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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.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Where Are The Jesuits?

Something is awry in the parliament of the streets. There seems to be no participation from the Ateneo community or a tacit collaboration with the Jesuits.

Back in the inglorious days of the Erap presidency, the Ateneo was the venue for the meetings and conferences of civil society. Now, the gatherings are held in de la Salle University in Taft or the high school branch in Greenhills.

For the first time, the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian School, otherwise known as the La Salle brothers, have spearhead the moral battle against the Arroyo administration. With the exception of the Jesuit law expert, Fr. Bernas, whose name has become a household word, the Jesuits have been largely missing from the throng just like Imee Marcos, Bingbong Crisologo, Oscar Malapitan or Antonio Serapio, much to the dismay of the anti-Arroyo forces. What is the deal with the Jesuits?

Does it have to do with the fact that their new Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Daniel Patrick Huang is an apolitical priest not in the mold of Fr. Robert Drinan or Fr. Romeo Intengan?

Without help from the Jesuits, the movement seems to lack the intellectual and moral muscle that these footsoldiers of Inigo Lopez de Loyola have been trained to provide. The La Salle Brothers, while always generous in the use of their facilities especially during election time, have never presented themselves as heavyweight equals of the Jesuits. Thus, for an outsider, the absence of the Jesuits, both in body and spirit, is all the more prominent.

What will take them to be convinced of the righteousness of the parliament of the street or what is within the parliament of the streets or from without that give them pause to extend their support? Their silence is deafening. Or could it be they are just waiting for the appearance on the stage by the Apo Hiking Society before they join the bandwagon?

Whatever it is, come out out wherever they are. And act in a manner that is truly reflective of the motto “Lux-in- Domino” - Light in the Lord.

The night is fast falling and we have yet to see the Lord's light.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwin:
As an Atenean I have been wondering the exact same thing. I'm not privy to the political goings on in the Society of Jesus or the reasons for their silence on such a major political and ethical issues like the legitimacy of GMA and the need to reform the political system.
But it is heartening that La Salle, who Ateneans always used to sneer at for their apathy, have masterfully taken the leadership role in this movement that Ateneo used to fill.
I am humbled by the courage of Bro Armin Luistro and the La Salle Brothers.
I have a newfound respect for La Salle and will even cheer for them at their next encounter with Ateneo at the UAAP.

11:08 AM  
Blogger micketymoc said...

As an Atenean myself, I applaud the Jesuits' staying out of this catfight, and I think it's entirely in character. There is no single moral focus to this opposition. No overriding call for action. No credible alternative to the Arroyo presidency. Why would the Jesuits rashly join an opposition in disarray?

There is a time to fight; there is also a time to reflect on the situation and conserve one's strength. Thank heaven the Jesuits have been smart enough to choose the right action for the right time.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy, you're gonna get some flak for this. :)

micketytoc says it well.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching the hapless Bro. Armin say that he was for the constitutional process of succession, then seeing him get overruled by Jojo Binay and Satur Ocampo who said that they were going for a revolutionary junta, I can understand why the Jesuits want no part of this fractous opposition. The corrupt politicians like Ronnie Zamora (himself a La Sallite) and Binay are allying with the Communists like Ocampo, Beltran and Renato Constantino, Jr. in a naked grab for power. Poor Bro. Armin is just being used to deodorize the sinister aims of this group. Just like the Avenging Widow, Susan Roces, who I hope is not so obsessed with vindicating the loss of her husband that she will make a pact with these devils. I find Cory Aquino the most pathetic, though. After she frittered away opportunities for our country, among them getting relief for our external debt just after EDSA, and after she left the country a legacy of darkness through her constant power black-outs (which, by the way, we are still paying for through the PPA's), she now comes out and shows us why she is the most clueless airhead.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess like those two Ateneans who posted comments many Ateneans are becoming like Ronnie Puno and Bobi Tiglao.

Those types of Ateneans used to be the exceptions now they are the rule, judging from the comments I've read. Sayang I went to the Ateneo and theirs is not the Ateneo I remember.
Nakakhiya!

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking a position against cheating, lying and stealing, should not be equated with joining the opposition.
It is simply reminding people that there is such a thing as wrong and right.
I have just as much distaste for the communists and the trapos as everyone else but will my distate for them mean I will sit this battle out and let them try to claim the moral high ground?
Does that mean that we will refuse to do what's right because we don't like the other guys who are speaking out?
How elitist. How narrow minded.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being patient and deliberate is not elitist, nor narrow-minded. It took a year before any evidence of electoral fraud was uncovered. Before that, majority of citizens were willing to accept the outcome. If GMA goes through another impeachment process next year, she most likely won't survive it. The opposition will have time to rectify their mistakes because, the truth is, their incompetence was also responsible for GMA's not being impeached this time. So what's another year? The world won't crumble simply because of the failure to convict a felon. Marcos stole billions of dollars and never was tried. His heirs are now enjoying his wealth. Danding Cojuangco stole the hard-earned money of coconut producers. Yet, he lives a fabulous life as businessman and political godfather. But, if there is a God, they will have their time of reckoning. Wise men know that. That is why life goes on and, hopefully, some of us will get a life instead of being whiners and ranters.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another atenean here, and im thinking the same thing.

before the impeachment thing went full swing, was told by someone that the jesuits are holding back due to the fact that their prized piece of land in Loyola Heights was donated, or sold at a discounted price, by the Tuason-Arroyo clan several years ago.

there are also a number of factors, factions if you will among the jesuits.

the provincial, fr. huang was part of a group (heads of religious orders) which had called for the resignation of the president.

ateneo president, fr. nebres is seen to be leaning slightly towards the administration side.

and of course, the absence of "superstar" fr. caluag (who left the society) is a major factor. he has always been a vocal character with ready access to media, especially abs-cbn.

the younger jesuits have taken a more progressive stance and have been joining the street protests.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,

Thank you for that last comment. At least, it gives me assurance that our Jesuit priests are not doing anything. I hope they are able to come out with a unified stand.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous desune said...

from,
ateneo batch 83.

wat can i say? not our finest hour. and one time
i wish i were a lasallite.
hey jim,danny,bubuy, and gary lising, nasaan na kayo?

3:12 PM  
Blogger micketymoc said...

"Does that mean that we will refuse to do what's right because we don't like the other guys who are speaking out?"

I don't see it that way. I refuse to take part in any protest actions that might be misused by the likes of Zamora and Estrada.

Misused, as in used to give them the seat of power.

That is the rationale behind my "wait and see attitude" (and presumably, the Jesuits').

Besides, none of the oppositionists (even the ones I admire and respect - of which, believe it or not, there are many) have been able to propose an alternative solution that I can get behind.

Cory? (Again?) Dinky? Ping Lacson?

I'm going to sit this one out. But trust me on this - I think I have very good reasons for doing so. And I trust the Jesuits to have very good reasons of their own. ;-)

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping the ateneo, or the jesuits, would have a stand on the matter. The silence is really unusual, given that theirs is a voice highly regarded in our society.

I cannot accept the argument that we do not have a better alternative, and that that is perhaps the reason many have not acted more decisively. The way I see it, we've hit rock bottom, so change itself is the only alternative. Our democracy died another death this week.

Initially I hoped that this would not have to go to the streets, because we've had too many edsas in our lifetime already and we definitely can't afford another one. But now I realize we should keep having these edsas if our institutions cannot protect our democracy or are the very tools used by those in power to stifle it, that we should claim our democracy for ourselves. Now I realize we need to have these edsas until we get it right.

What will we ever make of ourselves as a people if we don't stand up against the cheating for the simple reason that we aren't comfortable with what the alternatives will bring?

Where I came from, they taught us to fight the good fight. Isn't it time that we did?

11:22 PM  
Blogger micketymoc said...

Anonymous, a lot of us seriously disagree on the need to "have those EDSAs until we get it right". Indeed, I believe (as so do a lot of people I've talked to) that a stream of EDSAs isn't the way we'll ever "get it right".

Those of us who are abstaining from the streets aren't doing so because we believe Gloria is spotless, or that the system isn't broken. We are abstaining because we don't want to be hurried into choosing an alternative we're not happy with.

I personally believe that we've been hurrying into this; that shaping institutions takes time and painful experience. We simply can't threaten revolution every time our institutions disappoint us. Let's experiment with our institutions, but let's not burn them down every time we're not happy with them.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Where I came from, they taught us to fight the good fight. Isn't it time that we did?"

My reply: Where I came from, they taught me to pick my battles. To use my head, not my emotions. Only fools rush headlong into the fray.

Believe me, the Jesuits are no fools. And the opposition should start using their brains instead of their oversized egos to fight the fight. They don't even know which battles to pick, that is why they were outflanked in the impeachment proceedings because they were obsessed with resignation and ignored impeachment. They expected GMA to cower and run away. They were stunned when she and her minions hit back. It takes gray matter to win a fight, not just bluster. Getting down to brass tacks is more important than grandstanding or soundbytes. The way the opposition is carrying on this fight, they seem to be more transfixed with the 2007 elections than really taking GMA out.

11:27 AM  
Blogger categorically imperative said...

"There is no single moral focus to this opposition. No overriding call for action. No credible alternative to the Arroyo presidency. Why would the Jesuits rashly join an opposition in disarray?"

Amen.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey visit these jesuit blogs

http://tatlongtala.blogspot.com/

and

http://katips.blogspot.com


thanks.

AMDG

12:01 AM  
Blogger Sev said...

As a former Atenean, and Xavierian, I must begin by telling you that I understand the Jesuit mindset and their goals. True, they are an order devoted to the preservation of truth and knowledge. They are, and always have been the closest the Catholic Church has had to wayward badboys who seem to always end up right.

Although this may at once seem to be only deepen the mystery as to why they have not joined the so-called clamor for the Presidents resignation; I must ask if you have ever considered that they may collectively believe that the President holds a legitimate office?

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps they have not shown support for the President because they fear splitting what has always seemed to be, but never really is, a united Catholic community in the Philippines. If they are unimpresed with the President, then surely they would make their thoughts heard. Indeed, the Jesuits have never been known for being restrained or subordinate to any authority save God. So maybe the truth has been staring usin the face,and there is no need to label their reaction as a mystery, but more an obvious conclusion that some naive souls may have trouble sleeping with.

I did not wish to intertwine my own personal politics with those of the Jesuits, so I will ask you to hold them seperate.

I believe that the President is there legitimately. Well, as legitimately as it gets around here. Hasnt a lifetime of Philippine politics taught us anything? Are there really those that believe that there are still "good" candidates that remain for public office? Do we really still think that a veil of religious affiliation absolves a person from being corrupt? Do we honestly, this one goes out to the masa, still believe that Bro. Eddie, or El Shaddai and all those other politically sponsored religious novelties do not benefit, if not, exist only through the beautiful, almost operatic symbiosis of Philippine corruption?

When an election rears its head, we should no longer think like the 1st world voter. All these parameters are defunct in the Philippines. No matter who you elect, you are electing a thief. You cant really blame them though because Ferdie made it socially acceptable to steal from your country. What you should really be voting for, the person YOU think, despite all the eventual scandals, and graft and what not, despite all the crap that landslides toward any head of Philippine State, WHO? will at the end of all of it, do a better job for our country. In essence, we are voting for the best of the worst. This is a hell of a lot more difficult because the biggest voting block in this nation consists of voters who are informed by Eat Bulaga! and how much money their local mayor gives them on behalf of the candidate. With this in mind, I am glad that although they may be a bigger voting block, we live in country so lopsided that they are NOT the most influential . The most influential, for the most part are heads of business and your ocassional rich socialite who moonlights as a king-maker. I am actually glad that they are, for if not, then we are so screwed and you know it!

In the long run, it may not be a good thing, but because we have, through hundreds of years of corruption, created a monster. Corruption, for all intents and purposes, just saved us from FPJ. You lot should be glad GMA cheated! (if she did, which I like to think would be doubtful, but upon thinking long and hard about who the masa would have REALLY voted for, I know it is in vain)

To those who say, "but whoever won should be president!", I say, shut up you self-righteuos oportunistic hipocrite! When have you ever known this country to be fair? When the hell has anyone in this country ever gotten what they deserve? When? The poor who work hard are still poor as ever, and Imelda Marcos still lives!, although with mental capacities slightly diminished, but nevertheless enveloped in her kistchy opulence. So now, when a little bit of "alleged" cheating can make things better for the Filipino people, every goddamn coffeeshop revolutionary crawls out of the woodwork and wants to protest something nobody wants them to protest about.

The voice of the people does not say: Down with Gloria! I dont see or hear these throngs or masses outsidemy house... All I see are those fanatic militant groups attempting to start a minor traffic congestion in front of the much-overused image of the EDSA Shrine; the poor woman has become a whore for the political interests of every party under the sun.

The voice of the educated people, who can actually lead this badly-bruised nation of sick and poor to greener pastures says: Shhhh! This is already a miracle, dont ruin it! Thats right, everyone was so sure FPJ was going to win the election and the Philippines would take another trip through the time machine back to the stone-age. Even I in fact, was already preparing for another Erap-esque administration of gaudy showbiz pomp and gloss. So, are you not aware of the miracle that has occured here? Then he drops dead! Amazing! Its like the Charlotte Bobcats winning back to back championships!

All said and done, I see that the only way to turn this country around (though not in our lifetime buddy), is to expoit its extreme levels of corruption for the purpose of progress. We cannot win by taking the higher moral ground.It has not worked for the past couple of hundred years, why the hell should it work now? Lets get real, people... If we cant elect them properly, I dont care what needs to be done, if theyre good for the country, get them in there!

Would you REALLY have wanted FPJ?

1:12 AM  

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