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Reason renounced


“I CANNOT tell you why but they are now ordered to… There’s an… I cannot — it’s supposed to be in confidence. Pero you’d notice they are no longer complaining. Even if you say b******, they don’t respond anymore. That is — that is how to win the war against the Catholic Church. All you have to say, p*******. Panalo ka na.”

So raved and ranted President Duterte anew against the Catholic Church, feeling victorious amid the seeming silence of churchmen in the face of his verbal abuse against them.

Off hand, the words of the American political philosopher and revolutionary Thomas Paine comes to mind: “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason… is like administering medicine to the dead…”

On an even higher plane: The Church transfigures, Duterte disfigures. And malevolently disfigured – mentally, thoroughly; aesthetically, utterly – as he already is, can Duterte do otherwise?

No to media suppression! No to ABS-CBN shutdown!

WE CALL on Congress to do what is right and immediately pass the bill to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.

The quo warranto petition the Office of the Solicitor General reportedly plans to file before the Supreme Court for the revocation of the network’s franchise is proof that this government, in a supremely undemocratic act, is out to silence a media outfit because of the animosity of one man, the president of the Republic.

While we are dismayed at Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s brazen conflict of interest when he admitted having a personal beef with the network whose franchise the chamber he heads is supposed to deliberate on, we continue to hope that you, the elected representatives of the people, can rise above your leader’s petty vindictiveness and strike a blow in defense of freedom of the press and of expression.

At the very least, if the president is really hellbent on shutting down ABS-CBN, let him bear full responsibility by passing the bill renewing the network’s franchise and let him veto it if he dares to. Do not be accomplices in the rape of democracy.

(Punto! Central Luzon is in full accord with and endorses this Petition of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to the House of Representatives, Jan. 18, 2020)


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