan should be terminated, unceremoniuosly if indeed.

Willie Revillame. It is a coincidence that his name, Revillame, almost sounds like "revile," which is uncannily fitting. The current trend, seemingly, is to dislike (bordering on hate) this erstwhile popular TV personality. He once bragged that he was earning a million pesos a day during the heyday of Wowowee, and was even advertising his Wiltowers condominium building, which suspiciously enough could really belong to his friend, Mr. Villar. They suspended his show on Channel 5, which is just as well as it was not shown internationally after he tried his darndest to fight the "Jan-jan child abuse" case thrown at him when people filed complaints. Willie is crying "Persecution!" while his critics shout "Beh, buti nga!" Plainly and simply, he just got his comeuppance. Not his Waterloo, he better hope so.

Manny Pacquiao. Our "absentee" congressman has been on an unofficial leave with the blessings of his peers. It's no big deal, what with most congressmen being present in spirit only at house sessions. Some are there physically just to answer the roll call. As for legislating, it depends on how you look at it. Many are for changing street names, obviously to favor a friend or a prominent enough constituent, or spend some time abroad on a junket which is really nothing more than a family vacation. Representative Pacquiao, like some others elected to congress based merely on their popularity, will at least be "transparent" and will serve in good faith. He has no plans of enriching himself in office, and that's comforting enough.

President Noynoy should dispense with explanations to questions that he should not even bother answering. Why does he even have to tackle media's questions on his Porsche or his bachelorhood? Does this have any bearing on his capacity to rule? Lately, he had to clarify allegations by a reporter (Tulfo) and one Ernesto Maceda (who he?) regarding his work ethics—that he is a lazy or a laid-back president, getting up at 10:00 AM, and likes to spend his evenings in bars with his friends! Are they comparing him to deposed ex-President Erap? With due respect, even our beloved Cory Aquino found time to play mahjong with friends and family, to which she was perfectly entitled and nobody gave a hoot! Let us not be so petty—it makes the media look like a humongous rumormonger, which sometimes it is!

Congratulations to our national hero, Manny Pacquiao, for his victorious fight versus his most formidable foe thus far, an Afro-American who was deemed to give Pacquiao the ultimate fight of his career. Ole, viva, mabuhay!


[About the author. Wilfrido David first retired as Computer-Analyst from the Ayala Group of Companies. He immigrated to the US in 1985, worked there for another 25 years in the Medical Field (Medical Lab Tech), until he retired for the second time. Sometime ago, he was involved with FAANM (Filipino-American Association of New Mexico) as correspondent-contributor-writer-editor, publisher—all rolled into one. He says about that stint, "I ran out of energy, patience, and money but kept on with my duties until the next set of association officers were voted in." The earliest writing he did was for his high school paper in Holy Angel University. His present writing derives from the perspective of a Filipino expat in the US who faithfully keeps up with what's happening in the home country, as gleaned from his Filipino channels on DirecTV, aside from CNN and HLN.]

-Posted: 9:04 PM 5/15/11 | More of this author on eK!
Nextnext