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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Medium is the Message

If GMA escapes unscathed (well, not entirely) in this impeachment controversy, there will be the eventual soul searching, head banging, paralysis analysis (an intentional invert) that will probably dominate the opposition, civil society and media in the next few weeks.

And if I may start the ball, este boulder rolling, let me say the failure of the opposition and civil society to vanquish GMA was in large part due to ignoring Marshall McLuhan’s maxim, i. e., “The medium is the message”. The medium is just as or more important as the message itself.

The series of events that eventually led to the impeachment process showed a gap of crediblity of the messengers and players of the opposition. That while Arroyo could have been rightfully removed, the specter of an unproven leader or the return of power to an even more unmanageable president failed to generate the critical mass to launch a September revolution.

First, we had the jueteng investigation. While Bishop Oscar Cruz was a credible figure, the people in the Senate were not. We laughed and sneered at the lying Mosqueda who squirmed in his seat.

But while we knew he was a lying, cheating and stealing sonofagun, we were equally aghast with the questions by the mother-son senators which were never in- aid-of-legislation but in-aid-of-purgation, especially the young senator charged before the Sandiganbayan who dared to call the kettle black.

You also had this senator born with a silver foot in her mouth whose every utterance is an invitation to a midday slumber and where her “kulitus maximus” questions were a test on our finite patience. Along with her, you have the junior police-senator whose seeming purpose was to fragment the opposition during the election and to expose, for show, evidences of wrongdoing by the Arroyos without a follow through. As disgusting as the tribe of Arroyo was, these senators’ insincere posturings appallingly reminded us of the previous administration's gambling policy and where the seat of government transformed itself into a drinking brothel at the stroke of twelve.

Then came the Garci tapes. As much as we knew in our hearts that it was GMA’s voice on the tapes, we were puzzled why the holder of the mother of all tapes refused to appear before the House committees to shed light. Instead, he hid himself within the walls of San Carlos Seminary claiming sanctuary. Brave men have died for lesser causes but this man would not even bring himself to face a congressional investigation. For this, hell hath reserved for him a thousand deaths for his cowardice.

Are these the mediums who will tell us that our future and my children's future rest in good hands?

Then, after promising to hold on together, you have Dinky and the gang betraying the president’s trust. Doesn’t Dinky realize that even if what she revealed was true, the fact that she was the alter ego of the president made her a traitor in the eyes of the public with her willful revelation to bring the president to her knees?

Coupled with that is the fact that while the president has remained silent on her betrayal leaving to her subordinates to defend her, Dinky has continued to spew spite on the president while professing respect and love for her. What madness is this? Is civil society in such short supply of virtuous men and women that they would have to rely on snitches to bring the president down?

True, what are we telling our children if we say it is alright to lie, cheat, and steal? And what too are we telling our children if we say if it is alright to betray your friends? Last time I heard, the traitor hanged himself on a tree. Indeed, God knows Hudas not pay.

Is this the medium upon which we teach our children the value of virtues?

Ah yes, we have these young spritely solons of the House. You have Congressman Cayetano praising God to high heavens between invectives against the president. You have Congressman Joel Villanueva, the son of a preacher man, who thinks the House is his church to be preached to. You have Congresswoman Darlene Custodio who speaks before she thinks. You have Congressman Paras who stalks the aisles seemingly looking for a fight. We blame the young ones for the opposition’s failure but equal to the blame are the opposition elders like Ronnie Zamora and third termers and party mates of Erap who failed to give counsel to the youthful solons. For just as they were first-termers in the 11th Congress that failed Erap, they are now the third-termers that disappointed the Filipino people in their failed quest to give GMA her day in court.

Why did we not capitulate to their reasonable remonstrations? Was it because their message was not spoken loud enough for all to hear? Was their message not justified to create an outrage or was it because these purveyors of impeachment did not have the moral gravitas in and of themselves?

The entire event leading to the impeachment fight would have done better if the people who led the fight were men and women of pure heart or at the very least, perceived to be of pure heart because this was a fight beyond legalities and technicalities. It was a morality battle fought on the most fundamental arena of decency. And he who alleges decency must come to court with clean hands. The opposition had no Sir Galahad to lead and pick up the fight. The Siege Perilous remained vacant. This is where the opposition failed. It was not so black and white after all.

Congressman Cayetano spoke of not shooting the messenger. He must have been oblivious to Marshall Mcluhan’s study of media ecology. And for as long as the messenger is not sufficient in credibility, there is no choice but to doubt the message even if it be the third secret of Fatima.

I hope this rolling stone review is as premature as their walkout.


Anonymous desune said...

impeachment is finished. on ANC today, unless he is playing a trick, escudero says the count is in the 60's. a backward step from 73 and six short.

the next act of the play will be next year. in which jdv starts turning the screws to force gma out and put himself in as pm.
we can entitle it 'the graceful exit' from ramos's speech.

1:49 PM  

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