Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Doronila: "Losers never get to define Patriotism!"

Among the few remaining active apologists for Edsa 2 (of which I count myself as having been one--a long time ago!), none is more authoritative than PDI's Amando Doronila. His published chronicle of those events, The Fall of Joseph Estrada (The Inside Story, 2001) is my own favorite source of the raw historical details and chronology of events. This is because "Doro" is a superb journalist, a professional to the core in ye olde tradition, with more than FIFTY years in the business. I would be privileged merely to shine his shoes. But today, I must also spit upon them a little to get the mud out and bring the clarity back.

In his Wednesday PDI column, The Fiction of Withdrawal of Support Doro produces a near perfect specimen of that much-abused yet subtle philosophical art called CASUISTRY. This term is not always pejorative mind you, as it refers to an important technique of CASE-based reasoning that has its proper uses. And abuses. Those who delight in mental gymnastics charged with the politics of Regime Change in the Philippines, will do well to read Doronila today for a masterpiece in unconscious self-contradiction, whose stunning climax and conclusion is:

"Losers never get to define Patriotism."

But the weakness of a casuistic, or case-based argument which some practitioners like Doro apparently do not appreciate, is that precisely because it is case-based, you cannot generalize as Doro does in his conclusion. Such casuistic generalizations can always be blown up by a single, equally stunning counter-example. The failed Cavite Mutiny and its garrotted "losers"stand in eloquent rebuttal of Mr. Doronila today: Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos and Jacinto Zamora! But at least Doro does this all with the an appreciation for the ironies of realpolitik. I cannot say the same for the taunting triumphalism of Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez's recent declaration that "A successful coup d'etat is patriotic, but if it fails you are a criminal!" In a letter written to La Solidaridad, Jose Rizal writes:
Without 1872, there would have been no Plaridel, Jaena or Sanciongco; nor would the brave and generous Filipino colonies in Europe have existed. Without 1872, Rizal would now have been a Jesuit and instead of writing "Noli Me Tangere," would have written the opposite. Observing those injustices and cruelties fired my young imagination and I pledge to dedicate myself and to avenge some day those victims. With this idea, I have studied and this can be discerned in all my works and writings. God will give me the opportunity someday to keep my vow.
I like the way an American says it too: (Frederick Douglass, the great American Justice and abolitionist:)
"Your forefathers were men of peace; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forebearance but they knew its limits. They believed in order but not the order of tyranny. With them nothing was "settled" that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were "final" -- but not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men, for they seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defense. Mark them."
Ultimately, we are all casuists towards the particular cases of our own lives. And that is why, it is the individual conscience that must decide all the arguments.

Only the Aristocracy Cares About the Eternal Principles!
The Citizen Soldier's Moral Dilemma

(2100) Sec. Mike Defensor got 14% of the television vote and lost all three rounds to Minority Leader Rep. Chiz Escudero who got a whopping 86% of the called-in vote during their much-advertised Debate. The exchange was moderated by Twink Macaraeg on the ABSCBN News ANC just now. I hope Mike felt ambushed and bushwhacked, which of course he was. Haha! I guess an "unscientific TV poll" does have a utilitarian purpose. Chiz Escudero was at his cogent best. Chiz had a very effective riposte to the river of good news that Sec. Defensor's presentation consisted of. Chiz asks the rhetorical question: "but are the Filipinos sharing in all the economic progress being described by Mike Defensor?" Obviously not, and he had many concrete examples. Defensor had no comeback and was flat on his back most of the match. Congratulations Chiz.

(2130 UPDATE)
First it was the Batasan 5. Now it's the Bishops 6. Secretary Raul Gonzalez could get it in the neck from PGMA the next time they talk. I would love to have a wiretap right now on the channel between Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I bet he's getting more than earful of her famous temper for his really brilliant accusation today against six Catholic Bishops of conspiring with Leftists and Rightists to overthrow the Arroyo government last February, after Bishop Antonio Tobias said he had given sanctuary to fugitive Lt. Lawrence San Juan earlier this year. But Msgr Nico Bautista was choking with anger on prime time TV at the sheer presumption of guilt and the unfairness of the Justice Secretary and his gratuitous accusations and allegations. He challenged the Justice Secretary to file the appropriate criminal cases against the Catholic Prelates and prove his wild charges.

And look at what Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBCP) just posted on his blog in reaction to the day's events:
July 19, 2006 In the Interest of the Common Good

I respect the personal decision of Bishop Antonio Tobias in helping some members of the Magdalo group. As explained by him, it was in the interest of both the Magdalo group and the government in order that there may be a non-violent resolution of their differences.

Contrary to allegations, the 6 bishops in the news report did not have any meeting together with any group—including any member of the Magdalo group—in order to bring down the PGMA administration unconstitutionally and in a violent manner. It is very possible that an accusation is being leveled against the credibility of the Bishops, because of our stand on issues which are not pleasant to certain groups. As Bishops we always promote peaceful, non-violent and constitutional means of reform in government.

If I, or any of the Bishops, have spoken against or criticized the conduct of anyone or any group—in favor or against the government—it was for the interest of the common welfare. Because people look at issues from different perspectives and with different values, we Bishops accept that our statements—individually or corporately—may not be agreeable to everybody.

We feel sad that the stories related to the report of overthrowing of government are being fabricated without proof as to their veracity. I appeal that the sources of such stories will clarify themselves for the sake of the common good. I invite them to prove their statements involving us, six bishops.

Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
I would say we should expect a rather messy DIVORCE between the Church and State pretty soon now given that the likelihood of a magical reconciliation is nil. Msgr. Nico Bautista was right. It is most unfair and irresponsible -- the pronouncements and statement of the Justice Secretary, who is now doing injustice to just men.

I think the Catholic Bishops could use a friendly word, a comment or two, to encourage them as they get drawn into the maelstrom. Here is the blog of the CBCP head: Reflections: A Bishop Blogging.


Anonymous said...

His opinion on losers have no right to define patriotism.
Patriotism like beauty and everything else is in the eye of the beholder.

Even if we call our selves to be patriots at this very moment,only history will be the judge.

If there is such a thing as accidental heroes,I think there is no such thing as accidental patriots.

Rizalist said...

Well said Karl! I love that: "...there is no such thing as accidental patriots."

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate it!



May I add to the plaudits for Karl...

His one-liners are great and full of sense, right on target (had it been a missiles whether heat seeking or shoulder-fired) i.e., very short range, short range, medium range and/or long range, they would have destroyed and decimated its target).

He should replace Joe Guevarra and his Dad as columnist in The Manila Times!

Bravo, Karl.


I've always been an admirer of Frederick Douglass.

A man of the law whose sense of justice and understanding of human needs, yes, human needs, are primordial.

A philosopher in his own right at par with Voltaire!

Anonymous said...

For the nth time,Many, many Thanks!


You're welcome and I truly mean it Karl!

Btw, you should do these great one-liners in your blog, sort of scan the news and throw in a punch line by way of comment!

Will be great.

(PS: How are Garec and Ch. and L?



Just read Archbishop Lagdameo's blog.

Short but good!

His conclusion is excellent. Simple but hits home the point.


manuelbuencamino said...

Nico Bautista is one of the most loyal and ardent supporters of GMA. I'm amazed Gonzalez managed to turn him. We should encouage Gonzalez to speak out more.

baycas said...

if mark felt could be an accidental patriot by snitching,
how will we consider chavit singson's heroic singing?


buti nga kay mike!

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

DJB, we have been talking about the separation of Church and State and for me this is relevant to the case of Bishops Tobias’ sheltering the Magdalo soldiers.
The principle of separation provides that state and church cannot infringe, impringe and encroach or trespass on each others work and mission. The church’s principle of love and charity covers all, no matter who you are or what you are. In fact, Jesus Christ emphasized love and charity even for your enemies including giving shelter and asylum to them.
The Magdalos came to the priest Tobias for shelter and he was obliged by his cloak to accept them without going into what they have been accused of doing. “Judge not”, Christ said. Gloria might the ruler of the Philippines but only God reigns in the Church. God is the higher authority and priests are accountable to Him and not to Gloria.
However, Gloria was right because God will pass judgement on her and all men. But the people and history will also judge her separately for her crimes against the people. That is the principle of separation between church and state.

Rizalist said...

BFR--The Bishops are no different than any other citizen or people's organization when they stand before the Law. But they're power does not lie in their civil rights, but in their dedication to what is RIGHT.

ricelander said...

It is bound to happen, the split. Can you imagine a CBCP singing hosannahs for this government or in silence at least? I'd be very alarmed. But holding down the punches for the sake of peace and quiet might not be in the best interest. They should know by now that when you pull out a stubborn leech from your skin
some skin and tissues are bound to cling through.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Hi! I just saw a replay of the debate between Mike D. and Chiz E. You were right Chiz routed Mike in that debate at ANC. But what surprised me really is the score because I know that the audience of that program are not the masa like me.
Mike & Chiz seemed to be talking about 2 different countries. It makes you wonder how Mike could be so out of touch with reality with his amerkana and how the masa can easily identify with Chiz with his tee shirt and jeans and the naturally kantoboy style he sits on the high stool. Chiz is believable when he talks about how the majority of Pilipinos feel because he seems to be in-touch with them, but Mike with his statistics and new definition of unemployment IS SO UNREAL. The score was 14% to 86% for Chiz and that could really reflect the people’s feelings about Gloria.

Rizalist said...

Yeah I saw it again too. Mike Defensor's presentation is actually valuable because I see it as a preview of what GMA will say next Monday. And Chiz really has a folksy touch that he needs to develop even more. I think it is very effective.


Hi Dean, hi BF, folks,

Wish I could catch RP TV - would've gladly watched the debate.

So you reckon what Mike D (and his percentages) are gonna be the bulk of Gloria's SONA?

Btw, when is she going to be SONAing? This wily, sly, little girl is surely gonna have a bigger palakpak crowd than in last year's SONA. Her favorite butler (borrowing from MB) will have seen to that knowing that she is in bad shot with bishops and a chunk of her erstwhile civil society friends. Headlines would say ""SOO" in this year's SONA"


Rizalist said...

HB, sona is on monday

Hey folks check out Postigo Luna's Comelec Ako Site he's got a great post on registration, i'll be blogging his comment thread later on too just gotta go out for a while...

postigo luna said...

thanks, djb. appreciate you sending folks my way.

The "Submariner" said...

hello dean,

Off topic - hope you can enlighten me. Bit of panic in the blogosphere and commenters' world over at Ellen's.

Ellen can't access her own blog- just received an e-mail from her asking if I could.

Mlq3's blog is also inaccessible and so is Uniffors but Postigo Luna's and yours are. A group of commenters, including me, have been exchanging e-mails coz everybody's been trying to access Ellen's, Manuel's and Uniffors but to no avail.

What do you think is the problem?

Is it possible for an individual to block someone else's blog?


Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

I was now able to access Ellen's site. There are times when I can't. That's the price of success, people will try to block you.
The most effective way to block a blogsite is to find a way of knowing the site owner's access code and change it. It's time for Ellen to change her code to one that is hard to crack.

Rizalist said...


I was out last nite...

I think Ellen could be having that wonderful problem most bloggers would love to have:: too many visitors for her server to handle at the same time.

You see folks, nowadays, the best way to shut down a website you don't like give it more visitors than the server's bandwidth can handle at any given moment!

I know it sounds crazy, but if you google for "denial of service attack" you will see the principle in action.

I doubt that Ellen was under a DOS attack, but I don't know about YOUR servers. hehe.


Hi Dean, BFR, folks,

Thanks for the explanation Dean.

There's been a respite - so what you say should be the reason coz we can now access it.

Thanks again.