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BLIND SPOT: Speak No Evil

Maybe it’s not good to celebrate such an event. But this is so much of a relief. Now former PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson made the announcement of her resignation on Wednesday, October 3, during the budget deliberation of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) at the Senate. (Come on. Is that a deliberate ploy for a dramatic exit? Couldn’t she just have submitted a resignation letter to whoever is her direct superior and went on her personal business?) The latest disgrace was playing accomplice to the shameful ridicule of sign language, thereby causing undeniable offense to people with hearing impairment. This is just simply one of those things that make your eyebrows run against one another and your mouth unintentionally open, in incredulity of the fact that presumed professionals could have even thought of taking a video of such insensitivity. As a Bicolano and a Nagueño, I had the revelry of humor and the annoyance of disbelief in the sheer ignorance of basic Philippine geography in mistaking Mayon Volcano to be sitting in Naga City. (I had to understand that she could have probably referred to Mayon Ave.; but that road does not cause the nation problems as she claimed Mayon was doing.) Reading between the lines, the hasty and ignorant attribution of Mayon to naga was made in desperate attempts to undermine the performance of Vice President Leni Robredo whom she obviously just loves to be the target of her tantrums; and that’s the part when the whole incident becomes hilarious. It was like tripping facedown to the floor while attempting to score a hit on an opponent. There’s also the politically suicidal federalism video in which she tries to sell the idea of the shift to another form of government and thereby exposing utter ignorance and destabilizing her own arguments. Those are my personal favorites. These antics could have been more properly placed on a gag show with Michael V and Ogie Alcasid, but then again the jokes would not be getting as much attention. We could go on a self-induced headache on what she had done while being oblivious to the fact that someone placed her there to allow her to do what she had done. “Utang na loob ko yan sa kanya because they offered their services for free. It’s my time to believe in them.” ( Well, there you have it. That’s a direct quote from the President. So, appointment on government office has become based on show of faith and favor on the appointing authority, regardless of qualification or capability, or even previous performance. Appointment to government service then would be based on “palakasan”; and I don’t mean sports. Yes, I believe some form of ‘padrino” culture gets to be practiced here and there. But Philippine modern history has not witnessed none as blatantly insensible as this ignominy. Forgive me, if this is becoming too judgmental. To add to this outrage, such an insensitive powertrip seems to have become a trend in the Duterte administration. “O ‘wag na nating ituloy ‘to. ‘Wag na bigyan ng mga lisensiya ‘to. Ulitin ko ha: ‘Yong ‘di nakakilala kay Secretary Bong Go, walang PRC license mamaya. Sino nakakilala kay Sec Bong Go?” ( ) Those are words from ACTS-OFW Representative John Bertiz to the recent batch of agricultural and biosystems engineers. How about you? Do you know Bong Go? Rather, do you know Congressman John Bertiz? Well, now because of that incident, he now has some claim to fame, or infamy. It is his claim that his statements were meant as a joke. Come on, you guys, can’t you take a joke? Of course, new PRC board passers would find a light threat on withholding their licenses due to unfamiliarity of Bong Go, would appreciate such a joke; especially on their oath taking. He has since apologized; but don’t they do after realizing the impact of insensitive insights. It’s just interesting that it even crossed the honorable congressman’s mind to make such a comment. It’s as if we’re just on a small round table exchanging humorous anecdotes over bottles of beer. Ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had made “rather proud disclosure of him having many girlfriends despite his existing marriage. Senate President Tito sotto has made a rather insensitive remark on single mothers during the Commission on Appointments hearing for then DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, with his “na-ano lang” remark, matched with insulting snickers; and there was time that former Palace spokesman Martin Andanar (before he was wisely replaced with Atty. Harry Roque) thoughtlessly spewed jokes that detractors of the President in the European Union were just deprived of sex. Are these random isolated incidents independent of each other, or indirectly instituted by one head? “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

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